Sheryl Swoopes is a retired American professional basketball player. She was the first player to be signed in the WNBA, is a three-time WNBA MVP, and was named one of the league's Top 15 Players of All Time at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game. Swoopes has won three Olympic gold medals, and is one of ten women's basketball players to have won an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA Championship and a WNBA title. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, she was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
The first woman to have her own Nike shoe named after her, Air Swoopes, this 2003 season WNBA's Defensive Player of the Year has achieved many respected accolades during her career. Many have noted that Swoopes is one of the best players ever in the game of women's basketball. She was also recognized and awarded an ESPY at the 2000 ESPY Awards Show for Female Professional Basketball Player of the Year, and was again nominated for a 2003 ESPY. Swoopes has repeatedly been named to the All-WNBA First Team in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002, and was named to the All WNBA Second Team for 2003. Named as the 2002 WNBA Player of the Year, Swoopes was also awarded 2003 Defensive Player of the Year awards that she also achieved in 2002 and 2000.
In 2003, she was also nominated by BET for Female Athlete of the Year alongside Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and Lisa Leslie. She was named by Ebony magazine as a 2003 Sister in the Spotlight.
After retiring from Basketball in 2010, Swoopes has spent time in sports broadcasting and coaching. Swoopes was a color analyst for the Texas Tech women's basketball broadcast during the 2012–2013 season. In 2013, Swoopes became head coach of the Loyola University Chicago women's basketball team before transitioning to Texas Tech as the Director of Player Development in 2017. Swoopes was later named Assistant Coach for the Raiders in 2018.
While honored to have received the distinguished accolades for her on-court presence, Swoopes is proud of her accomplishments off-court as well. Dedicated to educating, enhancing, and empowering our youth, she is extremely active in the community, and recently established a foundation dedicated to these efforts, the Sheryl Swoopes Foundation for Youth (S.S.F.Y.).
Swoopes has served as an Advisory Board Member for M.A.D.D. She has appeared on The Today Show, The Weakest Link, CNN's Paula Zahn Show, ESPN as a guest analyst, and was invited by President George W. Bush to join him for the Opening Ceremonies at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
A native of Brownfield (Lubbock), Texas, Swoopes attended Texas Tech University. In October of 2004, was inducted, by Gov. Rick Perry (Tx.), into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame.
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