WILMINGTON,NC (UNCW News Release) — UNCW women’s basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was named one of 30 finalists for the WNBA’s 15th anniversary team on Tuesday.
In celebration of its historic 15th season, the WNBA is honoring 15 of the most influential players since its inception in 1997. Nominees were selected by a panel comprised of media members and basketball experts, with consideration given to such factors as on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service, as well as to contributions to team success and the overall growth of women’s basketball.
Voting for the league’s top 15 players of all time will be conducted among fans and select national and WNBA-market media, as well as current players and coaches. Fans can cast a vote once per day by visiting WNBA.com between June 23 and July 14. VOTE HERE www.wnba.com
The WNBA’s15th Anniversary Team will be unveiled and honored at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game, scheduled for July 23 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
The first player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame based primarily on her WNBA career, Cooper-Dyke spent five seasons with the Houston Comets and helped form the league’s first dynasty as she helped the franchise win four consecutive WNBA championships.
A four-time WNBA Finals MVP, Cooper-Dyke was voted the league’s MVP in the league’s first two seasons of competition (1997, 1998) and was a three-time All-Star before retiring in 2000. She returned briefly to the Comets in 2003, but said goodbye for good after four games due to injury.
A member of the league’s All-Decade Team, Cooper-Dyke finished her career as the Comet’s all-time leader in scoring (2,601), assists (601) and free-throw percentage (.871).
In her first season as coach of the Seahawks, Cooper-Dyke led UNCW to a program-record 24 victories and its first postseason appearance with an at-large invitation to the Postseason WNIT. She was named the Colonial Athletic Association Coach-of-the-Year for her efforts.