Tina Thompson

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Tina Thompson
Tina Thompson cropped.jpg
Thompson at the 2013 WNBA All-Star game
Personal information
Born (1975-02-10) February 10, 1975 (age 41)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight 178 lb (81 kg)
Career information
High school Morningside (Inglewood, California)
College USC (1993–1997)
WNBA draft 1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Houston Comets
Playing career 1997–2014
Position Small forward / Power forward
Number 7
Career history
1997–2008 Houston Comets
2001–2002 Rovereto Basket
2003 Incheon Kumho Life Falcons
2005–2006 Cheonan Kookmin Bank Savers
2006–2007 Spartak Moscow Region
2009–2011 Los Angeles Sparks
2010 Municipal MCM Târgovişte
2010 Chuncheon Woori Bank Hansae
2012–2013 Seattle Storm
2013–2014 Guri KDB Life Winnus
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Tina Marie Thompson (born February 10, 1975) is an American retired 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]

Thompson had also played for Team USA in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, winning two olympic gold medals with the team.

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 along with Sheryl Swoopes and Cynthia Cooper that won four consecutive WNBA championships from 1997-2000. During her stint with the Comets, Thompson had won All-Star MVP honors at the 2000 WNBA All-Star Game, led all Western Conference players in All-Star voting in 2001, had been named to the All-WNBA First Team three times (1997, 1998, 2004) and All-WNBA Second Team four times (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002).

Prior to the 2005 season, Thompson had given birth to Dyllan Thompson, her first child in May, with then NBA player Damon Jones being the biological father; she resumed playing with the Comets only two months later.[7] Following her pregnancy she had a sluggish season in 2005, averaging only 10.1 ppg.

In 2006, Thompson returned back to peak condition, averaging 18.7 ppg and scored a career-high 37 points in a triple overtime loss to the Phoenix Mercury. That year the Comets made the playoffs for the final time before folding, after they were eliminated in a 2-game sweep by the Sacramento Monarchs in the first round.

After the Comets folded in 2008, Thompson signed with her hometown team, the Los Angeles Sparks in 2009, playing alongside Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie who was playing in her final year before retirement.[8] Thompson, Leslie and Parker led the Sparks to the playoffs with an 18-16 record. In the playoffs, Thompson was one win away from her fifth Finals appearance but the Sparks lost 2-1 in the second round to the Phoenix Mercury who were the champions that year. During the following season in the month of August, Thompson had became the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, passing Lisa Leslie during a regular season game loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars in which she scored 23 points.[9][10] In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in the fifteen-year history of the WNBA.[11]

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 her 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.[12]

On May 31, 2013, Thompson announced that she would retire from the WNBA at the end of the 2013 season.[13]

During the 2013 season, the 38-year old Thompson was a starter for the Storm and had averaged 14.1 ppg. She was also selected into the 2013 WNBA All-Star Game to replaced an injured Brittney Griner.[14][15] It was her ninth career WNBA All-Star Game appearance, the second most in WNBA history and it also made her the first and only player in WNBA history to be named an All-Star in three different decades.

On August 17, 2013, Thompson became the first WNBA player to have 7,000 points and 3,000 rebounds following a victory against the Indiana Fever where she scored 23 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.[16]

September 14, 2013 marked the final regular season game of Thompson's career which resulted in a victory over the Tulsa Shock. Following the game, an almost hour-long retirement ceremony took place in her honor. Her Storm teammates all wore a number 7 jersey either in a Comets or Storm variant. Despite the absence of Sue Bird who sat out the whole season while recovering from knee surgery, the Storm still made the playoffs with the number 4 seed in the Western Conference.

Thompson's final WNBA career game was in Game 2 of the first round in the 2013 WNBA Playoffs. The Storm were eliminated in a 2-game sweep by the Minnesota Lynx who would win the championship that year. Thompson scored 13 points in the loss.[17]


In 2016, Thompson was again honored by the WNBA, being named in the WNBA Top 20@20 in celebration of the league's twentieth anniversary.[18]

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).

Post-WNBA Career[edit]

On March 18, 2015, the University of Texas at Austin athletic department announced Thompson's hire as an assistant coach for the Longhorn women's basketball team, beginning her collegiate coaching career.[19]

Overseas[edit]

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 -- 1993". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "1996 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Thirteenth World Championship For Women -- 1998". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Fifteenth World Championship For Women -- 2006". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  7. ^ Candace Parker Is Putting Family First NY Times, January 24, 2009
  8. ^ http://www.wnba.com/archive/wnba/sparks/news/Sparks_Sign_Tina_Thompson.html
  9. ^ "Los Angeles Sparks' Tina Thompson is WNBA's scoring leader". ESPN. 2010-08-08. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  10. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/wnba/2010-08-08-thompson-scoring-record_N.htm
  11. ^ http://www.wnba.com/allstar/2011/top15_072311.html
  12. ^ Pelton, Kevin (27 February 2012). "Storm Adds Legend, Fills Needs with Thompson". wnba.com. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (31 May 2013). "Tina Thompson to retire after season". espn.com. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  14. ^ http://www.wnba.com/archive/wnba/storm/news/thompson130725.html
  15. ^ http://www.wnba.com/archive/wnba/allstar/2013/thompson_replace_griner_allstar_072513.html
  16. ^ http://www.espn.com.au/wnba/recap?gameId=400445859
  17. ^ http://www.wsenetwork.com/tina-thompson-scores-13-points-in-the-last-game-of-her-career//
  18. ^ "WNBA Top 20@20 Presented By Verizon Unveiled". WNBA.com. WNBA. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  19. ^ "Tina Thompson named Women's Basketball assistant coach". texassports.com. University of Texas Athletics. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]