Michele Van Gorp
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May 10, 1977 |
Mount Clemens, Michigan
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||187 lb (85 kg)|
|High school||Chippewa Valley
(Clinton Charter Township, Michigan)
|WNBA draft||1999 / Round: 2 / Pick: 18th overall|
|Selected by the New York Liberty|
|1999||New York Liberty|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
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, and in which the Blue Devils were beaten 62-45 by Purdue. She was inducted to the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.
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.
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.
Van Gorp was one of the first WNBA athletes to disclose to the media that she was in a same-sex relationship during her playing career.
Van Gorp also played in Europe for the following teams:
- Panathinaikos (1999)
- Parma (2000)
- CJM Bourges (2000) - Euroleague winner
- Dynamo Moscow (2003)
- Ros Casares Valencia (2004)
- Nantes-Reze (2008)
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. 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..
Van Gorp currently works in recruiting with the Duke Women's Basketball program in Durham, NC, and is also taking business school coursework.
- Pennington, Bill (March 29, 1999). "Purdue Completes Transfer of Power". New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- "1997 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- Buzinski, Jim (July 13, 2004). "Van Gorp Out and Proud". Outsports. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- "Michele Van Gorp Bio". Go Duke.com. Duke University Athletics. November 7, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2014.