Three Trojan Alums Named to WNBA All-Decade Team

June 14, 2006

In conjunction with its 10th anniversary, the WNBA has honored its most influential players as members of the WNBA All-Decade Team. Out of the 10 players selected, three hail from the ranks of the USC women's basketball program, as former Women of Troy Cynthia Cooper, Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson all made the cut as the WNBA's top talent of the decade.

The 10-player team was pared down from 30 nominees via votes from fans, a panel of media and the league's current players and coaches. The members of the WNBA All-Decade Team are considered the athletes who have been instrumental to the league's success and who have displayed overall talent, leadership, sportsmanship and community service.

Cooper, Leslie and Thompson all have made a distinct impact on the game, and have seen great successes in their careers with the WNBA. All have won at least one WNBA Championship, and Leslie and Thompson are both original members of the WNBA still active in the league. Both also have won Olympic gold medals.

While at USC, Cooper, Leslie and Thompson all helped establish a winning tradition at Troy. Cooper (1982-84, 86) scored 1,559 points for the Women of Troy in her career, helping lead USC to its back-to-back NCAA championships in 1983 and 1984. Leslie (1992-94) ended her USC career as a three-time All-American with 2,414 career points. As a senior, Leslie was named the 1994 Naismith National Player of the Year. Thompson (1994-97) also was a three-time All-American and scored 2,248 points for USC before being the first-ever player drafted into the WNBA, where she won four consecutive WNBA championships with the Houston Comets.

The All-Decade Team will be brought together for the first time and formally honored at the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game set to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on July 12. The game will be televised live on ESPN at 7:30 ET.

WNBA All-Decade TeamName                     WNBA Team (Current/Last Team)      Previous Team(s)Sue Bird                 Seattle Storm         (2002-Current)Tamika Catchings         Indiana Fever         (2001-Current)Cynthia Cooper*          Houston Comets (1997-2000, 2003)Yolanda Griffith         Sacramento Monarchs (1999-Current)Lauren Jackson           Seattle Storm (2001-Current)Lisa Leslie              Los Angeles Sparks (1997-Current)Katie Smith             Detroit Shock (2005-Current)        Minnesota Lynx (1999-2005)Dawn Staley             Houston Comets (2005-Current)      Charlotte Sting (1999-2005)Sheryl Swoopes           Houston Comets (1997-Current)Tina Thompson           Houston Comets (1997-Current)*Retired

Honorable MentionName WNBA Team (Current/Last Team) Previous Team(s)Ruthie Bolton* Sacramento Monarchs (1997-2004)Chamique Holdsclaw Los Angeles Sparks (2005-Current) Washington Mystics ((1999-2004))Ticha Penicheiro Sacramento Monarchs (1998-Current)Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury (2004-Current)Teresa Weatherspoon* Los Angeles Sparks (2004) New York Liberty (1997-2003)*Retired

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