As a result of the WNBA, many young girls have their own hoop dreams (Photo Credit: Jeremy Sadoff/Charisma).
This year, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Throughout the last quarter century, the WNBA has experienced its highs, especially in H-Town, with the Houston Comets winning the first four WNBA championships.
But, the WNBA has also, unfortunately, experienced its lows with the closing of franchises like the Comets, Miami Sol, Cleveland Rockers, Portland Fire, Sacramento Monarchs, Miami Sol and Charlotte Sting.
Furthermore, franchises like the Detroit Shock, Orlando Miracle and Utah Starzz have all had to relocate at least once.
Despite the rocky road to business stability, the product on the court has never wavered for the WNBA.
In fact, some of the greatest basketball players of all time have played in the WNBA.
Additionally, countless others shined professionally overseas before America realized the brilliance of women’s team sports.
Therefore, RegalMag.com would like to commemorate the silver anniversary of the WNBA with its Regal Mag All-Time Women’s Professional Basketball Team.
Check it out, and as always let us know what we got right and what we got wrong!
Point Guard: Diana Taurasi—If Diana Taurasi is not the greatest women’s basketball player of all time, she is the second best. Since 2004, the UConn alum has starred for the Phoenix Mercury, averaging 19.5 points per game (PPG), 3.9 rebounds per game (RPG) and 4.3 assists per game (APG).
Shooting Guard: Cynthia Cooper—Can you say four-time WNBA champion? That is exactly what the Comets legend is. From 1997-2003, the future college coach averaged 21.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 4.9 APG.
Small Forward: Cheryl Miller—No one player has revolutionized the women’s basketball game like Cheryl Miller. To those in the know, she was a better basketball player than her Hall of Fame little brother, Reggie Miller. She once scored 105 points in one high school game. Miller popularized women’s college basketball during her four years at USC. And she averaged 16 PPG as she led the United States women to the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics.
Power Forward: Lauren Jackson—The Aussie epitomizes the word championing, winning five Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) titles before joining the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and winning two WNBA championships. She has WNBA career averages of 18.9 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 1.4 APG.
Center: Lisa Leslie—The first woman to dunk in the WNBA must be on the list of the greatest women’s basketball players ever. But Leslie was a complete player, not just a dunker. With the Los Angeles Sparks, she averaged 17.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG and 2.4 APG.
Center: Brittney Griner—No one reached the level of excitement the Comets enjoyed in Houston except for Brittney Griner during her days at Nimitz High School. Her high school dunks became legendary. The national champion from Baylor took her talents to the Phoenix Mercury where she has averaged 17.6 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 1.7 APG since 2013.
Power Forward: Tina Thompson—This Southern Cal grad was the third member of the Houston Comets Big Three that won the first four WNBA championships. The former USC Trojan averaged 15.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 1.6 APG. Thompson was also the first ever WNBA draft pick in 1997.
Small Forward: Sheryl Swoopes—Swoopes is a Texas legend just like Griner. She won a national championship at Texas Tech. Then she took her talents to the pros. Swoopes also won four WNBA championships with the Comets, averaging 15.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 3.2 APG from 1997-2011.
Point Guard: Sue Bird—Sue Bird has dominated the basketball scene in Seattle since 2002. The point guard is still dishing out dimes for the Storm. Bird has career WNBA averages of 12.0 PPG, 5.6 APG and 1.3 steal per game.
Point Guard: Nancy Lieberman—At the time of the WNBA’s inaugural season, Nancy Lieberman had already reached the age of 38. But that did not stop her from suiting up against the youngsters as a member of the Phoenix Mercury in 1997. In 2008, she suited up for one game with the Detroit Shock at the age of 49. But as a college star, she helped put the women’s college game on the map, leading Old Dominion to a national title before playing professional for the Dallas Diamonds, Springfield Fame, Long Island Knights and Washington Generals.
Small Forward: Maya Moore—Arguably, Maya Moore is more legendary for her work on prison reform than she is as a basketball player. And she is a bona fide legend on the hardwood. Throughout her tenure with the Minnesota Lynx, she has averaged 18.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.3 APG.
Power Forward/Center: Candace Parker—Just like Griner excited basketball fans with her dunks, Candace Parker did the same thing, even winning the dunk contest over male competition at the McDonald’s High School All-American Game. The former Tennessee Volunteer has WNBA career averages of 16.7 PPG, 8.6 RPG and 3.9 APG.
Small Forward: Tamika Catchings—Tamika Catchings was destined for greatness on the basketball court. What makes her even more legendary is how she overcame a disability (hearing impairment) to become a Hall of Famer with the Indiana Fever. From 2002-2016, Catchings averaged 16.1 PPG, 7.3 RPG and 3.3 APG.
Head Coach: Van Chancellor—Coach Van Chancellor is obviously not a woman. And there have obviously been hugely successful women coaches. But how can anyone deny the coach that led the Houston Comets to the first four WNBA championships? Chancellor coached the Comets for 10 seasons, accumulating a 211-111 record while winning Coach of the Year three times.
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