Tina Thompson

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Tina Thompson
Tina Thompson cropped.jpg
Thompson at the 2013 WNBA All-Star game
Forward
Born (1975-02-10) February 10, 1975 (age 39)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 178 lb (81 kg)
College USC
Draft 1st overall, 1997
Houston Comets
WNBA career 1997–2013
Profile WNBA player profile
WNBA teams
Houston Comets (1997–2008)
Los Angeles Sparks (2009–2011)
Seattle Storm (2012–2013)
Awards and honors
WNBA All-Star (1999-2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013)
WNBA champion (1997-2000)
WNBA All-Star MVP (2000)
3× All-WNBA First Team (1997, 1998, 2004)
4× All-WNBA Second Team (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)

Tina Marie Thompson (born February 10, 1975) is a retired American professional basketball player. The first draft pick in WNBA history, Thompson was selected first by the Houston Comets. She helped lead the Comets to four WNBA championships. She has won two Olympic gold medals and has made 9 WNBA All-Star Game appearances. She is the WNBA's all-time leading scorer. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the top 15 players in WNBA history. As of the 2013 season, she is also the only player to play in every WNBA season. Her final professional game occurred on September 22, 2013 in the WNBA Western Conference first round playoff Game 2 at the Tacoma Dome for the Seattle Storm in a 58-55 loss to the Minnesota Lynx.[1]

Early years[edit]

Thompson grew up playing basketball with her brother TJ and his friends at Robertson Park in West Los Angeles, California. She recorded more than 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds in her high school career at Morningside High School in Inglewood, California, where she also played volleyball. She then went on to play basketball at the University of Southern California, where she graduated in 1997.[2] She attended both high school and college with fellow WNBA player Lisa Leslie.

USA Basketball[edit]

Thompson represented the USA at the 1995 World University Games held in Fukuoka, Japan in August and September 1995. The team had a record of 5–1, securing the silver medal. The USA team won early and reached a record of 5–0 when the USA beat Yugoslavia. In the semi-final game, the USA faced Russia. The team was behind much of the first half but managed to tie the game at the half. The USA broke the game open in the second half and won 101–74. The gold medal match was against unbeaten Italy. The Italian team started strong, scoring 12 of the first 14 points of the contest. Sylvia Crawley scored eight consecutive points to end the first half, but that left the USA nine points behind. The USA took a small lead in the second half, but the team from Italy responded with a ten point run, and won the game and the gold medal by a score of 73–65. Thompson averaged 9.9 points per game and was second on the team with 7.3 rebounds per game.[3]

Thompson was invited to be a member of the Jones Cup team representing the USA in 1996. She helped the team to a 9–0 record, and the gold medal in the event. In the game against Slovakia, which would determine the gold medal, she combined with team mate Michelle Marciniak to score 30 points in a game they had to come from behind to win 72–62. Thompson averaged 9.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds, both second highest on the team.[4]

Thompson was selected to be a member of the National team for 1998 World Championships, but was injured, so unable to compete.[5]

Thompson was named to the National Team representing the USA at the 2006 World Championships, held in Barueri and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The team won eight of their nine contests, but the lone loss came in the semifinal medal round to Russia. The USA beat Brazil in the final game to earn the bronze medal. Thompson led all scorers with 14.4 points per game. I a game against Russia, she tied a team record by hitting four of four three point attempts.[6]

WNBA career[edit]

Thompson was selected No. 1 overall in the first round of the inaugural 1997 WNBA draft by the Houston Comets.[2] There, she was a member of a dynasty that won four consecutive WNBA championships from 1997-2000. Thompson is a nine-time All-Star, winning MVP honors at the 2000 All-Star Game. She led all Western Conference players in All-Star voting in 2001. Thompson has been named to the All-WNBA First Team three times (1997, 1998, 2004) and All-WNBA Second Team four times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002).

She gave birth to her first child, a son whose father is NBA player Damon Jones, in May 2005; she resumed playing with the Comets only two months later.[7]

After the Comets folded in 2008, Thompson joined the Los Angeles Sparks, where, on August 2010, she became the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, passing Lisa Leslie.[8] In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in the fifteen-year history of the WNBA.[9]

An unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2011 season, Thompson signed with the Seattle Storm on February 27, 2012, to fill gaps left by Australia's Lauren Jackson, concurrent with power forward Jackson's commitment to the Australian national team for the 2012 Olympics, and small forward Swin Cash, who was traded to the Chicago Sky as part of a package deal for the second overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft.[10]

She has several game-day superstitions, including taking a shower after shootaround, taking a 45-minute nap, wearing lipstick to play every game and dressing in a specific order. Atypically of the traditional power forward, Thompson exhibits the ability to step out and make three-point shots from NBA range, and, in fact, after Sheryl Swoopes left Houston for Seattle, Thompson stepped into more of a cornerman role.

On May 31, 2013, Thompson announced her intent to retire from basketball at the end of the 2013 WNBA season.[11]

On September 14, 2013, the final regular season game of Thompson's career took place. Post victory over the Tulsa Shock, Tina had almost an hour long retirement ceremony. Her Storm teammates would all be wearing a number 7 jersey either in a Comets or Storm variant.

WNBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game
 PPG  Points per game  TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage  Bold  Career high League leader

Regular season[edit]

Postseason[edit]

International career[edit]

Thompson was an alternate for the 2000 Olympic squad. Thompson was a member of the U.S. women's basketball team and she earned a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games: Beijing 2008. She was named to the '98 and 2002 USA World Championship teams, but injuries kept her from both competitions. She would earn her gold medal in 2004 in Greece.[2]

Thompson has also participated in other professional leagues overseas. Following the 2001 WNBA season, Thompson played for Rovereto Basket in Rovereto, Italy and in 2003 she played for the Kumho Falcons of the Women’s Korea Basketball League (WKBL).

Overseas[edit]

Vital statistics[edit]

  • Position: Forward
  • Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
  • College: University of Southern California
  • Team(s): Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, Seattle Storm (WNBA)

Awards and achievements[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://espn.go.com/wnba/story/_/id/9711026/wnba-playoffs-wnba-legend-tina-thompson-retires-terms
  2. ^ a b c Porter p. 183
  3. ^ "Seventeenth World University Games -- 1995". USA Basketball. Retrieved 20 Oct 2013. 
  4. ^ "1996 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Retrieved 16 Feb 2014. 
  5. ^ "Thirteenth World Championship For Women -- 1998". USA Basketball. Retrieved 13 Oct 2013. 
  6. ^ "FIFTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 2006". USA Basketball. Retrieved 13 Oct 2013. 
  7. ^ Candace Parker Is Putting Family First NY Times, January 24, 2009
  8. ^ "Los Angeles Sparks' Tina Thompson is WNBA's scoring leader". ESPN. 2010-08-08. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  9. ^ http://www.wnba.com/allstar/2011/top15_072311.html
  10. ^ Pelton, Kevin (27 February 2012). "Storm Adds Legend, Fills Needs with Thompson". wnba.com. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Associated Press (31 May 2013). "Tina Thompson to retire after season". espn.com. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 

References[edit]

  • David L. Porter, ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-30952-6. 

External links[edit]