Nykesha Sales could renew WNBA careerAugust 28, 2012
“I love you,” a fan shouted out when former Connecticut Sun star Nykesha Sales was introduced Sunday during halftime.
The team had invited Sales, who lives in Orlando, back for a special tribute to her; she sat at courtside most of the game against the Chicago Sky and was cheerful and relaxed with brief media interviews – as if she’d never left.
For starters, she looks terrific: she’s in shape, her dark hair falls around her face in loose curls and she has a constant smile on her face.
And why not?
She has continued to play in Europe, even after leaving the Sun in 2007, her last WNBA year. No one is calling it a retirement and for good reason.
At 36, Sales, with 3.955 points the Sun’s all time scoring leader, isn’t necessarily finished with stateside professional basketball. She started with Orlando in 2003 and when it moved to Connecticut came with the team.
“Definitely,” she said when asked about that possibility. “I have to find a good team where I can help out. I’m not looking to play 30 minutes but I’d definitely like to play in the league.”
She said she quit the WNBA because she needed a break from year-round basketball. “My body started to break down – you have to listen to your body,” she said. “Now I’m well rested and ready to contribute to a team. If I didn’t feel like I could, I wouldn’t do it.”
She has been doing outreach work in Africa and South America, teaching basketball in various countries.
She has had some discussions with other WNBA teams but nothing has emerged yet.
She has played in Turkey for two years and will play in Europe again this winter. She will By then something with the WNBA could be in place.
Sales is originally from Bloomfield, Ct., where her family still lives. When she signed to play at UConn in 1994, it was considered the biggest coup in UConn recruiting. She was a key member of the 1995 NCAA championship team and helped lead the Huskies to the 1996 NCAA finals.
Sales is third in all-time scoring at UConn behind Maya Moore, who plays for the Minnesota Lynx, and Tina Charles, who’s on the Sun.