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UNCW coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke named to the WNBA 15th Anniversary team

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SAN ANTONIO, TX (WWAY) -- UNCW women's basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was named to the WNBA's 15th Anniversary team on Saturday at the WNBA All-Star game in San Antonio. WWAY aired the game live on Saturday afternoon.

Coach Cooper was interviewed during the game in the first half. She even gave a "shout-out" to her UNCW women's basketball team in the first half on the ABC nationally televised game. Sunday's Coach's Corner on WWAY will have a brief recap of Saturday's halftime ceremony from San Antonio. The Coach's Corner will air at 6pm on Sunday.

Below is a news release from the WNBA:

http://www.wnba.com/allstar/2011/top15_players_110723.html

Below is a news release from UNCW on Cooper's latest achievement.

SAN ANTONIO – UNCW Head Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has been named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time, league officials announced Saturday during halftime of the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game at the AT&T Center.

“I am honored to be named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time,” said Cooper-Dyke, who was in attendance for Saturday’s presentation. “To be considered one of the greatest players in the history of the league is a humbling honor and one that I will always cherish.”

In celebration of its historic 15th season, the WNBA honored 15 of the most influential players since its inception in 1997. A panel comprising media members and basketball experts selected a 30-nominee ballot, giving consideration to such factors as on-court performance, 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 was conducted among fans, select national and WNBA-market media and by current players and coaches. The league weighted each of three voting groups to account for an equal percentage of the total vote.

“The 15 athletes honored today represent an extraordinarily accomplished group and the very best in women’s professional basketball from around the world,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. “In just the few months I’ve been with the WNBA, I have had an opportunity to meet each of the current players on this list as well as some of the legends who paved the way. I have found that they are not only tremendous athletes who have reached extraordinary heights on the court, but also terrific women who give unselfishly of their time in the community. I am proud to be associated with these outstanding women; and I am so pleased for them that the fans, media members, and the current generation of players and coaches, have chosen to recognize and honor them.”

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 (1997-2000, 2003) and helped form the league's first dynasty as she guided the franchise to four consecutive WNBA championships.

A four-time 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.

Also a member of the WNBA'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.

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WNBA 15th Anniversary Team --

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
Teresa Weatherspoon
Dawn Staley
Katie Smith
Ticha Penichiero
Cappy Pondexter
Diana Taurasi
Sue Bird
Becky Hammon

guards
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Tamika Catchings
Cheryl Swoops
Tina Thompson

forwards
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Lauren Jackson
Yolanda Griffith
Lisa Leslie

centers
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