Sheryl Denise Swoopes (born March 25, 1971) is an American professional basketball player, currently playing for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA, and was the first player to be signed in the WNBA when it was created. She has won three Olympic Gold Medals and is a three-time WNBA MVP. Frequently referred to as the "female Michael Jordan," Swoopes is famous for both her offensive and defensive skills. In 2005, she averaged 18.6 points, 85% free throws, 4.3 assists, 2.65 steals and 37.1 minutes playing time per game.
Born in Brownfield, Texas, Swoopes was raised by her mother Louise Swoopes, and played basketball with her three older brothers. She began competing at age seven, in a local children's league called Little Dribblers. Coached under Dickie Faught and Kathey Granger, Swoopes was a member and junior on the 1988 Texas State Championship team.
In 1993 Swoopes won the NCAA women's basketball championship with the Texas Tech Lady Raiders during her senior season. Her jersey was retired by the school the following year, making her one of only three Lady Raiders to be honored in this way. The others are Carolyn Thompson and Krista Kirkland, Swoopes' teammate from the 1994 championship team.
As of 2006, Swoopes was still a part of the NCAA women's basketball record books in many categories, including single-game scoring record (53 points on March 13, 1993 vs. Texas, tied for tenth place), single-season scoring (955 points in the 1993 season, fourth place), highest Championship Tournament scoring average (35.4 in the 1993 tournament, second place), best single-game championship scoring performance (47 points vs. Ohio State, 1993 championship), and scoring record for championship series (177 points, four games).
Swoopes also set several school records at Texas Tech. She scored 955 points in the 1992-93 season, which is an all-time scoring record for a single season (as of 2006). Swoopes' 24.9 points-per-game average for her career is the best in school history; she also boasts three triple-doubles and twenty-three double-doubles, fourteen of which came during her senior year.
Swoopes was the 1993 winner of the Naismith College Player of the Year award, was selected as that year's WBCA Player of the Year, and was chosen to the Division I All-American squad in both 1992 and 1993.
Swoopes was recruited for the Houston Comets of the WNBA during the 1997 inaugural season. She returned after giving birth to her son, to play the last third of the WNBA inaugural season and lead the Comets in the 1997 WNBA Championship. As a member of the Houston Comets, she has accumulated over 2,000 career points, 500 career rebounds, 300 career assists and 200 career steals. Her extraordinary scoring and defensive ability have made her the first three-time WNBA MVP (2000, 2002, 2005) and the first three-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2000, 2002, 2003). Swoopes is a four-time WNBA champion (1997–2000).
Swoopes is the second player in WNBA history to win both the regular season MVP award and the All-Star Game MVP award in the same season. The first player to accomplish this was Lisa Leslie. Swoopes is also the first player in WNBA history to record a playoff triple-double.
Swoopes gained national prominence when she won the gold medal with the USA Basketball Women's National Team (WNT) at the 1996 Olympic Games and became a focal point of the fledgling WNBA. She is a three-time Olympic gold medalist (1996, 2000, 2004).
On March 3, 2008 Swoopes signed with the Seattle Storm ending her eleven year career with the Houston Comets.
- 2004-2005 : Template:Country data Russia VBM-SGAU Samara
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Swoopes is the first women's basketball player to have a Nike shoe named after her: the "Air Swoopes". She married her high school sweetheart in June 1995 and had a son, Jordan Eric Jackson, in 1997. Swoopes' divorce, with joint child custody, was final in 1999.
In October 2005, Swoopes publicly announced that she is a lesbian and became one of the most high profile athletes in a team sport to come out publicly. She and her partner, Alisa Scott (former basketball player and former Houston Comets assistant coach), are raising Swoopes' son together. Swoopes told an Associated Press reporter that she would like to marry Scott one day.
In an ESPN.com article, Swoopes said "it doesn't change who I am. I can't help who I fall in love with. No one can. .. Discovering I'm gay just sort of happened much later in life. Being intimate with [Alisa] or any other woman never entered my mind. At the same time, I'm a firm believer that when you fall in love with somebody, you can't control that." 
- Position: Forward
- Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
- College: Texas Tech 1993
- Team(s): Houston Comets, Seattle Storm (WNBA), Dallas Fury/Lubbock Hawks (NWBL)
- ↑ WNBA.com: WNBA's Greatest Moments
- ↑ WNBA.com Sheryl Swoopes Playerfile
- ↑ High School Sports - Overcoming the Odds 06/27/99
- ↑ Tech Hall of Honor Inducts New Class of Six. Retrieved on 2007-12-03.
- ↑ Vote in our online poll: Sheryl Swoopes and Carolyn Thompson. The Daily Toreador (April 4, 2007).
- ↑ Washington State Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
- ↑ ESPN - Three-time MVP 'tired of having to hide my feelings' - WNBA
- AP article by Kristie Riechen
- Swoopes compared to Jordan by NBA.com
- Houston Chronicle article on Swoopes memorabilia being auctioned off
- KHOU-TV report on a storage business auctioning Swoopes' items
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