San Diego native Gary Kloppenburg was thoroughly impressed with the venue he was in Thursday. The Tulsa Shock had rave reviews for Sequoyah’s Place Where They Play.
“Beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” he said. “This place is like a little college arena.”
He added that they don’t make high school gyms like that in southern California.
“They just have a bunch of regular gyms,” Kloppenburg said. “I think you find these a lot in Oklahoma.”
Kloppenburg and the Shock put on a practice exhibition in front of fans and Sequoyah students. The 2 1/2-hour session received high marks from Kloppenburg.
“This has been a lot of fun,” Kloppenburg said. “There was a good turnout of kids and students.”
The Shock are in the midst of a monthlong hiatus during the WNBA regular season. But Tulsa is taking advantage by conducting practices outside of the metro area to try to add to its fan base.
“We work closely with the Indian nations, and we were fortunate enough to get to come out,” Kloppenburg said. “We went to Okemah for the same type of thing.
“We want to try and get out there so fans can see us. Then maybe they’ll come down to our remaining six home games.”
Open for exhibition
The odds of Tulsa playing a regular season game at Sequoyah are slim. But Kloppeburg is open to a possible exhibition game.
“Something along the lines of an exhibition game is what we would think about,” Kloppenburg said. “You need the seating [for the regular season], and the BOK Center has it.”
The only player absent for the Shock on Thursday was Elizabeth Cambage, who just wrapped up playing for Australia in the Olympics.
Tulsa guard Ivory Latta said she’s been keeping up with all of Cambage’s games.
“I want her to shoot every time,” Latta said. “If they throw her the ball at half court, I want her to shoot it.
“When she comes back here, I’m going to tell her, ‘can you bring that same intensity that you played with in the Olympics?’ If she can, we’re going to have a great second half.”