Championship Team’s 20th Anniversary to be Recognized as Part of Women’s History Month

DETROIT – February 27, 2023 – The Detroit Pistons announced today that the organization will honor the 2003 WNBA Champion Detroit Shock as part of its Women’s Empowerment Game on March 9th when the Pistons take on the Charlotte Hornets at Little Caesars Arena.

Dubbed the “Worst to First” season, the 2003 Detroit Shock delivered the franchise’s first WNBA Championship after having the league’s worst record (9-23) during the previous season.  Led by Detroit Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer as general manager and head coach, the team recorded a league-best 25-9 record during the regular season before defeating Cleveland (2-1) in the first round, sweeping Connecticut (2-0) in the Conference Finals and, after trailing 0-1 in the Finals, won two consecutive games at home to claim the title. 

“We are pleased to welcome back members of this great team during Women’s History Month and recognize them for delivering the first WNBA championship to Detroit” said Arn Tellem, Vice Chairman of the Detroit Pistons.  “The team truly embodied the spirit, fight and grit of the city and pulled off a remarkable feat with a historic turnaround in just one season.  We’re excited to celebrate their place in Detroit sports history.”

The Shock’s core group, led by the 2003 WNBA Finals MVP Ruth Riley, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Swin Cash, Cheryl Ford, Flint native Deanna Nolan, and Elaine Powell, lost their season opener and then went on to win eight consecutive games to start the season.  They finished the season with an 11-3 record to earn the league’s best regular-season record (25-9).  That season, Detroit lost consecutive games only twice.  Laimbeer earned WNBA Coach of the Year honors for the season and Ford, the third overall pick in that year’s draft, was named WNBA Rookie of the Year. 

The Shock franchise would go on to win WNBA Championships in 2006 and 2008.

For a special VIP ticket package, which includes attending a private panel discussion and meet and greet with members of the Shock team, fans can visit for additional information.