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A singular athletic talent

BY ANDRES FOCIL
A singular athletic talent

FAYETTEVILLE — Shameka Christon is the most successful Arkansas women’s basketball player in the WNBA. Through her success on the court, Christon has helped raise the profile of the University of Arkansas and set the standard of professional success for Razorback women’s basketball student-athletes to come. Later this spring, Christon will be recognized for her contributions to Arkansas representing the school as the Razorbacks’ “SEC Great” at the 2010 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Duluth, Ga.

The former SEC Player of the Year remains the highest drafted women’s basketball player in Arkansas history when she was taken fifth overall in the first round by the New York Liberty. Playing in 33 of 34 regular-season games as a contributor from the bench, Christon helped the Liberty to a second-place finish in the Eastern Division in 2004 and was selected to the All-Star team in 2009.

Christon’s collegiate career at Arkansas saw the Hot Springs, Ark., native finish second on the Razorbacks’ all-time scoring list (1,951 points) and she was just the 22nd basketball player (female or male) to reach the 1,000-point milestone.

Christon became the Razorbacks’ first female Southeastern Conference Player of the Year as a senior in 2004, an award that followed on the heels of SEC First-Team selection (2003), SEC Second-Team (2002) and selection to the SEC All-Freshman Team (2001). In addition, Christon’s awards included AP All-America Third Team honors as well as SEC All-Tournament team honors (2002).

Christon’s numbers have improved with each season since joining the New York Liberty. A nine-game starter in 2005, Christon became a regular in the starting five in 2006 when she ranked sixth in the WNBA for three-point attempts, seventh in blocks and ninth in three-pointers made.

She bettered her numbers as a 32-game starter in 2007 finishing the season ranked in the WNBA’s Top 20 in eight statistical categories. The 2008 season saw Christon start all games she appeared in to lead the team in scoring with 15.7 ppg. She scored 20-plus points eight times and earned her first career Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor July 7 averaging 24.0 ppg and 3.0 rpg.

Christon’s most recent season saw her best numbers yet. She totaled a career-best 156 rebounds and 514 points (16.1 ppg) as she earned selection to the WNBA All-Star team.

In addition to Christon’s collegiate and WNBA experience, the former Razorback has traveled internationally playing for Hondarribia in Spain prior to the 2008 season. While with Hondarribia, Christon averaged 18.2 ppg and 5.4 rpg. Her other international experience includes Elizur Ramla in Isreal in 2005, Raanana Hertzliva in Isreal in 2006, Rivas Futura in Spain, COPABA 2002 Young Women’s Qualifying team in Brazil and the 2001 FIBA World Junior Championship in Czech Republic.

Shameka Delynn Christon was a social work major at Arkansas. Her favorite film is The Color Purple and she has two dogs, a boxer mix named Achilles and a miniature pinscher named Scrappy.

WNBA CAREER NUMBERS

YearTeamGGSMINFGM-A3PM-AFTM-AOFFDEFREBASTSTLBLKTOPFPTS
2004NYL33456067-18924-8233-5119496823993271191
2005NYL349809111-27024-8965-7625679241331950100311
2006NYL3434987136-34852-15699-120289212044204282105423
2007NYL33321,065118-32839-11993-117341151497034198299368
2008NYL3131947153-38571-175111-1343163945135176193488
2009NYL32311,014154-38378-204128-1482912715656282756102514
Career1971415,381739-1,903288-825529-6461665136792851591333635702,295
All-Star10224-113-71-20334314012

ARKANSAS CAREER STATS

YEARGP-GSFG-FGAPCT.3P-3PAPCT.FT-FTAPCT.REBAVGPF/DATOBLKSTPTSAVG
00-0132/24117/289.40537/113.32756/72.7781324.190/22064294732710.2
01-0231/29197/418.47131/104.29892/133.6921936.274/02560526151716.7
02-0332/32193/434.44529/81.35881/117.6921946.188/347101355049615.5
03-0428/28219/500.43847/129.364126/166.7591957.081/34991464861121.8
TOTAL123/113726/1641.442144/427.337335/488.6877145.8333/8141316162206195115.9


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