Congratulations will definitely be in order for a trio of WNBA notables as three of them will be enshrined into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Current New York Liberty head coach Katie Smith, who broke the Big Ten’s record for most points scored ever in women’s or men’s basketball while at Ohio State was announced as part of the 2018 class. Smith in her pro career also won a pair of WNBA championships as a member of the Detroit Shock.
— OSU W Basketball (@OhioState_WBB) February 13, 2018
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) February 13, 2018
Basketball has taken me from Logan, Ohio to places I never would have dreamed. I am grateful to everyone who has touched my life through this sport.
–Katie Smith per AP
Also on the list is Tina Thompson, who of course was instrumental in establishing the W’s first dynasty – the four championships that the Thompson and Sheryl Swoopes-led Houston Comets won in the league’s infancy in the late 1990s. Thompson also won a pair of Olympic gold medals after playing collegiately for Southern California.
Thompson is currently the associate head coach for the women’s basketball program at the University of Texas and put out a statement through the Longhorns expressing her gratitude that she will be immortalized in Knoxville.
It is a true privilege to have my name reside in the home where so many of the greats of our game are housed. As a young girl, little did I know how good old-fashioned hard work and passion would affect my life in such a grand way.
–Tina Thompson per University of Texas, Houston Chronicle
The inductees also include Chamique Holdsclaw. Holdsclaw, collegiately, played for Pat Summitt at Tennessee and won three consecutive championships at Rocky Top from 1996-1998.
As a professional, she played for four teams including the Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks. Holdsclaw was named the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1999, made several All-Star teams, and was part of the 2000 United States Basketball Women’s National Team that claimed a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.
A quartet of other notable coaches will also be enshrined – Ceal Barry (former Colorado coach), Rose Marie Battaglia (longtime high school coach in New Jersey), Christine Dailey and Mickie DeMoss. Dailey and DeMoss are both being enshrined as assistants.
The Women’s Professional Basketball League, which was in existence from 1979-1981 will also be honored. The enshrinement will take place on June 9 in Knoxville. The announcement occurred during halftime of the Louisville/UConn broadcast. The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will also be introduced during this year’s Women’s Final Four which will take place in Columbus, Ohio.