Chat with Sheryl Swoopes
Swoopes won three Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004).
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes, stops by to celebrate Black History Month and chat about the upcoming WNBA season.
Swoopes helped lead the Houston Comets to four straight titles - in the first four seasons of the WNBA - from 1997-2000. She spent 10 of her 12 seasons in the league with the Comets, becoming the first player to win three WNBA MVPs. Her 4,875 career points ranks 12th in league history.
As a senior at Texas Tech in 1992-93, Swoopes helped the Lady Raiders to the school's only women's basketball national title. Her career and life story will be told in an upcoming ESPN Films Nine for IX documentary "Swoopes" which airs this summer.
Send your questions now and join Swoopes Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:59 PM)
Sheryl is here!
How odd will it be this summer to not be playing basketball? Or are we going to see a comeback attempt?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:00 PM)
It won't be odd at all. I actually did not play last summer, so I've moved on from it. I definitely try to stay involved with it as much as possible and keep up with the players and the game. But no, you won't be seeing a comeback from me! Not because I don't think I could, I think I could still play, but I have other interests. I always said when there was no longer a challenge for me, I would move on.
What was it like honoring your Texas Tech team last weekend?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:01 PM)
It brought back lots of memories. It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years already! It was great to see all of my old teammates and just being back in West Texas and in the arena. The fans were amazing. It was just like it happened yesterday. It was exciting and a lot of fun.
What does black history month mean to you?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:03 PM)
Wow...good question. To me, even though it is only one month out of the year, it's just a time for me as an African-American to reflect on those who came before me. Dr. King, Malcolm X. There are so many I could name. All of the struggles they went through so we wouldn't have to. It makes me appreciative of everything we have. I feel very fortunate and blessed to be in the position I am, as a role model and hopefully opening doors to future generations. It's because of everything they did before my time. They never gave up and gave us all hope.
what is your favorite memory of playing in Houston?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:04 PM)
I have more than one. Winning the four championships that we won. That's very special. But the fan support we had in Houston, the way they embraced the team and just supported us. They were fun times. To know that no one to date has been able to do what we did makes winning them that much more special.
How long did it take Hannah Storm to talk you into doing this new documentary?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:06 PM)
You know, it didn't take her long. She actually contacted me about it. I talked about it with my fiance and thought about it for a few days. Why it didn't take me long is because I'm finally in a place in my life to tell my story in my own words. Show people a side that maybe people haven't seen before. Was it easy? No. To open up about my life, the good, the bad, it's my story, in my words. It was tough, but I have no regrets. I told myself if I did it, I would be open and honest. I'm excited for it to come out. I think it will give people an insight to the people of who I am away from the court. Hopefully it can help someone out there that is dealing with the same issues and struggles that I went through. I feel like because I was able to get through it, I am in a better place today than I was before.
kevin (macon ga)
What is your impression of Laurel Richie and her leadership of the WNBA?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:08 PM)
I have not really gotten an opportunity to do things with Laurel Richie and know her at that level. I liked the relationship I had with Val. Laurel seems very passionate about the players in the WNBA and I can see where she's trying to take the league to. It's a tough job to sell the game and the league and get more people to come out and support the game. She's doing a remarkable job in keeping the players in the community. I do see the passion she has and I think she'll do a great job with it.
What are your thoughts on Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:11 PM)
I have gotten an opportunity to watch Brittney play in person, to watch Skylar on TV. I have not seen Elena play, but I've heard a lot about her. I can say that the future is very bright for the WNBA. In my opinion, Brittney has the potential to be one of the best, if not the best, player ever in the game. The same thing with Skylar, from a PG position. She's a pretty face for the league, too. She can play the game. She's smart. She's intelligent. There is a lot of potential for what she can bring to the game. Elena, I've heard is a mix between Lauren Jackson and Diana Taurasi, that's a dangerous combination. I think they'll change the look of the game from the last few years. Fans will continue to follow them in the WNBA and hopefully it will give the WNBA more notoriety. I don't remember all of the social media outlets when the league first started "back in the day." These women have tons of followers in social media. They are great talents and great young ladis. I'll be watching.
LaMeisha Ligons (Cleveland.)
If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:12 PM)
There are two. I would either want the power to fly or be invisible. I love Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four, the power to fly. That would be great, having the power to fly and not have to deal with airports.
kevin (macon ga)
Isn't it time for the WNBA championship trophy to have a name, like the Larry O'Brien trophy for the NBA or the Vince Lombardi trophy for the NFL? You know WNBA history. Who should it be named for?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:14 PM)
I do think it's time. I think the trophy should have a name. Who? That I don't know. In a way it would be fitting if it were named after the first president, Val Ackerman. What she did for little girls and the players in the WNBA, I think she was a huge reason that the league is what it is now. That's a great question for Twitter. I think some people say that it should be named after this player or this player. My question is how do you decide which player? You can't change it every few years. But I do think it needs a name.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Hardest WNBA Team that you have Faced in your Career?
Sheryl Swoopes (1:16 PM)
Ooohh...hmmm...I'm probably going to say the Sparks. They were pretty good every year. I would say the Sparks. I know a lot of people would take New York, because we played them a lot in the Finals. But the hardest part to me was getting to the Finals. We knew every year we would have to beat L.A. to get to the Finals. It was also a huge rivalry.
Sheryl Swoopes (1:16 PM)
That was the toughest team.
Sheryl Swoopes (1:17 PM)
I probably never had an opportunity to say it, because I didn't have my retirement tour, so I want to say thank you to everybody who supported me throughout my WNBA career. The ESPN Nine for IX documentary is something that people should watch. It's very real and it's very true and all my life. There are questions that people might want answered will probably get answered. I'm looking forward to it.
Buzzmaster (1:17 PM)
Thanks for chatting Sheryl!