Sheryl Swoopes is a professional basketball player with the Houston Comets in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is called "the female Michael Jordan."
"No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back."
Women's professional basketball did not yet exist when Sheryl Swoopes was growing up in Brownfield, Texas. She discovered her passion for the game by playing with her older brothers and began competing in a local children's league when she was seven. In 1988 she led her high school team to the Texas state championship.
As a collegiate player at Texas Tech, Swoopes led the women's basketball team to the NCAA title in 1993 and was voted the NCAA Final Four MVP (Most Valuable Player) after setting a championship game scoring record. She also received the Naismith Award as National Player of the Year.
Swoopes was a member of the US Basketball Women's National Team that won gold medals at the Olympics in 1996, 2000, and 2004. She is the first woman to have a Nike athletic shoe named for her, the Air Swoopes.
When the WNBA (Women's National Basketball Association) was organized, Swoopes was recruited for the Houston Comets during their inaugural season. She joined the team a few weeks after giving birth to her son and, despite playing only the last third of the season, led the Comets to the 1997 WNBA championship. The Comets went on to win the first four WNBA titles. In ten years with the Comets, Swoopes has accumulated more than 2,000 career points, 500 career rebounds, 300 career assists, and 200 career steals. She has been WNBA Most Valuable Player three times, more than any other player.
In 2005, Sheryl Swoopes became one of the highest profile professional athletes in a team sport to come out publicly when she announced that she is a lesbian. She and her partner, former Comets assistant coach Alisa Scott, are raising Swoopes' son.Bibliography:
- "Sheryl Swoopes" bio, USA Basketball.
- Warn, Sarah, "WNBA Star Sheryl Swoopes Comes Out," After Ellen, October 26, 2005.