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Tina Thompson – WNBA Legend, retiring at end of season

Tina Thompson – WNBA Legend, retiring at end of season

2013-07-09 – Newark, NJ- When Tina Thompson entered the WNBA in its inaugural season, she immediately became the answer to a trivia question..who was the first player selected in the WNBA’s inaugural draft?  Now some 17 years later the two-time Olympic Gold medalist is the answer to at least three different WNBA trivia questions.  Thompson, a four-time WNBA Champion (all with the super-power Houston Comets team), will go down in WNBA lore as one of it’s most outstanding players and personalities.

The L.A. native, know for wearing lipstick to play every game, was an eight-time all-star, was named to the WNBA All-Decade team (2006) and is one of the 15 greatest players in WNBA history.  Adding to her legendary status, Thompson became the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer when she surpassed Lisa Leslie’s career total of 6,263 points and became the first player in WNBA history to record 7,000 career points on September 18, 2012.

When asked to reflect on her 17 seasons in the WNBA and what stands out in her mind as the most special season, Thompson answers candidly by talking about her 3rd WNBA season when her teammate and friend Kim Perrot was battling cancer.  “It was an emotional year for us.” she shared.  “We were able to fight through that and win a championship for her.”

As Thompson prepares to hang up her sneakers and ready for the next chapter, spending time with her 9-year-old son Dyllan will be her primary focus.  “My schedule is his schedule,” she explained.  “I played in Korea (last year), so I’ve been homeschooling him,” she said in a recent interview.  “I don’t know many moms who home-school and have a job. It’s a lot.”

So as Tina Marie Thompson, future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer,  takes her WNBA ‘farewell tour’, and passes the torch to the next generation of WNBA stars, we’ll never forget this tremendous athlete who played the game with grit and an extraordinary desire to win.

Tina Thompson being honored before the Storm game vs the Liberty by NY Liberty legend Kym Hampton (l) and NY Liberty assistant coach Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Photo credit: Todd Green)

Video: Tina Thompson breaks Lisa Leslie’s scoring record

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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