Swoopes replaces Wisdom-Hylton

ATHENS, Greece -- Former WNBA superstar Sheryl Swoopes will join Esperides for the rest of the Greek league season.

The 38-year-old Swoopes agreed to replace Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, Esperides said on Wednesday.

According to the team Web site, Wisdom-Hylton, a forward who plays for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, decided to join Purdue University, her alma mater, as an assistant coach to the women's basketball team.

Esperides said Swoopes won't be ready to play Sunday when the Greek league resumes following the holiday break, but will play in subsequent games.

"Irrespective of her actual contribution [on the court], since she needs time [to get into shape], Esperides' goal is to upgrade women's basketball in Greece," the club said. It did not disclose financial terms.

While it has a dedicated core of followers, women's basketball in Greece lags far behind in popularity compared to the men's game and, like the men's league, hasn't fared well with the economic downturn. Since the season started in October, two teams have pulled out of the competition for financial reasons and so have two of the league's three representatives in the Eurocup.

Swoopes played for 12 years in the WNBA, winning four titles with the now-defunct Houston Comets, and was named league MVP three times. A three-time Olympic gold medalist, she has been coaching at Mercer Island High School in Washington state.

With a 6-3 record in the Greek league, Esperides was tied for fourth place.