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Former NBA Player Haywoode Workman's Daughter, Chasity, Aims For WNBA's Tulsa Shock

Oklahoma City University senior Chasity Workman.
Oklahoma City University senior Chasity Workman.

When she takes the court with her headphones on, bopping her head to her favorite of Lil Wayne, Chasity Workman is ready to play the game that she loves with the team that she loves.

A team that she calls a family.

The senior at Oklahoma City University is playing in her one and only season with the Stars after transferring from Washburn (Kan.), yet she's using this final year of college basketball as yet another stepping stone in her basketball life.

"I just think this team is more of a team," Workman said. "We mesh together, we joke around. It's like having another family. I enjoy it. I love it, I love it."

Aside from her basketball family on the court of Abe Lemons Arena, Workman has a basketball in her blood. Her father is former NBA player and current NBA referee, Haywoode.

"Having my dad as a NBA basketball player slash referee now, it has a lot of good perks," Workman said. "I guess it's just within me. Growing up, my mom kept me pretty humble about the situation. She was just like, you know your dad plays in the NBA. So I was kind of like a fan more than ‘oh, that's my dad'."

His basketball path has gone from small college to putting on an NBA uniform to running the court as an NBA official. This unique perspective of being only one of three former players in the league to ref in the league is something that benefits Chasity's own game.

"He critiques basketball every time," Workman said. "He's critiquing the game all the time. It's good though because I get a referee aspect and a NBA mixture. I can get the best of both worlds."

Haywoode's collegiate career started at Winston-Salem State and was completed at Oral Roberts University. But he made it in the league. His daughter is hoping to do the same.

Chasity started at South Plains Junior College, later Washburn, and now OCU. Workman is hoping to follow her father's footsteps in a way from small college to the pros, with a desire to make it to her league of choice, the WNBA.

"I actually want to play in the WNBA," Workman said."I just want to be able to play. That's really it. To further my career, that's what I want to do."

One of her first steps to see if she can realize her dream will be competing at the Tulsa Shock open tryouts on April 29th.

"I'm looking forward to trying out [for Nolan Richardson]," Workman said with a smile. "He's more of a running coach. I think that would be more in my favor because I'm not so much of a formatted player. I just like to be free. I think I'd probably fit in pretty good."

She knows it's not going to be easy to find her way on a roster with just 11 players anywhere in the league, much less in Tulsa where her father happened to play college ball and just one state away from her family in Carrollton, Texas.

"I'm all for trying to make the team," Workman said. "I'm all for trying to get out there and play with those girls that I feel that I can play with. I'm all for the competition. I've dealt with that pretty much a little bit all my life. But I know [teams] always have different styles at that level. I would really have to be flexible to do pretty much everything."

For now, she'll focus on finishing out her collegiate career. First, two more regular season games to be followed by the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament and then the NAIA Division I women's national championship. And winning is on her mind.

"I've always been pumped up about basketball in general," Workman said. "So to be able to say we can go to the tournament, just get out there and play would be great and this team is going to actually try to win. I think that would just be amazing, an amazing experience."

Before we get ahead of ourselves, the task for the 23-2 Stars is to get through tonight - Senior Night. A time for Workman's families of blood and basketball to come together at center court.

But this Senior Night is not just about the six seniors that will be honored. Tonight is "Think Pink" Night and for Workman it holds a doubly special meaning. Her mother, Christi Dyer, is currently going through her own personal struggles with cancer.

Dyer was diagnosed in September and is currently completing her last rounds of chemotherapy before a final radiation regiment will complete her treatment.

"My mom is a great role model in my life," Workman said. "I look at my mom mostly to inspire me and motivate me and her input on a lot of things just helps me get through my rough times. She's like my best friend."

Her best friend will be seeing Chasity take the court for the first time at OCU tonight. Her best friend, a former cheerleader, will be cheering from the sidelines as Workman's pink laces get tied up. Chasity will have the opportunity to play the game that she loves with the team that she loves.

Sharing it with the people that she loves most. Her family of blood and basketball.