Lisa Leslie is doing her thang, but here are other WNBA ballers who are holding high court.
Sheryl Swoopes, Houston Comets Forward
Sheryl made history by signing the first WNBA contract (a day before Lisa Leslie) in 1996. The 29-year-old mother and wife, served on the WNBA’s first championship team and has been loyal to the Comets for six seasons, four in which they were title champions. Sheryl and Dawn Staley rang the opening bell on April 2, when The New York City Stock Exchange re-opened after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Continuing to set precedents, Sheryl as their first female athlete to have a Nike basketball sneaker named for her, Air Swoopes. She wears WNBA championship rings on four fingers and in many ways the Brownfield, Tex., native will always be No. 1.
Dawn Staley, Charlotte Sting Guard
After Dr. J retired and before Allen Iverson was holding court in Philadelphia, 28-year-old Philly native Dawn Staley, represented the City of Brotherly Love as only a pro-baller could. She joined the Stings in 1999 and leads the league in steals this season. That same year, Nike dedicated a seven-story potrait of her at Eighth and Market Streets in downtown Philadelphia. She helped the U.S. bring home two gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic games.
Chamique “Mique” Holdsclaw, Washington Mystics Forward
At 23, “Mique” is one of the WNBA’s youngest stars. The Queens-born forward became a college legend at the University of Tennessee and won the Naismith Award for college basketball player of the 20th Century. She was the first woman to be featured on the cover of SLAM, the hip-hop sports magazine in 1998. Following in Sheryl Swoopes’ basketball sneaks, Mique became the second female athlete in 2001, to have her name on a sneaker, the BBMiqueShox. She also holds a gold medal for 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia.
Teresa “T-Spoon” Weatherspoon, New York Liberty Guard
In 2000, T-Spoon who hails from Pineland, Tex., scored a three-point shot from half-court that stunned the Comets in the WNBA finals. She’s one of 32 women who have been with the WNBA since its first season. T-Spoon has been a staple in the industry with her signature cornrows a la Knick’s Latrell Sprewell. And you’ve got to love her — she’s been the Liberty’s assist and steal leader for the last five seasons — because as they say, “she giveth and she taketh away.”
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