Former University of Connecticut women’s basketball standout and WNBA All-Star Rebecca Lobo and Louisiana Tech Head Coach and Two-Time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Teresa Weatherspoon were named as two of six members of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010.
Other members of the Class of 2010 Enshrinement Class include Leta Andrews (Granbury, Texas High School), who is the winningest coach in girl’s basketball high school history; Teresa Edwards, a four-time Olympic gold medalist; Gloria Ray, the first Women’s Athletic Director at the University of Tennessee and a driving force behind the construction of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville and Chris Weller, long-time coach of the University of Maryland women’s basketball program.
Having the privilege to coach both of these players during their professional careers I was fortunate to witness first hand their Hall of Fame qualities and play. Both “B” and “Spoon” possessed a passion for the game and leadership ability that was (and still is) contagious to the people around them.
Lobo becomes the first player from the tradition-laden Connecticut women’s basketball program. UConn head coach Geno Auriemma was previously elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Weatherspoon becomes the second Tech player enshrined in the Hall in Knoxville as Baylor Head Caoch Kim Mulkey was elected in 2000. Her college coach, Leon Barmore, was elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall in 2003 and the Naismith Basketball Hall in 2003 as well.
A two-time BIG EAST Player of the Year, Lobo was the National Player of the Year in 1995 after leading the Huskies to a perfect 35-0 mark and the program’s first of six NCAA National Championships. She was also recognized as the Most Outstanding Player at the 1995 NCAA Final Four.
Weatherspoon, In 1988 her senior season led the Lady Techsters to the NCAA national title while winning the Wade Trophy.
In addition to her success at UConn, Lobo was a member of the 1996 USA Olympic Team that captured the gold medal in Atlanta. She joined the professional ranks in 1997, joining the New York Liberty for the WNBA’s inaugural season. In all, Lobo played for seven seasons in the WNBA as she also had stints with the Houston Comets and Connecticut Sun prior to her retirement.
Weatherspoon is one of the original players of the WNBA in 1997 when she joined the New York Liberty in the WNBA’s inaugural season. A talented ball-handler and charismatic leader, her energetic play quickly endeared her to the fans and media in New York. Up until the 2003 season, she held the distinction of being the only WNBA player to start every one of her games.
In 1997 she was the first winner of the league’s Defensive player of the year award. She won the title again in 1998.
Lobo is currently a broadcaster for ABC and ESPN and actually worked as a member of ABC’s crew for the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game. She also serves as a member of the UConn Board of Trustees.
Weatherspoon is currently the Head women’s Basketball coach at her alma mater looking to rebuild the national prominence for the Lady Techsters she enjoyed there as a collegiate player.
With the addition of the Class of 2010, the list of individuals who have been recognized as Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees will increase to 115.
The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining which individuals will be inducted each year. Voting is based on various factors, which may include moral character, integrity, sportsmanship, record of performance, ability, national or international recognition, and contributions to the game of women’s basketball.
In order to be considered for selection for induction, an individual must meet the following prerequisites:
- Player: Must be retired from the highest level of play for at least five years
- Coach: Must have coached the women’s game at least 20 years
- Referee: Must have officiated the women’s game at least 10 years
- Contributor: Must have significantly impacted the game of women’s basketball
The mission of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, which opened in June 1999, is to “honor the past, celebrate the present, and promote the future” of women’s basketball.