Allison Sharlene Feaster-Strong (born February 11, 1976, in Chester, South Carolina), is a retired American professional basketball player. Feaster-Strong played in the Women's National Basketball Association from 1998 through 2008, for the Los Angeles Sparks, Charlotte Sting, and Indiana Fever. She played professionally in Europe from 1998 through 2016 for teams in Portugal, France, Spain, and Italy. She retired from professional basketball on August 8, 2016.
Feaster-Strong attended Harvard College, graduating in 1998 with a degree in Economics, and setting multiple Ivy League women's basketball records along the way. She was selected as a first-team All-Ivy League player each of her four years, and was the first athlete in any sport to be honored as Ivy League Player of the Year three times, after also having been Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
Allison Sharlene Feaster was born February 11, 1976 in Chester, South Carolina to William Preston Feaster III and Sandra Feaster. Nicknamed "Charley," Feaster began playing basketball at the age of seven. She tried out for her high school team as a 5 foot, 9 inch seventh grader, and made the team as a starter.
Feaster's parents separated when she was in fifth grade, and she has credited her mother, who returned to college herself around the time of the separation, with instilling the importance of academics. Feaster ultimately graduated as valedictorian of her high school class, and turned down athletic scholarships so that she could determine her own academic focus during her college years.
Feaster-Strong is married to Danny Strong, her high school sweetheart, who also played college basketball, at North Carolina State University, and has a daughter, Sarah, born in February, 2006. The couple both played in Europe during the WNBA's off-season, and after several years playing in France they were naturalized as French citizens. Feaster-Strong has competed under the name Allison Feaster in the WNBA and as Allison Feaster-Strong overseas.
In August 2012 Feaster-Strong traveled to Myanmar, and in August 2014 to the Philippines, as a SportsUnited Sports Envoy for the U.S. Department of State. She worked with Derrick Alston, Erik Spoelstra, Richard Cho, Darvin Ham, and Marty Conlon to conduct basketball clinics and events for youth and women from underserved areas.
High School and College
Feaster-Strong graduated first in her class from Chester High School, in Chester, South Carolina, having won a state basketball championship (in 1993), two South Carolina Player of the Year awards (in 1993 and 1994), and multiple All-American Basketball Team honors (Parade, 1994; Street & Smith, 1993 & 1994). She began playing high school basketball in the seventh grade, and received her first All-State honors as an eighth grader. Feaster-Strong was the leading scorer (male or female) in South Carolina high school basketball history until January 3, 2003, when her record of 3,427 points was broken by Ivory Latta.
Upon joining the Harvard team in 1994, Feaster-Strong was an immediate star, averaging 17.0 points and a league-leading 11.8 rebounds per game. She was selected to the All-Ivy first team and was unanimously voted the league's Rookie of the Year.
As a sophomore, Feaster-Strong averaged 18.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game and was honored as Ivy League Player of the Year, as the Crimson won the first of three consecutive league championships. With the championship, the team secured its first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament. Although they led 41-40 at the half, the 14th-seeded Crimson lost their first round game to the Vanderbilt Commodores, 100-83.
Feaster-Strong led the Crimson in almost every statistical category in her junior season. She increased her scoring average to 21.8 points per game and her rebounding to 10.8 per game, while also leading the team in steals, blocks, three-point field goals, and shooting percentage. She was again Ivy League Player of the Year. The 1996-97 Crimson were the first women's basketball team ever to go undefeated in Ivy League play (14-0; 20-6 overall), but were a No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and lost their opening round game at Carmichael Arena to the North Carolina Tar Heels.
In her senior year at Harvard, Feaster-Strong led the nation in scoring, at 28.5 points per game, was 14th in rebounding (10.8 per game), and 16th in steals (3.3 per game). She was again honored as Ivy League Player of the Year and was also selected to the Kodak Division I Women's All-America Basketball Team. Despite a 22-4 record, the Ivy League champion Crimson were again a No. 16 seed for the NCAA Tournament. They played the No. 1 seeded Stanford Cardinal on Maples Pavilion, Stanford's home floor. When Harvard won the game, 71-67, backed by 35 points and 13 rebounds from Feaster-Strong, they became (and remain as of 2016) the only No. 16 seed in the history of the NCAA men's or women's Division I basketball tournament to defeat a No. 1 seed in the first round. No other team seeded lower than No. 13 has ever won a game in the women's NCAA Tournament.
Feaster-Strong finished her college career with 2,312 points (second all-time in the Ivy League), 1,157 rebounds (third all-time in the Ivy League), and 290 steals (third all-time in the Ivy League). She has been identified by several sources as the greatest women's basketball player in the history of the league and was one of five players chosen for the Ivy League all-time women's basketball team in 2015. She remains, as of 2016, one of only two Ivy League players ever to score 2,000 points and record 1,000 rebounds in a career; the other is Bill Bradley. Feaster-Strong was the first Ivy League player ever selected in the WNBA draft (the second was Blake Dietrick, 16 years later), and until July 5, 2016, when Dietrick signed the first of two seven-day contracts with the San Antonio Stars, Feaster-Strong was the only Ivy League graduate to appear on a WNBA roster or play in the league.
- 1998–1999 : Anadia Sanitana (Portugal)
- 1999–2001 : ASPTT Aix-en-Provence
- 2001–2005 : US Valenciennes Olympic
- 2006–2007 : Ros Casares Valencia
- 2007–2008 : C.B. San José León
- 2008–2009 : Famila Wuber Schio
- 2011–2012 : Perfumerías Avenida Baloncesto
- 2012–2013 : Uni Girona CB
- 2013–2016 : C.B. Alcobendas
Like many WNBA players, Feaster-Strong has played in Europe from fall to spring. Her longest tours have been in France (with Aix-en-Provence and Valenciennes, from 1999-2005) and in Spain (with several teams, from 2006-2008 and 2011-2016).
Feaster-Strong's Valenciennes teams won the French League title for four years straight from 2001-02 through 2004-05 and won the EuroLeague Women title in 2001-02 and 2003-04. Her Ros Casares Valencia team was the EuroLeague runner-up in 2006-07.
C.B. Alcobendas announced on August 8, 2016, that Feaster-Strong had retired from professional basketball.
Listed at 5 feet, 11 inches, Feaster-Strong was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks as the fifth overall selection in the first round of the 1998 WNBA Draft. However, she broke her foot three games into her rookie season, missing the rest of the year. She principally played off the bench during her three seasons for the Sparks, averaging between 12.8 and 14.7 minutes per game. The Sparks lost in the Western Conference Finals in both 1999 and 2000.
On October 11, 2000, Feaster-Strong was traded to the Charlotte Sting along with center Clarisse Machanguana in exchange for Rhonda Mapp and E.C. Hill. Feaster-Strong had a larger role with Charlotte, starting all but one game from 2001 through her maternity leave in 2005, and becoming a significant contributor in the Sting's run to the WNBA Finals in 2001. She was in the top five in the league in three-point field goals and attempts from 2001 through 2003, leading in three-pointers made in 2002 and in attempts in 2003. She was second in the league in offensive rating (118.3) and third in offensive win shares (4.1) in 2002.
Although Feaster-Strong was on the roster of the Charlotte Sting when the team folded in January 2007, she was not included in the dispersal draft that followed, because she had become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2006 season. After sitting out the 2007 WNBA season Feaster-Strong signed with the Indiana Fever in March 2008. Feaster-Strong played 33 games for the Fever in 2008, all off the bench. On April 20, 2009, the Fever waived her.
- Basketball Reference, Allison Feaster WNBA Stats
- C.B. Alcobendas Announcement, 8 August 2016
- The Ivy Influence: Allison Feaster-Strong (Ivy League Sports profile)
- WNBA Player Profile—Allison Feaster
- Chester News & Reporter, Obituary for William Preston Feaster, September 6, 2016
- Guaranteed to Mesh (Ivy League Sports profile)
- Celebrating Black History Month—Allison Feaster-Strong
- New York Times, In This League, the Mothers Know Best, June 4, 2006
- ProDep Player Card—Allison Feaster Strong
- "US sends basketball players to Burma". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- "Day 5 of 6: WHO IS THIS NBA ICON? Miami... - U.S. Embassy, Manila Philippines | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
- South Carolina Senate Resolution 1426 (May 19, 1994)
- John Harvard's Journal—Sports (Jan. 1997)
- Ivy League Championships—Women’s Sports
- John Harvard's Journal—Sports (May 1996)
- Harvard Crimson, Women’s Cagers Toppled By Vanderbilt in Tourney, March 16, 1996
- Harvard Crimson, Women's Cagers' Charlie Horse, June 5, 1997
- Harvard Crimson, Runaway Train, February 10, 1997
- Official 2016 NCAA Women's Final Four Records Book
- Harvard Crimson, Feaster Named Kodak All-American; Senior One of the Nation's Ten Best, April 1, 1998
- ESPN, No. 16 Harvard over No. 1 Stanford still resonates 10 years later, March 18, 2008
- Harvard Varsity Club, Allison S. Feaster '98, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2013
- Daily Princetonian, Rasheed: Ivy League's best ever?, February 21, 2013
- John Harvard's Journal—The 2,000 Point Woman (Mar. 1998)
- Harvard Crimson, Remembering a Historic Season, March 20, 1998
- IvyLeague (July 23, 2016). "Here's our all-time best women's team, as selected by the #IvyLeague office! #OneIvy 2/3" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Ivy League office selects all-time best women's and men's teams, July 24, 2015
- NCAA, Division I Women's Basketball Records, 2017
- NCAA, Division I Men's Basketball Records, 2016
- ESPN, Tough call: Princeton's Blake Dietrick goes pro, April 15, 2015
- AP, Former Princeton star Dietrick enjoying her time in the WNBA, July 9, 2016
- Offseason 2008–09: Overseas Roster
- Allison Feaster se incorpora a Alcobendas (Spanish)
- LFB Historical Champions Listing
- FIBA EuroLeague Women 2003-04 Schedule & Results
- FIBA EuroLeague Women 2001-02 Schedule & Results
- FIBA EuroLeague Women 2006-07 Schedule & Results
- Feast or Famine: The Career of an Ivy Graduate in the WNBA
- Los Angeles Times, Sparks Trade for Mapp, Byears, October 12, 2000
- New York Times, PRO BASKETBALL—Feaster Regains Form to Lead Sting, August 28, 2001
- WNBA, Charlotte Sting Dispersal Draft To Be Held on January 8, January 4, 2007
- Fever Signs WNBA, Veteran Allison Feaster to Free Agent Contract, March 20, 2008
- WNBA, Feaster Waived from Fever Roster, April 21, 2009
- WNBA Player Profile
- TopOfTheCircle.com profile (Archived 2009-10-25)
- FEB (Spanish Basketball Federation) player profile (Spanish)