Cynthia Cooper-Dyke Named To Women's Basketball Hall Of Fame

July 14, 2008

Former USC and WNBA great Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was elected into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's 2009 class.

The new class also includes Sonja Hogg, Jennifer Azzi, Jennifer Gillom, Jill Hutchison and Ora Washington. The class will be honored June 13 at the hall in Knoxville. The six new inductees will bring the total hall of fame membership to 109.

One of the world's best women's basketball players ever, Cooper-Dyke starred at guard for the Women of Troy's 1983 and 1984 NCAA championship teams. A 4-time letterwinner (1982-83-84-86), she was named an All-Conference first teamer in 1986. She then went on to win a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics and a bronze in 1992. She played professionally overseas and was with the 4-time WNBA champion Houston Comets, where she was WNBA MVP and the league's leading scorer. She was the first WNBA player to reach 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 2,500 points. She then coached in the WNBA and now coaches at Prairie View A&M. She was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

Hogg started the Louisiana Tech women's basketball program and helped the Lady Techsters win the inaugural NCAA championship game in 1982 after winning the AIAW Championship the previous season. She also coached at Baylor.

After leading Stanford to the national championship and winning the Wade Trophy and Naismith Player of the Year award, the All-American Azzi won a gold medal with the 1996 women's Olympic basketball team.

Gillom won gold with the 1988 Olympic team and went on to play with the Phoenix Mercury for six years and the Los Angeles Sparks for one. She made two appearances in the NCAA regional semifinals with Mississippi.

Hutchison spent 28 seasons coaching Illinois State, guiding the program to three NCAA tournaments and six WNIT appearances. She was the first president of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

The late Washington was a legendary African-American basketball and tennis player. She starred as the center for the Philadelphia Tribunes for 18 years, losing only six games -- all to men's teams.

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining which individuals will be inducted each year. Voting is based on various factors, which may include moral character, integrity, sportsmanship, record of performance, ability, national or international recognition, and contributions to the game of women's basketball.

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