Friday, June 1, 2012
40 greatest female athletes: Sheryl Swoopes
In 1997, Sheryl Swoopes was the first player to sign a contract in the new WNBA.
ESPN is marking the 40th anniversary of Title IX by unveiling the top 40 female athletes of the past 40 years.
Sheryl Swoopes' legendary career began in high school, when she led Brownfield (Texas) to its first girls' basketball state title.
From there, the No. 16 woman in ESPN's countdown went on to win an NCAA championship at Texas Tech, three Olympic gold medals, four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets and three MVP awards.
"In my mind, the thing that always separated her was how she could elevate her game when the pressure was highest," says Marsha Sharp, who coached Swoopes at Texas Tech. "The spotlight spurs her to a different level."