Chasing her WNBA dream a long road for BG's Shorb
A gift bag full of Chicago Sky goodies awaits Domineque Shorb.
She'll get it on Mother's Day when she joins about 60 other women -- many from the Chicago area and some from as far away as California, New York, Florida, Colorado and Texas -- hoping to turn heads at the team's first open tryout.
The goodies include a Sky practice jersey and a ticket to a game this summer.
Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but Shorb, a Buffalo Grove native who now lives in Antioch, points out a big problem with the goodies.
"I won't be needing that ticket," said Shorb, a three-point shooting specialist. "I'll be playing in the game."
Shorb knows the score.
WNBA rosters are lean and mean. Only 11 players are on each team. And after accounting for its top new or returning players, the Sky has at least half of its roster already filled.
But the 25-year-old Shorb believes in her skills and is proud of her credentials, which include all-American honors during her two-year stint at Harper College.
She figures if she doesn't try out with at least a hint of confidence, why try out at all?
"It doesn't matter to me what the odds are," Shorb said. "And I'm not nervous. All I'm worried about is bringing my 'A' game and playing my best. I'm there to be the best basketball player I can be.
"I've been dreaming of making it big my whole life and it hasn't been if, it's been when."
Shorb started off taking the scenic route.
She was on the freshman team at Buffalo Grove High School when the varsity team won the Class AA state championship in 2000.
As a junior, she was anticipating playing a big role on the varsity, but she saw limited playing time and was so discouraged that she decided to skip her senior season.
"I loved basketball so much," Shorb said. "But my heart told me that I just needed a break."
Shorb was ready to get back into the game after she enrolled at Harper College the next year. But three days into practice, she heard a pop as she planted her foot on a cut. She had blown out her knee.
"In high school, I had a tough road, and then everything happened with my knee," Shorb said. "But I knew I didn't want to give up. I love basketball and I still hadn't gotten a real chance to show what I knew I could do."
Soon enough, Shorb got that chance. And she made the most of it.
When Shorb came back for her second year at Harper, with her knee fully rehabbed and ready to go, she quickly became the focal point of the team.
"I scored 30 points in my first game," Shorb said. "I was kind of in shock, but I also always knew that I could play if I just got the chance."
Shorb averaged about 24 points per game over her two-year career at Harper and was named a first-team junior college all-American. Her phone started ringing with offers from four-year colleges.
Wanting to stay close to home, Shorb went to nearby Trinity. She averaged about 16 points per game there and earned all-conference honors.
After graduating from college, she decided to stay close to basketball, officiating youth and high school games and offering private lessons.
She still worked out and played in pick-up games whenever she could, but that regimen got a shot in the arm about a month ago.
"My step-dad saw an article in the paper about the Sky's open tryouts," Shorb said. "He said, 'You should do it. I know you can make it.' Both my mom and step-dad are so supportive like that. So I decided to do it."
Shorb has worked out every day since, sometimes for six to seven hours at a time. She says she shoots at least 500 three-pointers a day.
"I didn't even hesitate to sign up for the tryout," Shorb said. "My heart started racing and I've been excited every day since then. This whole process has been a dream for me."