WNBA's Top 15 Players of All Time
The WNBA revealed at its 2011 All-Star game the top 15 players in league history as selected by fans, media, current players and coaches. Here are the honorees, beginning with Sue Bird, a seven-time All-Star and two-time Olympic medalist. Bird has spent her entire career with the Seattle Storm, was All-WNBA First Team from 2002 through 2005, and led the Storm to WNBA titles in 2004 and 2010.
The 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Catchings has made seven All-Star teams and is the four-time winner of the Defensive Player of the Year award. Twice an Olympic gold medal winner, she has played her entire career with the Indiana Fever. Catchings is one of many WNBA stars from the University of Tennessee.
A four-time champion and four-time WNBA Finals MVP with the Houston Comets, Cooper was also the league's regular season MVP in 1997 and 1998. She became the first WNBA Player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. She is currently head coach of the women's program at North Carolina-Wilmington. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
A seven-time All-Star and the 1999 WNBA MVP, Griffith, now retired, earned Finals MVP honors in leading Sacramento to a WNBA title in 2005. She also was a five-time All-WNBA selection and two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Hammon has ascended to great heights after originally joining the WNBA's New York Liberty as an undrafted free agent out of college. Hammon has gone on to play 13 WNBA seasons. Now starring for San Antonio, she led the Silver Stars to the WNBA Finals in 2008.
In her 11th season, all with the Seattle Storm, Jackson has won three WNBA MVP Awards and also been named Defensive Player of the Year. The Australia native and six-time All-WNBA First Team selection was MVP of the Finals last season, leading the Storm to its second title.
An eight-time All-WNBA First Team selection, Leslie -- nicknamed "Smooth" -- played her entire career with the Los Angeles Sparks and retired in 2009 as the league's all-time leading scorer. The four-time Olympic gold medal winner led the Sparks to a pair of WNBA championships, earning three WNBA MVP awards along the way.
Currently a member of the Los Angeles Sparks, Penicheiro has played in 14 WNBA seasons and helped lead the Sacramento Monarchs to the 2005 WNBA title. A four-time All-Star, she is the WNBA's all-time leader in assists and ranks second in career steals.
Now playing for the New York Liberty, Pondexter is a four-time WNBA All-Star and an Olympic gold medalist. While with the Phoenix Mercury, the Rutgers product helped the team win two WNBA championships, earning WNBA Finals MVP honors in 2007.
Currently with the Seattle Storm, the Ohio State alum's storied career includes seven All-Star game appearances, three Olympic gold medals, a WNBA Finals MVP and two WNBA Championships with the Detroit Shock.
A five-time WNBA All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist, Staley made such an impact on the game and the WNBA that the league named an award in her honor: the "Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award." She is currently the women's head coach at South Carolina.
A Texas Tech product who's currently with the Tulsa Shock, Swoopes won four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets, three Defensive Player of the Year Awards, three WNBA MVP Awards and a pair of Olympic golds.
The 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Taurasi is a two-time WNBA champion with the Phoenix Mercury. The five-time All-Star was both the regular season and Finals MVP in 2009. She also is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She is joined on the Top 15 WNBA players list by former UConn teammate Sue Bird.
The first pick of the inaugural 1997 WNBA Draft and the league's all-time leading scorer, Thompson is an eight-time All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Currently playing for her hometown Los Angeles Sparks, she won four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets from 1997 to 2000. She is joined on the Top 15 list by fellow USC alums Cynthia Cooper and Lisa Leslie.
A Texas native, "T-Spoon" spent most of her career with the New York Liberty and was a four-time All-Star. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year will always be remembered for her dramatic halfcourt shot to help extend the 1999 WNBA Finals. She is currently head coach of the women's program at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech.