Vital Experience Arrives At Brno

21 October 2010

Cheryl Ford was once one of the top basketball players on both sides of the Atlantic.

She has been a star with the Detroit Shock in the WNBA, and in Russia with UMMC Ekaterinburg.

One doesn't make the USA squad and play at the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women if she isn't one of the best.

The year that followed in Ekaterinburg, there were not many players that won battles against her in the low post.

She averaged 13.5 points and 10.8 rebounds.

The only way players could stop Ford was to foul her.

She attempted more free-throws, an average of 6.6 per game, than any other player in Europe.

Her career took a hit on July 22, 2008, though.

Ford tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in a WNBA game against the Los Angeles Sparks.

She battled back from the injury to play for Detroit in 2009 and earlier this year, she signed for CCC Polkowice in Poland.

The 29-year-old Ford resurfaced in Europe last week when signing for Frisco Sika Brno.

"I had three knee operations in the last three years," she says.

"I had a free summer, the last time I played was in February.

"Then my doctor ordered rest and rehabilitation. He gave me no choice.

"So ... Brno gave me a chance, and here I am."

Brno are hoping they will get a Ford that is able to score and rebound as they head into the EuroLeague Women.

They're going to need experience in the paint playing in Group D against Ros Casares, Bourges, Gorzow, Nadezhda and Beretta Famila Schio.

Ford is best known in America for her days with the Detroit Shock.

The Shock went from woeful in 2002 to wonderful in 2003, winning the WNBA title for the first time.

In an interview on the Brno website, she remembered those days fondly.

"We were young girls there that had nothing to lose," she says.

"The year before, Detroit was the worst in the league.

"My first years were the best in my career."

If Ford avoids injuries, Brno will be glad that she chose to play in the Czech Republic instead of taking another offer.

"I had a few others," she says.

"This was the best place for me."

She didn't play in Wednesday's first game when the Czechs stormed to an 88-73 win at Karlovy Vary in their first league game.

The team's Sweden international duo Louice Halvarsson and Frida Eldebrink dominated, with the former pouring in 27 points and grabbing 17 rebounds and the latter scoring 23 points.



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