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Former WNBA star Shoni Schimmel indicted on domestic violence charges

Schimmel played high school basketball in Hermiston and Portland before a standout career at Louisville and in the WNBA.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this June 16, 2016, file photo, New York Liberty's Shoni Schimmel watches during the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn. Schimmel is back with the New York Liberty in training camp after sitting out the 2017 season. The former WNBA All-Star guard spent time with her family and used the time off to get herself right mentally. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Former WNBA player Shoni Schimmel was indicted Friday for assaulting an intimate partner on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon announced. 

Schimmel, 29, is charged assault by strangulation of an intimate dating partner and assault resulting in substantial bodily injury. According to the indictment, Schimmel is accused of strangling her partner in June 2021. The indictment says Schimmel further assaulted her partner and caused "substantial bodily injury." 

Schimmel was arrested by federal officers Friday, was arraigned and pleaded not guilty in federal court. A jury trial is scheduled to begin on June 14.

Schimmel grew up on the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon and played prep basketball in Hermiston and at Franklin High School in Portland, before becoming a breakout star at the University of Louisville. She was the eighth overall pick in the 2014 WNBA draft by the Atlanta Dream; she averaged 6.6 points per game in two seasons there, with All-Star Game appearances both years, including being named Most Valuable Player as a rookie. 

She was featured in the 2011 documentary "Off the Rez," which profiled her upbringing on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and basketball career. 

If convicted, Schimmel faces up to 15 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

If you or someone you know needs help in a domestic violence situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). The StrongHearts Native Helpline offers culturally specific support and advocacy for American Indian and Alaska Native survivors of domestic violence. Call 1-844-762-8483 or visit strongheartshelpline.org for more information.

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