Courtney Paris to create community fund to pay back debt |

Courtney Paris to create community fund to pay back debt

Vin A. Cherwood

SECAUCUS, N.J. ” Courtney Paris still wants to give back to Oklahoma.

The Sooners’ four-time All-American had promised to pay back her scholarship if she didn’t lead Oklahoma to a national title. The Sooners fell short in the Final Four against Louisville, but athletic director Joe Castiglione said Tuesday the university wouldn’t hold Paris to her promise.

So instead Paris says she plans to set up a fund that will go to the needy in Oklahoma.

“We’re working on something, trying to corroborate and make some kind of fund that kicks back into the community,” Paris said Thursday after being selected by the Sacramento Monarchs with the seventh pick in the WNBA draft.

The cost of four years at Oklahoma has been estimated conservatively at $64,000, but the price could be even higher since Paris, the daughter of former NFL offensive lineman Bubba Paris, came from California and would have had to establish residence in Oklahoma to pay in-state tuition.

“We have a great, great university, and our athletic director wouldn’t accept the money back,” Paris said. “But I feel like there is something I can do to help the state of Oklahoma because they’ve supported me so much and I’ve had the best four years playing with them.”

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Paris’ base salary in the WNBA this season is expected to be around $41,000.

2009 WNBA Draft

Thursday’s First Round

1. Atlanta, Angel McCoughtry, F, Louisville.

2. Washington, Marissa Coleman, F, Maryland.

3. Chicago, Kristi Toliver, G, Maryland.

4. Minnesota, Renee Montgomery, G, Connecticut.

5. Phoenix, DeWanna Bonner, F, Auburn.

6. Indiana, Briann January, G, Arizona State.

7. Sacramento, Courtney Paris, C, Oklahoma.

8. New York, Kia Vaughn, C, Rutgers.

9. Minnesota (from Los Angeles via Washington), Quanitra Hollingsworth, C, Virginia Commonwealth.

10. Connecticut, Chante Black, C, Duke.

11. Detroit, Shavonte Zellous, G, Pittsburgh.

12. Seattle, Ashley Walker, F, California.

13. Los Angeles (from San Antonio via Atlanta), Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, F, Purdue.