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Teaira McCowan's Bio

About Teaira McCowan

Position: Center

WNBA Years: 3

Height: 6-7

Weight: 239

Born: September 28, 1996 in Bryan, Texas

High School: Brenham (Brenham, Texas)

College: Mississippi State ‘19

Drafted: By Indiana, first round, 2019 WNBA Draft (3rd overall)

  • Owns the two highest marks in franchise history for rebounds in a season (308 – 2021, 305 – 2019)
  • Third overall pick in 2019 WNBA Draft
  • Two-time first-team All-American led Mississippi State to national title games in 2017 and 2018
  • Two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year was the inaugural Naismith Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 and WBCA Defensive Player of the Year in 2019
  • SEC Player of the Year as a senior
  • NCAA Tournament career rebounding leader (240)
  • SEC & MSU career marks for rebounds (1,502) and double-doubles (70) and teamed with Fever star Victoria Vivians while leading Bulldogs to consecutive Final Four trips

A native of Brenham, Texas, she teamed with Fever star Victoria Vivians during her first three college seasons…the fourth MSU player ever drafted by the Fever, her selection as the third overall pick was the highest an MSU player had been chosen since the Fever selected Tan White with the No. 2 pick in 2005.


2021: The third-year center had the most dominant season of her career in 2021. McCowan averaged 11.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game, which were all career-bests. McCowan set a new franchise record with 308 rebounds after previously owning the old franchise high, 305, from her rookie season in 2019. She was able to reclaim this milestone in two less games than in 2019. McCowan’s pace of 774 rebounds in 88 career games (8.79 rpg) through three seasons is better than current VP of Basketball Operations and General Manager Tamika Catchings’ pace of 796 rebounds in 100 games (7.96 rpg) in her first three WNBA seasons. McCowan ended the 2021 season as already the fifth leading rebounder in franchise history. McCowan was the third leading rebounder, fifth leading shot blocker and eighth in field goal percentage at 53.7 percent in the WNBA.

2020: McCowan ended her second season with an increase in points per game, field goal percentage and free throw shooting percentage in 2020. McCowan turned in a 10.9 point per game scoring clip, to go along with a 53.6 field goal percentage, as well as shooting 75.0 percent from the charity stripe. The 6-foot-7 center recorded five double-doubles during the 2020 season, pushing her career total to 16. McCowan forced her way to the free throw line and shot 100.0 percent from the line in eight games. She scored at least 10 points in seven of the last eight games of the regular season. On July 29, McCowan tied her season-high 20 points and pulled down a season-best 13 rebounds in the second game of the season against the Phoenix Mercury. On August 31 against Chicago, McCowan’s 15 points gave her 500 career points.

2019: In her rookie campaign, McCowan averaged 10.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 22.1 minutes per contest while starting 16 of 34 games…From 8/25-9/6, McCowan recorded five straight double-doubles to break the prior franchise mark (4) set by Tamika Catchings during August of her rookie season in 2002…Her 11 double-doubles was one shy of Tamika Catchings’ record of 12 in 2002…305 rebounds was the most by a Fever player in franchise history…At Seattle (8/25) and vs. Las Vegas (8/27), McCowan became the first rookie in WNBA history with 20+ points and 15+ rebounds in consecutive games…Contributed 11 points and six rebounds in her pro debut at New York on 5/24 with a reverse lay in as time expired to secure a season-opening win…The highlight earned top billing on the SportsCenter Top 10.


An impactful post presence and defender, McCowan began her pro career with the Indiana Fever following four stellar college seasons at Mississippi State. She guided the Bulldogs to four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, including back-to-back appearances in the national championship game in 2017 and 2018. She is the NCAA Tournament’s career rebounding leader (240) and begins her pro career after consecutive seasons as the national defensive player of the year and Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year…she was the SEC Player of the Year as a senior.

Her NCAA Tournament dominance was reflected by averaging a double-double through 19 career NCAA Tournament games…she registered one of the most outstanding performances in tournament history with a Final Four-record 25 rebounds with 21 points while playing all 45 minutes in an OT win over Louisville in the 2018 national semifinal…she averaged 21.8 points and 16.4 rebounds through 10 NCAA Tournament games as a junior and senior…she averaged a tourney-record 18.2 rebounds per game while guiding the Bulldogs to the 2018 championship game…through four seasons, she averaged 16.2 points and 12.6 rebounds…she is the only player in NCAA Tournament history to record multiple 20-point, 20-rebound games.

McCowan finished as Mississippi State’s career rebounding leader (1,502), third in SEC history…her 544 rebounds as a junior were an SEC single-season record and the second-highest figure in NCAA history…she set an SEC record with 70 career double-doubles…she finished her career second in blocks at MSU (271) while holding four of the top 10 single-season block totals in school history…she capped her career as a two-time national defensive player of the year and two-time first-team All-American…McCowan was instrumental in leading the Bulldogs to a 31-1 SEC mark in her final two seasons, including a 26-game win streak that was the sixth-longest in league history…132 wins in her career is an MSU record…she had 33 games of 20+ points and 14 games with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds.

2018-19: McCowan put together one of the most-decorated seasons in MSU history, highlighted by six first team All-America selections…she earned SEC Player of the Week honors five times and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS and Wooden awards along with the Wade Trophy…the SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, she earned national defensive player of the year honors from the WBCA…she started every game, averaging 18.4 points and 13.5 caroms…she scored in double-figures in 33 of 36 games including 16 20-point efforts…66.2 percent FG shooting was fourth nationally and an MSU season record, finishing her career with an MSU-record 59.7 percent…she earned SEC and national (ESPNW and Naismith) player of the week honors after scoring 26 points and collecting a season-best 24 rebounds against South Carolina…she scored a season-high 33 points against Ole Miss with 13 rebounds for her 16th double-double of the year…she became first SEC player since the 2010 Elite Eight with 30 points and 10 or more rebounds in the NCAA Tournament with 30 points, 11 boards and six blocks against Clemson…she ended her career with a run of nine consecutive double-doubles.

2017-18: McCowan started all 39 games and averaged 30.5 minutes per game, grabbing an SEC-record 544 rebounds, second-most in NCAA history…she was fifth in the SEC with 18.2 points per game and first in rebounds with 13.9 per game…she was second nationally in rebound average…she ranked fourth in the league in field goal percentage with a 60.1 percent clip that was second-highest in MSU annals…she collected what was then an MSU- and SEC-record 29 double-doubles…she scored at a 16.2-point clip and grabbed 16.1 rebounds per game against ranked opponents…she averaged 20.8 points and 18.2 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament…she set NCAA Tournament records with 109 rebounds and 18.2 per game…her 18-point, 17-rebound game against Notre Dame reflected the most rebounds in the championship game since 2010…that followed a national semifinal performance with 25 rebounds against Louisville, the most ever in the Final Four and the second-most in tournament history…she set an NCAA Regional rebounding mark with 21 against UCLA in the Elite Eight…McCowan shot 11-of-11 from the field against NC State in the Sweet 16, an NCAA Regional record that tied for the highest FG% in tournament history…32 double-figure scoring games included 15 20-point games, five 30-point games and a 41-point effort against Mississippi Valley State…she also posted five 20-point, 20-rebound games, with two 30-point, 20-rebound games…she grabbed 10+ rebounds in 35 games, including six 20-rebound efforts…she had 31 points, 20 rebounds, four blocks and three steals against LSU to become the first MSU player ever with 30/20..she tallied 35 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks in MSU’s win against No. 9 Oregon, becoming first Power 5 player 35/19/5 since Brittney Griner (Baylor) on Jan. 30, 2013.

2016-17: She appeared in all 39 games as a sophomore and started in all six NCAA Tournament games as MSU played for the national championship…third on the team with 8.7 points per game, she led MSU with 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game…she shot 56.9 percent from the floor…she had 16 double-figure scoring games and eight 10-plus rebound contests, with five double-doubles…she was named to the Oklahoma City All-Region Team after averaging 18.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks…she posted 26 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks against Washington — including 20 points (9-of-10 FG), seven rebounds and five blocks against the Huskies in the fourth quarter…she had 17 points and a season-high 18 rebounds in a road win at Ole Miss…she contributed 10 points and eight rebounds in the MSU’s national semifinal win against UConn…she grabbed 10 boards to compliment seven points in the title game.

2015-16: An SEC All-Freshman Team selection after averaging 6.6 points, 5.6 boards and 1.3 blocks, she had five double-doubles, seven double-figure rebounding games and three 20-point games…she was named SEC Freshman of the Week after averaging 15.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks against Mississippi Valley State, Norfolk State and Savannah State…she had season highs with 24 points and 13 rebounds against Western Michigan in the Puerto Rico Classic.


2014: McCowan represented the USA at the 2014 FIBA Americas 18U Championship, earning a 5-0 record and gold medal.


Teaira McCowan was born Sept. 28, 1996…she is the daughter of Tracy Nunn and Dayronn McCowan…a cousin, Michael Brockers, is a defensive tackle with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams…she majored in educational psychology at Mississippi State, studying human development and family studies…she earned Parade All-America honors after averaging 19.3 points, 17.1 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in leading Brenham HS to a 25-8 overall record and 13-1 district mark as a senior…she was tabbed to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) All-Star Game following her final prep season…she was named all-state her final two years…she averaged 18.1 points, 18.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks as a junior, earning all-state and USA Today All-Texas second team honors after leading BHS to a 29-4 record and the region quarterfinals…she also excelled in track and field, finishing second in the shot put at the 2015 Texas 5A state meet.


(1) Drafted by Indiana in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2019 WNBA Draft, 4/10/19.

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