Shoni Schimmel: Former WNBA All-Star, 29, charged with assault for strangling ex-partner

Shoni Schimmel: Former WNBA All-Star, 29, charged with assault for strangling ex-partner
Shoni Schimmel during the Women's Basketball Championship at New Orleans Arena on April 9, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

UMATILLA, OREGON: Shoni Schimmel, a former WNBA All-Star and Liberty player, pleaded not guilty to attacking her former partner after being arrested in northeastern Oregon on Friday, April 15. The matter was subsequently looked into by the Umatilla Tribal Police Department and the FBI, which is in charge of federal law enforcement on around 200 Indian reservations across the country.

Schimmel, 29, has been charged with assault by strangulation of an intimate dating partner and assault resulting in substantial bodily injury for an incident that occurred on June 13, 2021, according to The Oregonian. She was arrested on counts of felony assault and criminal mischief by federal agents on Friday and pleaded not guilty in federal court later that day. She has been released until June 14, 2022, when a two-day jury trial will begin. If convicted, Schimmel will face a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.


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Schimmel was raised on the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon. Her family and basketball career were documented in the 2011 documentary titled 'Off the Rez'. In 2013, Schimmel helped Louisville defeat No.1 seed and defending champion Baylor in the NCAA Sweet 16 en route to the national championship game, where the Cardinals were defeated by UConn.

Shoni Schimmel #23 of the Atlanta Dream celebrates with the MVP trophy during the WNBA All-Star Game at US Airways Center on July 19, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona (Getty Images)


Schimmel was the eighth choice in the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Atlantic Dream and was named All-Star Game MVP during her rookie season. She was also named to the All-Star squad in her second season with the Dream in 2015. In 2016, Schimmel was traded to the New York Liberty, where she played 17 games before suffering a concussion that ended her season.

Schimmel took a break from the WNBA in 2017 due to personal circumstances but returned to Liberty in 2018. She was waived during training camp and subsequently signed by the Las Vegas Aces, where she played two games before being cut.

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