WNBA alum Ashley Shields named head coach for Lady Tigers basketball

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Courtesy photo Ashley Shields is the new girls basketball coach at Arlington High after a successful career in college and the WNBA and after working as assistant coach at Mitchell High School. Courtesy photo.

A former WNBA champion has been selected as head coach for the Arlington High School Lady Tigers Basketball team.

Ashley Shields, an assistant basketball coach at Houston High School, will replace Wes Shappley as head coach for the Lady Tigers.

Shappley stepped down at the end of this past season to coach at his alma mater, Bartlett High School.

“Coach Shappley built a dominant girls basketball program at AHS, and we’re very proud of the work he’s done here,” said Principal Chris Duncan. “Coach Shields couldn’t have stepped in at a better time. Between her immense talent as a player herself and her proven track record as a coach, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to the Tiger family.”

After high school, Shields kicked off her basketball career at Southwest Community College and eventually became the first WNBA player to be drafted out of a community college.
She was drafted by the Houston Comets in the first round of the 2007 draft.

She later transferred to the Detroit Shock, where she and her team won the 2008 WNBA Championship.

After leaving the WNBA, Shields spent nearly a decade playing international basketball in several countries, including Israel and Slovakia. During that time, she racked up countless league awards such as Player of the Year, Guard of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

The desire to become a coach eventually brought Shields back to the Memphis area. Her first coaching gig was as an assistant coach at Mitchell High School, and she was ultimately named the head coach there in 2018.

During her first year as head coach at Mitchell High School, the team earned the titles of City Champions, District Champions and Regional Runner-up.

Shields joins Arlington following an impressive showing by the Lady Tigers. The Tigers were scheduled to compete in the championship game of the state tournament before COVID-19 shut the tournament down.

“I first saw Arlington play this past season and what I saw was a group of young players who love the game,” Shields said. “I love seeing girls who have a passion for the game, dig in and fight, and that’s what I’ve seen from Arlington.”

“I love to put players in great situations and help them accomplish great things,” she continued. “I’m ready to get these girls back on the court and help them fight their way back to the state tournament.”