From Cynthia Cooper to Diana Taurasi: WNBA names 25 greatest players of first 25 seasons, including 10 current stars | NBA News

As part of the league’s 25th anniversary celebrations, the WNBA has released its list of the 25 greatest players in history.

The 25 players were chosen from a group of 72 athletes for their contributions to the league and community. A select panel of media members and women’s basketball pioneers voted for the 25 players.

“I can think of no better way to honour those responsible for that impact than by unveiling the members of this prestigious group, The W25,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement released Sunday.

“These athletes have played the game at the highest level on the court – they are scorers and rebounders, assist makers and defensive stoppers, leaders and mentors. In the community, they have powerful voices, individually and collectively, speaking out on important issues in our society.”

The list includes 15 retired players and 10 current players.

Seimone Augustus, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper, Yolanda Griffith, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Maya Moore, Ticha Penicheiro, Cappie Pondexter, Katie Smith, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson and Lindsay Whalen are the retired players on the list.

Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Angel McCoughtry, Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Breanna Stewart, and Diana Taurasi are the current stars chosen for the honour. You can read a bit more about each of them below.

Sue Bird

Seattle Storm (2002-present)

The WNBA’s career leader in assists and games played also holds the record for most All-Star Game selections with 12. A four-time champion with the Storm, Bird also is an eight-time All-WNBA pick and three-time Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award winner.

“It’s a huge honour to be named among the top 25 players in league history and I’m in awe that I’m a part of such a prestigious list,” Bird said.

“It’s been incredible to experience the rise in the level of competition in the past 25 years and I’m excited to see what the future holds for this league.”

Tina Charles

Connecticut Sun (2010-13), New York Liberty (2014-19), Washington Mystics (Current)

Tina Charles

The 2010 number one overall pick and Rookie of the Year was also named WNBA MVP in 2012. She is an eight-time All-WNBA selection, eight-time All-Star, and four-time All-Defensive pick. She has led the league in rebounding four times and in scoring once (although she is also top of the current season stats with 24.8 points per game).

Elena Delle Donne

Chicago Sky (2013-2016), Washington Mystics (2017-Current)

Elena Delle Donne

The only player to be named WNBA MVP with two different teams: Chicago in 2015 and Washington in 2019. Delle Donne is also a five-time All-WNBA pick and six-time All-Star.

She won a championship with Washington in 2019, led the league in scoring in 2015, and is the only player in WNBA history to achieve a 50-40-90 season, shooting 50% from the field, 40% from three-point, and a 90% free throw percentage during that title-winning 2019 season.

Sylvia Fowles

Chicago Sky (2008-14), Minnesota Lynx (2015-present)

Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34) shoots over Washington Mystics center Tina Charles (31) in the first quarter of a WNBA basketball game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The league’s career leader in total rebounds and defensive boards, Fowles has won two championships and two Finals MVPs with the Lynx. She is a three-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, six-time All-WNBA choice, seven-time All-Star, nine-time All-Defensive pick and was awarded MVP in 2017.

Brittney Griner

Phoenix Mercury (2013-present)

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) drives on Indiana Fever forward Jessica Breland (51) in the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

A two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Griner led the league in blocks each year from 2013-19. The league’s career dunks leader is a two-time scoring champ, five-time All-WNBA choice, seven-time All-Star, six-time All-Defensive Team pick, and won her only WNBA championship in 2014.

Angel McCoughtry

Atlanta Dream (2009-2016, 2018-19), Las Vegas Aces (2020-present)

Las Vegas Aces forward Angel McCoughtry (35) sets up a play during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's WNBA Finals against the Seattle Storm, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The number one pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft and the 2009 WNBA Rookie of the Year, McCoughtry is a two-time league scoring leader and steals leader. She also is a six-time All-WNBA pick, five-time All-Star, and seven-time All-Defensive selection.

Nneka Ogwumike

Los Angeles Sparks (2012-present)

Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (30) drives on Indiana Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell (25) in the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The 2016 WNBA MVP is a five-time All-WNBA and All-Defensive team selection and won a championship with the Sparks in 2016. She has also won the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award the last two seasons and the 2018 WNBA season-long WNBA Community Assist Award. Ogwumike was named Rookie of the Year in 2012 and currently serves as the President of the WNBPA.

“I am so grateful to have my name listed amongst past and present legends who’ve pioneered the W over these amazing 25 years,” said Ogwumike.

“As an athlete on the court, I’m proud of my career and hope to continue to leave a legacy of greatness. What I’ve been able to contribute to the game along with the phenomenal women of this league through generations is one of my greatest accomplishments. Being recognised for any impact I’ve made is a true honour.”

Candace Parker

Los Angeles Sparks (2008-20), Chicago Sky (Current)

Candace Parker

Parker began her career by winning Rookie of the Year and MVP honours during a remarkable debut season in 2008. She is a two-time MVP, the 2016 Finals MVP with the champion Sparks, a nine-time All-WNBA pick, six-time All-Star, and three-time league rebounding leader. On top of all that, she is also the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

Breanna Stewart

Seattle Storm (2016-present)

Breanna Stewart

In four full seasons in the league, Stewart has earned two championships, two Finals MVPs, and a regular-season MVP award. A former WNBA Rookie of the Year, she has been voted to the All-WNBA Team three times and All-Defensive Team twice. She also was MVP of the inaugural WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game in 2021.

Diana Taurasi

Phoenix Mercury (2004-2014, 2016-Current)

Diana Taurasi

The WNBA’s career leader in points in the regular season and postseason, Taurasi’s 14 All-WNBA selections are the most in league history and her 10 All-Star selections are tied for second. A five-time scoring champ and one-time assists leader, Taurasi has won three championships, one MVP award, and one Finals MVP.

The full group of players has combined for over 138,000 points, 50,000 rebounds and 28,000 assists while also earning 167 All-Star Appearances. The W25 members have also won 23 of the 24 MVPs handed out by the league.

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