NEW YORK - AUGUST 25: Teresa Weatherspoon #11 of the New York Liberty looks to run the offense as she is defended by Annie Burgess #35 of the Washington Mystics during game 3 of the Eastern Conference FInals of the 2002 WNBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on August 25, 2002 in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User espressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant)
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WNBA Community Reacts to Teresa Weatherspoon Heading into the Hall of Fame

 

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Teresa Weatherspoon is one of the greatest women’s basketball players of All-Time. During her senior year at t Louisiana Tech, she helped lead the Lady Techsters to the NCAA national title in 1988.  Upon graduating from college, she decided to take her talents overseas to where she played in  Italy, France, and Russia for eight years.

When word began to spread that a professional basketball for women was being formed in, which is now entitled the WNBA, she jumped at the chance to return home to the states. Weatherspoon is one of the original members of the WNBA. In 1997, she would join the New York Liberty during the inaugural season.

During her first year in the league, Weatherspoon would capture the New York audience and the media with her ball-handling ability. By season end, she would achieve the first-ever defensive player year. The following season she would defend her crown as he won back to back defensive player of the year awards.

However, the defining moment of her career in the WNBA in at least came in game two of the 1999 WNBA Finals against the Houston Comets.  The Liberty was down 65-67 after Comets forward Tina Thompson hit a bank shot leaving only 2.4 seconds left on the game clock.  The Liberty had to go the length of the floor Kym Hampton was the inbounder and tossed it into Weatherspoon. She turned around with Tina Thompson on her left shoulder, allowing her to use her dominant hand to get a shot off. Weatherspoon would hit what is known as “The Shot” to send the series back to New York.  The Liberty would eventually lose the series, but

“As soon as it left my hands, I knew it was good. As soon as it left my hand it just looked as it was good and I was praying it went in, said Weatherspoon.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Teressa Weather along with Bill Fitch, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma, Paul Westphal, Vlade Divac, and Bobby Jones would be part of the 2019 Hall of Fame class.

After her name was announced, Weatherspoons took noticed and sent their congratulations and reflected on her career.

Her former teammate with the Los Angeles Sparks Lisa spoke on how Weatherspoon was able to make her teammates better.

“The thing that stands out the most when you think of T- Spoon is that her emotional level was so high and energy that it was contagious. What made T-Spoon so great was she made people of around her better. She brought that fight, heart, the will to want to win, and that is contagious.

I had her as a teammate for a short period of time with the Sparks and it was no different. Although she was closer to retirement I didn’t have her in her true heyday, but I studied her during that time in the WNBA and you knew she the will to willed her teammate to win. How she got them the ball, inspired them the emotion.

Another thing I loved about T-Spoon is she is so positive and brings that energy that a needs, leadership and if you are down she will definitely pick you up literally, and figurately.  So, congratulations to T-Spoon on joining the Hall,” said Lisa Leslie.

Former New York Liberty guards Cappie Pondexter and Tiffany Bias their interaction with Weatherspoon during their time in New York.

I had the opportunity to play under T-Spoon for five years when I played in New York. I know when I first started dreaming about possibly playing in the WNBA, T-Spoon was that energy that the league highlighted. When she played in The Garden, she owned The Garden. Any basketball player will tell you that energy has not been matched.

I think I did a great job of trying to attempt to match her energy, but when thinking about any player that played in the Garden T-Spoon name comes up. That’s a player you can ever go into The Garden and not talk about, to see her nominated for her hard work, it just shows the impact on a lot of people and players in the game of basketball. I am very happy for her, and she inspired me through my career, and I am forever in debt to her, Pondexter told me.

I mean she is “T Spoon,” who doesn’t love her. I like the fact that I had the opportunity to work with her while I was in New York. I learned a lot from her working with her before and after practice. She knows what she is talking about and had helped my game tremendously in the short time I was in New York. So, she is dope and congrats to her on making the Hall of Fame this year.

Kate Smith, who is the current head coach of the New York Liberty and had the opportunity to play against Weatherspoon weighed-in Teresa Weatherspoon be selected for this year’s Hall of Fame Class.

“She’s had a great career, and it is a phenomenal honor. She’ll have an amazing time it is such a great weekend, but just her personality and what she did being part of the league from the jump. Being part of the New York Liberty and just being that face and personality that is what the New York Liberty is all about,” said Smith.

Reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year A’Ja Wilson spoke highly of the Hall of Famer earlier this season.

” It’s Super dope I feel it better late than never. She deserves to be in it she done so much for our game. Being that she is New York giving back in that way, and I thought she was Hall of Famer before this. That huge and dope for her and many blessing to her as well, and Thank you for still being in our game,” said Wilson.

To Wilson’s credit, Weatherspoon was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as a part of the class of 2010.

During her seven-year career in the WNBA, Weatherspoon averaged 5.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. Now, this weekend she will take her rightful place in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

 

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