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Change | Inspiration | Motivation | Olympics | Sports
Jennifer Azzi is no stranger to success. With achievements ranging from seven hall of fame inductions, an Olympic Gold Medal, a Stanford National Championship, the Naismith Award, Wade Trophy, a successful WNBA career, her accomplishments over a 25-year period have firmly established her as one of the most accomplished figures in basketball. Jennifer is also a well-respected Coach, Speaker, and Author. She has spoken both domestically as well as globally to international organizations, such as Generations for Peace in Dubai. She is most known for her dynamic ability to lead and motivate.
Through her six seasons as Head Coach at the University of San Francisco, Azzi transformed the women’s basketball program from arguably the worst program in the country, into a bona fide postseason contender. She lead the Dons to their fourth NCAA tournament berth after knocking off the Nos. 3, 2 and 1 seeds to win the 2016 WCC Tournament, to earn the league's automatic berth to the Big Dance. In addition to her on court success, Azz’s program earned the NCAA’s APR award for outstanding academic success. Her team finished the 2016 season with a 3.3 GPA.
Ms. Assi left USF in September of 2016 to pursue career opportunities with the NBA, and Jr. NBA as an Ambassador and Spokesperson. She will remain a part of the USF Academic team.
On January 16, 2015, Azzi was presented with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award which honors an individual’s accomplishments on the court of play as well as their contributions to professional organizations and other civic activities on their 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their collegiate careers. The Silver Award is the NCAA’s highest honor.
Jennifer Azzi has a lifetime of success associated as a player, a championship coach and an ambassador for basketball. The Bay Area Sports Hall-of-Famer (BASHOF) brings an especially impressive playing resume featuring successful tenures with the USA National Team, five seasons in the WNBA, a founding member of the American Basketball League (ABL), professional experience overseas, and an All-American collegiate career at Stanford. She still holds the WNBA 3-point percentage record at 54% from behind the arc.
A four-year starter at Stanford from 1987-90, Azzi became the first Cardinal women's basketball player to earn the Wade Trophy, the James Naismith Player of the Year award, and the Honda-Broderick National Player of the Year honor. She was Stanford's first WBCA/Kodak All-American as a junior in 1989, and she earned the award a second time as a senior in 1990.
A three-time All-Pacific-10 performer and the 1990 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Azzi led the Cardinal to a pair of conference titles (1989, 1990) while being a catalyst for Stanford's first national championship in 1990, leading her squad to a 32-1 record as the squad's captain.
She finished her career at Stanford with 1,634 career points (eighth), 13.4 points per game (tied for ninth), 191 3-pointers made (seventh) and departed as the Cardinal's all-time leader in career assists (751) and steals (271), and she is currently second and third all-time, respectively, in each category.
Despite a collegiate career that ended over two decades ago, Azzi still sits in 10th in NCAA history for career 3-point field goal percentages (45.2 - 191-of-423 in 95 games). She sunk seven 3-pointers in the 1990 Final Four en route to a national championship, good for a tie for second all-time and just behind Stanford teammate Katy Steding’s eight. In 1989, Azzi’s 9-of-11 shooting from long range stands as the highest 3-point field goal percentage in the NCAA tournament.
Upon her graduation from Stanford in 1990 with a B.A. in economics, Azzi embarked on a professional career that initially took her overseas before returning to compete once again on American soil. Azzi made successful stops abroad in Italy (1990-91), France (1991-93), and Sweden (1994-95).
In the American portion of her professional career, Azzi was one of the founding members of the American Basketball League. A three-time all-star, she played for the San Jose Lasers from 1996 to 1999. During that span, she was named the March of Dimes Female Athlete of the Year in 1996 and was awarded the Sport Image Award, with NFL great Jerry Rice, in 1996.
After the ABL folded in 1999, Azzi was drafted by the Detroit Shock in the first round, fifth overall pick, of the inaugural WNBA draft. During her four years in the league, she played for the Shock (1999), Utah Starzz (2000-03) and the San Antonio Silver Stars (2003). Each season, the guard led her respective teams in minutes played. In 2000, she led the league in free-throw percentage, shooting .930 from the line and set the league all-time single season record for 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 30-of-58 (.517). She finished her career as the all-time WNBA 3-point field goal leader, connecting at a .458 clip.
Internationally, Azzi was a member of the USA Basketball Senior National Team from 1990-91 and 1993-98. A key member of the United States gold medal-winning 1996 Olympic Team that concluded a perfect 60-0 season with an 8-0 record during the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Azzi played on 13 USA National Teams, compiling a mark of 114-14. She also medaled three times at the World Championships, claiming gold in 1998 and 1990, while earning a bronze in 1994.
Azzi is a member of several Hall of Fames, including the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (2009), the Anderson County Hall of Fame (2009), the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (2007), the San Jose Sports Authority Hall of Fame (2006), the Knoxville Hall of Fame (1998), and the Oak Ridge High School Hall of Fame. In 1995, Azzi became the youngest inductee into the Stanford University Hall of Fame.
Since retiring from her playing career, Azzi has continued to serve as an ambassador for the sport both locally and internationally. Azzi has traveled thousands of miles representing the NBA and WNBA on trips to Africa, Denmark and Dubai. In addition, Azzi has conducted youth basketball clinics and workshops across the globe. Most recently, her community involvement has been seen through the NBA Cares program, partnering with the Golden State Warriors and other notable Bay Area figures to open two Live, Learn and Play Zones in East Oakland to serve area youth.
Jennifer Azzi is a native of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Jennifer attended Oak Ridge High School before matriculating to Stanford.
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