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SXSW Sports Track, Presented by Sportico - Day 3

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March is Women’s History Month! The annual observance is used to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. In celebration, we put together a gallery showcasing 25 of the women that helped make the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) the league it is today.

In 2021, the WNBA celebrated its 25th year in existence. For the occasion, the league compiled a list of 72 nominees with the intention of comprising the 25 best and most influential players of the first 25 years of the league’s history. A panel consisting of media members and pioneering women’s basketball figures selected the group. In addition to their on court dominance, other things that were taken into consideration were sportsmanship, community service, leadership and overall contribution to the growth of women’s basketball. To be considered, players had to have competed in the WNBA for at least two seasons, and fit at least four of seven criteria:

  • Winning a major individual playing award.
  • Selection to at least one All-WNBA Team at any level.
  • Selection to at least one WNBA All-Defensive Team at any level.
  • Selection for at least one WNBA All-Star Game.
  • Member of at least one WNBA championship team.
  • A ranking among the top 40 career leaders in any major statistical category, as of the start of the 2021 season.
  • Winner of the WNBA’s season-long Community Assist Award.

These women have been exemplary role models to women worldwide. They’ve not only shown that they can be fierce competitors on the hardwood, but they’ve also displayed that the same tenacity can be shown in every other field. These ladies are established business women, respected community leaders and so many other things. In an effort to give them the flowers they rightfully deserve, we put together a gallery of the W25. Get to know these extraordinary women below!

Girls Is Players Too: Highlighting The W25 (The Top 25 WNBA Players Of All Time)  was originally published on globalgrind.com

1. Seimone Augustus

Source:moneymone33

Teams: Minnesota Lynx (2006-2019); Los Angeles Sparks (2020)

League Titles: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017

League Awards: Finals MVP (2011), Rookie Of The Year (2006), 6x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 2006-2007, 2011, 2013-2015, 2017, 2018 

2. Sue Bird

Source:sbird10

Teams: Seattle Storm (2002-2012, 2014-2018, 2020-2022)

League Titles: 2004, 2010, 2018, 2020

League Awards: Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award (2011, 2017, 2018), 8x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 2002-2003, 2005-2007, 2009, 2011, 2014-2015, 2017, 2018, 2021

3. Swin Cash

Source:swincash

Teams: Detroit Shock (2002-2007), Seattle Storm (2008-2011), Chicago Sky (2012-2013), Atlanta Dream (2014), New York Liberty (2014-2016)

League Titles: 2003, 2006, 2010

League Awards: All-Star Game MVP (2009, 2011), Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award (2013), 2x All-WNBA 

All-Star Games: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011 

4. Tamika Catchings

Source:catchin24

Teams: Indiana Fever (2002-2016; entire career)

League Titles: 2012

League Awards: MVP (2011), Finals MVP (2012), Rookie Of The Year (2002), Defensive Player Of The Year (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012), Kim Perrot Sportmanship Award (2010, 2013), 12x All-WNBA, 12x All-Defensive

All-Star Games: 2002-2003, 2005-2007, 2009, 2011

5. Tina Charles

Source:tina31charles

Teams: Connecticut Sun (2010–2013), New York Liberty (2014–2019), Washington Mystics (2021–)

League Titles:

League Awards: MVP (2012) Rookie Of The Year (2010), 9x All-WNBA, 4x All-Defensive

All-Star Games: 2011, 2013-2015, 2017-2019, 2021

6. Cynthia Cooper

Source:ccooper14

Teams: Houston Comets (1997-2000, 2003; entire career)

League Titles: 1997-2000

League Awards: MVP (1997, 1998), Finals MVP (1997-2000), 4x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 1999, 2000, 2003 

7. Elena Delle Donne

Source:de11edonne

Teams: Chicago Sky (2013-2016), Washington Mystics (2017-2019, 2021-)

League Titles: 2019

League Awards: MVP (2015, 2019), Rookie Of The Year (2013), 5x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 2013-2015, 2017-2019

8. Sylvia Fowles

Source:sylvia_fowles

Teams: Chicago Sky (2008-2014), Minnesota Lynx (2015-2022)

League Titles: 2015, 2017

League Awards: MVP (2017), Finals MVP (2015, 2017), Defensive Player Of The Year (2011, 2013, 2016), 6x All-WNBA, 9x All-Defensive 

All-Star Games:

9. Yolanda Griffith

Source:ygriffith3313

Teams: Sacramento Monarchs (1999-2007), Seattle Storm (2008), Indiana Fever (2009)

League Titles: 2005 

League Awards: MVP (1999), Finals MVP (2005), Defensive Player Of The Year (1999), All-Star Game MVP (2004), 5x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 1999-2001, 2003, 2005-2007

10. Brittney Griner

Source:brittneyyevettegriner

Teams: Phoenix Mercury (2013-; entire career to date)

League Titles: 2014

League Awards: Defensive Player Of The Year (2014, 2015), 5x All-WNBA, 6x All-Defensive

All-Star Games: 2013-2015, 2017-2019, 2021

11. Becky Hammon

Source:officialbeckyhammon

Teams: New York Liberty (1999-2006), San Antonio Silver Stars/Stars (2007-2014)

League Titles:

League Awards: Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award (2014), 4x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 2003, 2005-2007, 2009, 2011

12. Lauren Jackson

Source:laurenelizabethjackson

Teams: Seattle Storm (2001-2012; entire career)

League Titles: 2004, 2010

League Awards: MVP (2003, 2007, 2010) Finals MVP (2010), Defensive Player Of The Year (2007), 8x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 2001-2003, 2005-2007, 2009

13. Lisa Leslie

Source:lisaleslie

Teams: Los Angeles Sparks (1997-2009; entire career)

League Titles: 2001, 2002

League Awards: MVP (2001, 2004, 2006), Finals MVP (2001, 2002), All-Star Game MVP (1999, 2001, 2002), Defensive Player Of The Year (2004, 2008), 12x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 1999-2003, 2005-2006, 2009 

14. Angel McCoughtry

Source:mccoughtry

Teams: Atlanta Dream (2009-2018), Las Vegas Aces (2020-)

League Titles:

League Awards: Rookie Of The Year (2009), 5x All-WNBA, 8x All-Defensive

All-Star Games: 2011, 2013-2015, 2018

15. Maya Moore

Source:mooremaya

Teams: Minnesota Lynx (2011-2018; entire career)

League Titles: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017

League Awards: MVP (2014), Finals MVP (2013), All-Star Game MVP (2015, 2017, 2018), Rookie Of The Year (2011), 7x All-WNBA, 2x All-Defensive

All-Star Games: 2011, 2013-2015, 2017, 2018 

16. Nneka Ogwumike

Source:nnekaogwumike

Teams: Los Angeles Sparks (2012-; entire career to date) 

League Titles: 2016

League Awards: MVP (2016), Finals MVP (2016), Rookie Of The Year (2012), Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award (2019, 2020), 4x All-WNBA, 5x All-Defensive 

All-Star Games: 2013-2015, 2017-2019

17. Candace Parker

Source:candaceparker

Teams: Los Angeles Sparks (2008-2020), Chicago Sky (2021-)

League Titles: 2016

League Awards: MVP (2008, 2013), Defensive Player Of The Year (2020), All-Star Game MVP (2013), FInals MVP (2016), Rookie Of The Year (2008), 9x All-WNBA, 2x All-Defensive 

All-Star Games: 2011, 2013-2014, 2017-2018

18. Ticha Penicheiro

Source:tichapenicheiro

Teams:Sacramento Monarchs (1998-2009), Los Angeles Sparks (2010-2011), Chicago Sky (2012)

League Titles: 2005

League Awards: 3x All-WNBA, 1x All-Defensive 

All-Star Games:1999-2002

19. Cappie Pondexter

Source:cappa23

Teams: Phoenix Mercury (2006-2009), New York Liberty (2010-2014), Chicago Sky (2015-2017), Los Angeles Sparks (2018), Indiana Fever (2018)

League Titles: 2007, 2009

League Awards: Finals MVP (2007), 4x All-WNBA, 1x All-Defensive

All-Star Games: 2006-2007, 2009, 2011, 2013-2015

20. Katie Smith

Katie Smith Source:Getty

Teams: Minnesota Lynx (1999-2005), Detroit Shock (2005-2009), Washington Mystics (2010), Seattle Storm (2011-2012), New York Libety (2013)

League Titles: 2006, 2008

League Awards: Finals MVP (2008), 4x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 2000-2003, 2005-2006, 2009

21. Breanna Stewart

Source:breannastewart30

Teams: Seattle Storm (2016-2022), New York Liberty (2023-)

League Titles: 2018, 2020

League Awards: MVP (2018), Finals MVP (2018, 2020), Rookie Of The Year (2016), 3x All-WNBA, 2x All-Defensive

All-Star Games: 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022

22. Sheryl Swoopes

Source:airswoopes22

Teams: Houston Comets (1997-2000, 2002-2007), Seattle Storm (2008), Tulsa Shock (2011)

League Titles: 1997-2000

League Awards: MVP (2000, 2002, 2005), Defensive Player Of The Year (2000, 2002, 2003), All-Star Game MVP (2005), 7x All-WNBA, 2x All-Defensive

All-Star Games: 1999, 2000, 2002-2003, 2005-2006

23. Diana Taurasi

Source:dianataurasi

Teams: Phoenix Mercury (2004-2014, 2016-; entire career to date)

League Titles: 2007, 2009, 2014

League Awards: MVP (2009), Finals MVP (2009, 2014), Rookie Of The Year (2004), 14x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 2005-2007, 2009, 2011, 2013-2014, 2017-2018, 2021

24. Tina Thompson

Source:iamtinathompson

Teams: Houston Comets (1997-2008), Los Angeles Sparks (2009-2011), Seattle Storm (2012-2013)

League Titles: 1997-2000

League Awards: All-Star Gane MVP (2000), 8x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 1999-2003, 2006, 2007, 2009

25. Lindsay Whalen

Source:lindsaywhalen

Teams: Connecticut Sun (2004-2009), Minnesota Lynx (2010-2018)

League Titles: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017

League Awards: 5x All-WNBA

All-Star Games: 2006, 2011, 2013-2015

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