Four former UConn stars on WNBA's 20@20
The WNBA 20@20, which was voted on by a 15-member panel WNBA coaches and administrators as well as national media members, was unveiled on ESPN's 10 a.m. edition of SportsCenter.
Sue Bird and Swin Cash, the top two picks in the 2002 WNBA Draft, and 2004 No. 1 overall pick Diana Taurasi were selected along with 2011 No. 1 overall pick Maya Moore, the leading scorer in UConn history.
“To be included among the top 20 players in this league's history is a huge honor," said Bird in a statement. "Watching the level of competition rise over the years has been incredible and I am excited to see where the league goes in the next 20."
Tina Charles, the 2012 WNBA MVP, and Nykesha Sales were also nominated giving UConn six of the 60 nominees.
Lindsay Whalen is the only representative of the Connecticut Sun to be named to the list of top 20 players as she was the Sun's first-round pick in 2004.
The list is highlighted by the trio of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson who teamed up to lead the Houston Comets to the first four WNBA championships. Former MVP Lisa Leslie as well as Teresa Weatherspoon are the other original WNBA players honored by the league while Yolanda Griffith, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson, Deanna Nolan, career assists leader Ticha Penicheiro and Katie Smith are other former WNBA stars to make the cut.
Seimone Augustus, Tamika Catchings, Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter join Bird, Cash, Moore, Taurasi and Whalen are active WNBA players named to the top 20.
"I grew up watching the WNBA, and to be in a class of athletes of the caliber that this league has produced over the past 20 years is a huge honor,” Moore said. “It’s definitely a dream come true. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to compete at the highest levels and develop my talent to the point that I was even in consideration for this honor.”
UConn leads the way for four players honored, Southern California (Cooper, Leslie and Thompson) and Tennessee (Catchings and Parker) are the only other programs with more than one honoree.