Nikki McCray

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Olympic medal record
Women's Basketball
Gold Atlanta 1996 Team Competition
Gold Sydney 2000 Team Competition
FIBA World Championship
Gold 1998 Germany Team competition

Nikki McCray (born December 17, 1971 in Collierville, Tennessee) is an American former professional women's basketball player. She played in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) for eight seasons. In 2008 after leaving the WNBA, McCray joined the coaching staff as an assistant coach for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.[1]

A 5'11" guard from the University of Tennessee, McCray was a member of the Washington Mystics, the Indiana Fever, the Phoenix Mercury, the San Antonio Silver Stars, and the Chicago Sky. She was named to three WNBA All-Star teams (in 1999, 2000, and 2001) and scored 2,550 career points. Prior to joining the WNBA in 1998, she was a star in the now-defunct American Basketball League. While playing in the American Basketball League, McCray was named Most Valuable Player for the 1996-97 season.

McCray has also played basketball at the international level. She won gold medals at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics, and she participated on America's 1998 FIBA World Championship team.[2]

McCray made a name for herself in women's basketball as a world class defender. She was known for shutting down a number of the world's best players. She currently is an assistant coach at University of South Carolina. McCray made a new home for herself at the University of South Carolina with a former teammate as head coach, Dawn Staley. Staley said about McCray: "Nikki is hungry for success, and that comes from playing at Tennessee where the coach never settles for anything less than being number one at whatever she's doing. That mentality is instilled in Nikki, and I want people around me like that. She is energetic, confident and engaging - all qualities that you need when you're coaching and recruiting. We spent two Olympic Games together and have shared being successful in the very best arena there is to test yourself." [3]

In addition to her career on the court, McCray also created a name for herself in the realm of community service. In the year 2000 Nikki McCray was hand-picked by President Bill Clinton to be made a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. At the age of 28 McCray had since moved on from her days as star player for the Lady Vols at her alma mater, the University of Tennessee, and on to becoming the star of a new team the Washington Mystics. 2000 was a good year for McCray; in addition to being named a member of the President’s Fitness Council,[4] she was also chosen for the 2000 USA Olympic basketball team.

In 1999 The Library of Congress selected Nikki McCray to be the keynote speaker for the Women’s History Month Address. "We are pleased to have Ms. McCray with us to kick-off our month long celebration of women's history," said Federal Women's Program Manager Jean Parker. "As an employee of the first women's professional basketball team in the nation's capital and through her community service, Ms. McCray is a wonderful role model for young people." [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Name "Player Bio: Nikki McCray - SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS." 2012, <http://www.gamecocksonline.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/mccray_nikki00.html>.
  2. ^ Savage, Lorraine. "McCray, Nikki." Notable Sports Figures. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jan. 2012 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
  3. ^ "Player Bio: Nikki McCray - SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS." SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS - SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS University Official Athletic Site. University of South Carolina, 2012. Web. 30 Jan. 2012. <http://www.gamecocksonline.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/mccray_nikki00.html>.
  4. ^ "WNBA's Nikki McCray Named to President's Council on Fitness." Jet 28 Feb. 2000: 50.Google Books. Web. 30 Jan. 2012.<http://books.google.com/books?id=Kj0DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA50&dq=Nikki+McCray&hl=ensa=X&ei=9nUrT_LvDsOq2gXGxPDfDg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Nikki%20McCray&f=falsehttp://>.
  5. ^ Fischer, Audrey. "Nikki McCray Speaks March 3 - News Releases (Library of Congress)." Library of Congress Home. Library of Congress, 23 Feb. 1999. Web. 1 Feb. 2012.<http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/1999/99-028.html>.

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