EIU Hires WNBA Veteran Sheri Sam As Women's Assistant Basketball Coach


Published on August 22 2013 2:33 pm
Last Updated on August 22 2013 2:33 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois women’s basketball coach Debbie Black has completed her coaching staff with the hiring of WNBA veteran Sheri (sha-ree) Sam as an assistant coach on the Panthers staff.

Sam had a ten year WNBA career spanning from 1999-2009 where she and Black played together for several seasons with the Miami Sol.  Sam was drafted by the Orlando Miracle in 1999 finishing her career in 2009 with the Detroit Shock.  She was a WNBA All-Star in 2002 as a member of the Sol and won a WNBA Championship in 2004 as a member of the Seattle Storm.  She also played for Charlotte Sting and Minnesota Lynx.

As a collegiate player Sam was a Naismith Award finalist her senior season leading Vanderbilt to the Elite 8 of the women’s basketball tournament.  She was an All-American during her playing days and later honored as a Women’s Legend by the Southeastern Conference.  Sam helped Vanderbilt win a pair of SEC Tournament titles and during her freshman season helped the team advance to the NCAA Women’s Final 4.

Following her career at Vanderbilt, Sam played as a member of Team USA earning a silver medal at the FIBA Americas Championships.  In addition to her time in the WNBA Sam played professionally both in the ABL and overseas.  She was a two-time ABL All-Star and won National Championships playing in Turkey and Israel.  Sam played internationally in Russia, South Korea, Italy, Greece and the Czech Republic.

Outside of basketball Sam has worked as a marketing representative for both Reebok and Nike.  Most recently she was the marketing director for Sportsbum, LLC and the lead WNBA Correspondent for DraftNasty.com.

“Sheri is an outstanding person who I have been associated with both as a coach and a player for a number of years,” said Black.  “While Sheri may be new to the coaching part of the game, her experience as a player on both the collegiate and professional level will make her a valuable asset to our Eastern Illinois program.”

Sam earned her degree from Vanderbilt in 1996.