By SHAWN SKILLMAN | Sports Anchor
Published: October 14, 2009
Columbus, GA - She is used to flying, she is used to being alone, and now she needs to get used to be called a champion. It took Ketia Swanier just two WNBA seasons, but she finally earned a championship after working for one her entier basketball life.
“After letting it sink in after a couple of days now, it makes you think about growing up playing AAU basketball and everyones dream is to win a championship,“ Swanier said. “Columbus High, making it to the finals and losing. Going to college having a rollercoaster ride out there (UConn) I got better each year, and made it to the Final Four my senior year, losing, even though we should have won. Going to the next level, then getting cut, picked up by Phoenix, I mean it has been amazing.“
Landing in Phoenix was a dream come true, they had thought about trading for her while she was with the Sun during her rookie year. She was drafted with the #12 overall pick in 2008 to Connecticut but was cut, and picked up by the Mercury. She won the Big East Sixth Man Of The Year award her senior season in college and is the only player in school history to rank among the top 10 career leaders in games played (142), assists (479) and steals (247).
She began setting the scoreboards on fire at Columbus High averaging 23.2 points, 8.5 steals, 6.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds as a junior while leading Columbus High to a 23-5 record. She was named the 2004 Georgia AAAA Player of the Year.
She knows the highs, and the lows, but stayed positive throughout. “It’s been a lot of adversity but being a military child you learn you have to adapt to different changes,“ Swanier said.
And that military background is the reason for her Ketia 4 Kids Foundation which gives support to children from military families. “I am trying to be an advocate for these kids and make everyone aware of the challenges for these children,“ Swanier said. “I was in a single parent home for seven years as my dad was deploying, coming back home, and then my mom deploying, it was tough. But I got through it because my parents were great, and I worked hard.“
Swanier is not staying in Columbus long, she is catching a flight to play basketball in Turkey. But she will be coming home, she and the rest of the Mercury, will visit President Obama at The White House.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
On October 9, 2009, Ketia Swanier and the Phoenix Mercury defeated the Indiana Fever for the 2009 WNBA Championship. A proven winner, Ketia now adds WNBA champion to her impressive resume. The former Georgia AAAA Player of the Year and UCONN standout, played a key role throughout the season and playoffs, backing up Temeka Johnson at the PG position. Having started the season with the Connecticut Sun, Ms. Swanier quickly adapted to the new uptempo pace of the Phoenix Mercury providing quickness, defensive pressure and leadership for the Mercury.
This season was a dream-come-true for the 2nd year player out of UCONN. Players such as Temeka Johnson and Diana Taurasi spoke throughout the season about the spark that Ketia provided off of the bench. Ms. Swanier credited Temeka Johnson for making the transition easier in the new system and on a new team. The future is promising for the guard, as she will be asked to perform at an even higher level for the Mercury, while pressing the defense with her penetration and improved jump shot.
Ms. Swanier will be heading to Turkey shortly to continue her basketball season. Prior to her departure, she will make a few appearances on behalf of her foundation - Ketia4Kidz - starting with a school visit at Dexter Elementary School in Ft. Benning on October 14th. The foundation will also honor Ketia, by hosting a Championship Dinner at Olive Tree Restaurant on Sunday, October 18th. Ketia will be on-hand to meet with sponsors, donors, family and friends, as well as raise awareness and funding for the foundation.
For more information, please contact Ketia4Kidz at Ketia4Kidz@yahoo.com. For media requests and interviews please contact Quency Phillips (Quency@FuzionAM.com).