Michele Van Gorp

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Michele Van Gorp
Born (1977-05-10) May 10, 1977 (age 37)
Mount Clemens, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality USA
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight 187 lb (85 kg)
High school Clinton Charter Township, Michigan
College Purdue University
Duke University
Draft 2nd round, 18th overall, 1999
New York Liberty
WNBA career 1999–2004
WNBA teams
New York Liberty (1999)
Portland Fire (2000)
Minnesota Lynx (2001–2004)

Michele Van Gorp (born May 10, 1977 in Warren, Michigan) is a former professional basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), most recently with the Minnesota Lynx.

Early career[edit]

After attending Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township, Michigan, Van Gorp played collegiate basketball at Purdue University during her freshman and sophomore years, but transferred to Duke University alongside Nicole Erickson for her junior and senior years. She was the tallest woman to suit up in a Duke uniform. She led Duke to the school's first NCAA final, which took place in San Jose. She was inducted to the school's Hall of Fame in 2002.

USA Basketball[edit]

Van Gorp competed with USA Basketball as a member of the 1997 Jones Cup Team that won the silver medal in Taipei. Several of the games were close, with the USA team winning four games by six points or fewer, including an overtime game in the semifinal match against Japan. The gold medal game against South Korea was also close, but the USA fell 76–71 to claim the silver medal for the event. Van Gorp was the leading scorer in the game against Thailand, with 19 points and averaged 6.3 points per game over the course of the tournament.[1]

Basketball career[edit]

The first Duke student athlete to be selected in the WNBA's draft in 1999, she was selected in the second round, being the 18th overall pick. Van Gorp was traded to Portland after her rookie season, where she improved her personal averages and gained confidence in her game. After only one year with the Portland Fire she was traded to the Minnesota Lynx alongside Lynn Pride. With the Lynx, Van Gorp gained recognition as one of the league's toughest defenders and an effective weapon to help "shut down" Margo Dydek.

She missed most of the 2004 season due to a stress fracture in her left foot that occurred during a practice session. Surgeons had to insert a screw into the navicular bone of her foot. Van Gorp's contract with the Lynx had expired after the 2004 WNBA season ended, but she was still too injured to play for the 2005 season.[1]

International career[edit]

She has played in Europe for the following teams:

After WNBA[edit]

According to a December 1, 2005, news article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Van Gorp filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court against a member of the Lynx's medical staff and three other parties. The suit named Dr. Joel Boyd, the team's orthopedic surgeon; Dr. Fernando Pena; Fairview-University Medical Center; and Orthopaedic Center as defendants. Van Gorp was reported to be seeking at least $50,000 for negligence and loss of employment.

After leaving the WNBA, Van Gorp was reported to be the assistant coach of Glens Falls, New York high school girls basketball team.[citation needed] In June 2007, Colgate University in upstate New York announced that Van Gorp had been appointed as an assistant coach of its women's basketball team.[2]. As of 2008 Michele Van Gorp was signed by the French Team Nantes- Reze for the 2008-2009 season .

Van Gorp currently works with the Duke Women's Basketball program in Durham, NC.


  1. ^ "1997 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 

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