Sheryl Swoopes returns to the game

You know what we love most about Sheryl Swoopes, besides the fact that she broke the legendary homophobic barrier and came out as a gay professional athlete? We love how much Sheryl Swoopes loves the game of basketball. Since being cut from the Seattle Storm last season, Swoopes’ message has been singular — she still wants to play ball. And now she’s going to get another chance — in Greece.

ESPN is reporting that the gold-medal-winning, championship-nabbing, MVP-trophy-owning matriarch of the WNBA will join the Esperides for the remainder of the Greek league season.

Much like the WNBA, the Greek women’s professional basketball league is suffering in the current economy. The Esperides hope that a high-profile player like Swoopes can breathe new life into the league. Swoopes hopes that playing on a Eurocup team will breathe new life into her career.

An Esperides spokesperson released a statement saying:

Irrespective of her actual contribution [on the court], since she needs time [to get into shape], Esperides’ goal is to upgrade women’s basketball in Greece.

Upgrading women’s basketball is kind of Sheryl Swoopes’ specialty.

While she’s been lobbying for a spot on a WNBA roster — an even bleaker prospect now that Sacramento has folded — Swoopes has been volunteering as an assistant coach with the Mercer Island High School girls team.

She told The Seattle Times:

This takes me back to all of the times when I was there and I was playing. For me, just being out here, the whole environment and the whole atmosphere and seeing the excitement of the girls is exciting for me. And the players on this team, they’re great young women. For me to be here and being able to give them just a little bit of the knowledge that I have, after playing basketball for so many years, is a great honor for me. I get a lot out of it.

You can take the girl out of the game, but you can’t take the game out of the girl.

Welcome back, Sheryl Swoopes.

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