An all-time great WNBA career is one step closer to ultimate recognition. Three-time WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes has officially been nominated for 2016 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Along with NBA legends Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming, Swoopes is newly eligible after the Hall switched from a five- to four-year waiting period for candidacy after returned.
Her impact in college and professional basketball remains unmatched, beginning in 1993 when she was named the consensus national player of the year for Texas Tech’s national championship team, and ending in 2011 with an array of WNBA and Olympic accolades. In 1997, she was the first player signed to the WNBA when the league launched.
With her versatile skill set and competitive approach, Swoopes became the only player in WNBA or NBA history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year three times. For her career, she averaged 15.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.0 steals per game.
In 2000, Swoopes enjoyed perhaps the best season of her career. She earned regular season MVP honors, averaging career-bests in points (20.7) and rebounds (6.3), adding 3.8 assists, 2.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks.
During the playoffs, Swoopes posted 18.8 points (47.1 on three-pointers), 5.7 boards, and 3.2 assists en route to the Houston Comets’ fourth-straight championship, ending her summer with her second career Olympic Gold Medal.
At 44, Swoopes recently finished a three-year stint as the head coach of Loyola’s (Chicago) women’s basketball team.