Selected by the Sting in the second round of the 2001 WNBA Draft, Tammy Sutton-Brown arrived in Charlotte having just completed an outstanding college career at Rutgers and was looking to prove herself among the world�s best on the professional level.
She quickly did just that, as she finished her rookie season ranked 10th in the WNBA in blocked shots. Now five years into her career, she continues to be an impact player for the Charlotte Sting. For evidence of this, just take a look at the Sting record books where her name is listed in numerous statistical categories.
While Sutton-Brown has achieved great success, the road to this point has been a roller coaster with numerous ups and downs along the way. After a strong rookie campaign, she exploded on the court during her second season, averaging 11.9 points and 6.0 rebounds and was named a member of the 2002 Eastern Conference All-Star Team. Following that successful 2002 season, 2003 was not the year she had hoped for as she averaged 8.4 points.
The 2004 season was another upward swing in her career as she boosted her scoring average to 9.6 points and became the Sting�s all-time leader in blocks with 196 career rejections.
Coming off this strong performance in 2004, Sutton-Brown looked to continue to be a force in the middle for the Sting in 2005.
The season did not start off exactly as she would have liked however, as she posted just two points in the first two games. Her slump didn�t last long as she began to find her stride during the month of June. Over nine games during that month, she averaged 10.4 points on 62.3 percent shooting from the field.
�I plan on concentrating more on my shot, taking what the defense gives me, looking for the open shot and trying to get the other players on the team involved,� she commented when asked how she planned to continue her success throughout the season.
These words rang true as she finished the season ranked sixth in the league in field goal percentage shooting 50.9 percent from the floor. She also helped get her teammates involved as she posted a career-high four assists on August 18 at Connecticut.
It wasn�t just her offensive production that made Sutton-Brown a valuable asset for the Sting; it was also her performance on the defensive end.
�Sometimes your shots just aren�t falling, so you have to help out other ways,� she explained. �I also like to focus on my defense and my rebounding.�
Sutton-Brown�s pride in these other areas helped her once again finish among the league�s top 20 in rebounds (5.3) and blocks (1.1). She also was welcomed into an exclusive club as she recorded her 200th career block on June 2 at San Antonio. Just the 10th player in WNBA history to reach that mark, she joined the likes of Margo Dydek, Lisa Leslie, Tangela Smith, Lauren Jackson, Elena Baranova, Vicky Bullett, Yolanda Griffith, Ruth Riley and Taj McWilliams-Franklin as one of the best shot blockers in the game.
As she continued her climb into the WNBA record books, the combination of her offensive and defensive skills helped her get to the top of another category in the Sting record books � double-doubles. After posting her first one of the season on July 12 in Los Angeles, she recorded her second one with 12 points and 11 rebounds on July 22 at Connecticut. With those two double-doubles, she now boasts 10 in her career and ties Rhonda Mapp and Vicky Bullett for the most recorded during their Sting career.
But it wasn�t just on the court that Sutton-Brown was successful. She also reached out to the community through a number of appearances and events both prior to and during the season. For her efforts she was awarded the WNBA�s Community Assist Award.
Even though the Sting did not experience the overall success on the court they had envisioned, Sutton-Brown showed once again that she is a force in the league. Now a veteran leader, she will look to build on her legacy as she looks toward her basketball future.