One of the toughest things to do as an athlete is go public with a prediction. Ask Matt Hasselbeck. But Second-year Storm G/F Shekinna Stricklen went on the ledge and announced in June she was going to donate $25 to the Pat Summitt Foundation for every three-point shot she makes in the 2013 season.
Stricklen promptly went 10-of-38 from three-point range in her following 10 games.
“I was more anxious,” Stricklen said of her struggle after going public with her pledge. “I really want to help. The more threes I make, the more I can give. So, I was anxious. But now I’m being more confident and just playing the game.”
Stricklen settling into the outside shot since the All-Star break has not only increased her donation, it has also increased the Storm’s chances of clinching a WNBA-record 10th consecutive playoff berth. The former Tennessee star is 29-of-60 from three-point range in August alone (48.3 percent).
On Thursday against Connecticut at KeyArena, Stricklen was 3-for-3 from three-point range in the first quarter, her nine points in the opening six minutes giving Seattle a quick 19-7 lead. The Storm ultimately won 78-65 to move within one win from a postseason berth.
Stricklen is 46-of-132 from three-point range overall this season. It’s a donation of $1,150 with five regular-season games remaining in the 2013 schedule. Not a bad turnaround from her 37-of-117 showing her rookie season.
In August 2011, Summitt — the most-winningest NCAA coach of all-time — publicly announced she was suffering from early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. In November 2011, Summitt revealed the formation of the Pat Summitt Foundation, which will make grants to nonprofits that provide education, awareness, support and research for Alzheimer’s and those affected by it.
“The Pat Summitt Foundation means a lot to me, being blessed and able to give back to Pat,” Stricklen said in her release. “She helped me grow as a woman and helped me get to where I am now.”