February 4, 2023

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Sheryl Swoopes: Biography, Career Stats & Highlights

Sheryl Swoopes was born on January 28, 1972 in Brownfield, Texas. She played basketball for the University of Texas at Austin and was the first player to be named National Player of the Year by The Associated Press in 1994. Sheryl also won gold medals with Team USA at the 2000 Olympics and 1996 Olympics as well as a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics.

Introduction

Sheryl Swoopes is a retired American professional basketball player. She was the first player to be signed in the WNBA, and she helped lead the Houston Comets to four WNBA championships. After her playing career, she became a head coach at her alma mater, Loyola University Chicago.

Swoopes was born in Brownfield, Texas, and she attended South Plains Junior College before transferring to Texas Tech University. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1993 NCAA tournament after leading the Lady Raiders to a championship. Swoopes turned professional after her junior year, and she was selected first overall by the Houston Comets in the inaugural WNBA draft.

In her first season with the Comets, Swoopes averaged 15.0 points per game and was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year, She would go on to play with the Comets for her entire career, winning four championships with the team.

In 2000 she was named MVP of both the regular season and the playoffs becoming only the second player in WNBA.

Swoopes retired from playing in 2011, and she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. After retiring from playing, she became a head coach at Loyola University Chicago. She led the team to a conference championship in her first season as head coach.

Early Life

Sheryl Swoopes was born on March 25, 1971, in Brownfield, Texas. The youngest of three children, she was a tomboy who loved playing basketball. Swoopes began playing organized basketball in fifth grade and quickly became one of the best players on her middle school team.

In high school, Swoopes led her team to two state championships and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament both years. She also set several state records, including most points in a single game and most steals in a career. After graduating from high school in 1989, Swoopes attended South Plains Junior College in Levelland, Texas.

As a freshman at South Plains, Swoopes helped lead her team to the NJCAA national championship. She was named the tournament’s MVP after averaging 27.5 points per game. After one year at South Plains, Swoopes transferred to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Basketball Career

Sheryl Swoopes is a retired American professional basketball player. She was the first player to be signed in the WNBA, and she helped lead the Houston Comets to four WNBA championships.

Swoopes was born in Brownfield, Texas, and she attended South Plains College and Texas Tech University. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1993 NCAA Women’s Final Four while at Texas Tech, and she helped lead her team to an undefeated season and a national championship.

Swoopes was drafted by the Houston Comets in the first round of the 1997 WNBA Draft, and she helped lead the team to four straight WNBA titles from 1997 to 2000. She was named WNBA MVP three times (1997, 1998, 2000). Defensive Player of the Year twice (1997, 1998), and Finals MVP three times (1999-2001). Swoopes retired from the WNBA in 2008, and her number 3 jersey was retired by the Houston Comets in 2011.

Awards and Achievements

Sheryl Swoopes is one of the most decorated players in women’s basketball history. A three-time Olympic gold medalist, she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. She is a two-time WNBA champion, four-time WNBA All-Star, and was named one of the league’s Top 15 Players of All Time.

Swoopes began her collegiate career at Texas Tech, where she was a three-time All-American and led the Lady Raiders to their first ever NCAA Final Four appearance in 1993. She was named the National Player of the Year that season and went on to be drafted number one overall by the Houston Comets in the inaugural WNBA Draft.

In her 12 seasons with the Comets, Swoopes won four WNBA championships and was named MVP three times. After a brief retirement following the 2006 season, she returned to play for several teams over the next decade before finally retiring for good in 2017.

Throughout her career, Swoopes has been an advocate for LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS awareness. In 2005, she became the first openly gay woman to sign with Nike, and in 2010 she was honored with the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Conclusion

Swoopes was one of the first players to be signed in the WNBA’s inaugural season and went on to have a successful career, being named one of the league’s Top 15 Players of All Time. She is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. Swoopes has been an inspiration to many young women and continues to promote equality in sports.