Inspiration | Leadership | Olympics | Personal Development | Sports
Inspired by her mother, Louise, who single-handedly raised four children, Sheryl Swoopes' first basketball memory is "going to nationals with the Little Dribblers team when she was eight years old." From that point on, she has continued to leave her mark on the game of women's professional basketball and women's athletics establishing herself as a household name in sport.
The first woman to have her own Nike shoe named after her, Air Swoopes, the WNBA's first three-time WNBA's Most Valuable Player (2005, 2002, 2000) has achieved many respected accolades during her career. Many have noted Ms. Swoopes as "one of the best players ever" in the game of women's basketball. She has been nominated for nine ESPYs. She has been awarded three ESPYs including "Female Professional Basketball Player of the Year." She has repeatedly been named to the All-WNBA First Team in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002, 2005. She was awarded the "Defensive Player of the Year" awards that she achieved in 2003, 2002 and 2000. As the leading vote getter in WNBA All-Star voting in 2005, 2003, 2002, 2000 and 1999, she has also recorded numerous double-doubles in her career. In 2006, she was also nominated by B.E.T for "Female Athlete of the Year" alongside Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and Lisa Leslie. She was also named by Ebony magazine as a 2003 Sister in the Spotlight.
A three-time Olympian, outside of her professional career with the WNBA, Sheryl Swoopes has been received Gold Medals at the1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics. In 2006, she was also a member of the USA Basketball Women's National Team that has played numerous games around the world to prepare for the 2008 Olympics. As an integral force in representing the U.S., she had participated in the 1994 Goodwill Games, 1999 Winter European Tour, and the 2002 World Games.
Ms. Swoopes has earned four WNBA Championships with the Houston Comets. A testament to courage in times of adversity, she was sidelined for the 2001-2002 season with a torn ACL injury. She rebounded in the 2002 season with exemplary play and performance earning the recognition of the WNBA league's MVP. Those same levels of dedication, commitment, diligence and perseverance are constants that she also exhibits in her endeavors away from the basketball court.
While Sheryl Swoopes is honored to have received the distinguished accolades for her on-court presence, she is also proud of her accomplishments off-court as well. She is dedicated to educating, enhancing and empowering our youth. Her activities in the community have incited her desire to establishing a foundation dedicated to these efforts, the Sheryl Swoopes Foundation.
Ms. Swoopes has served as an Advisory Board Member for M.A.D.D and the Advisory Council for Talbots Foundation. She has appeared on The Today Show, The Weakest Link, CNN's Paula Zahn Show, ESPN as a guest analyst, and was invited by President George W. Bush for the Opening Ceremonies at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
A native of Brownfield (Lubbock), Texas, Sheryl Swoopes attended Texas Tech University. She currently resides in Houston, Texas. In October 2003, she was inducted into the Texas Tech "Hall of Fame." In January 2004, she was honorably recognized as one of "Houston's Living Legends." Texas Governor Rick Perry inducted her into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in October 2004. In March 2005, she was profiled by the Houston Press in an anniversary issue as one of Houston's "most prominent" individuals. In October 2005, she was recognized by her alma mater as one of Texas Tech's Distinguished Alumni. In April 2006, she was named to an elite top 5 women First Team selection in NCAA women's basketball celebrating its 25th anniversary. In 2007, she received the distinguished National Equality Award from the HRC.
In her spare time Sheryl Swoopes enjoys spending quality time with her son, playing volleyball, conducting camps and clinics, and traveling the country delivering inspirational messages of "...dedication and determination towards success" to audiences of all ages and demographic groups. She is a single parent and the proud mother of one ten year-old son whom she notes as being her most important achievement.