Kara Wolters
Kara Wolters with a fan.
Personal information
Born (1975-08-15) August 15, 1975 (age 46)
Natick, Massachusetts
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight227 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High schoolHolliston (Holliston, Massachusetts)
CollegeUConn (1993–1997)
WNBA draft1999 / Round: 3 / Pick: 36th overall
Selected by the Houston Comets
Playing career1999–2003
Career history
1997–1998New England Blizzard
1999Houston Comets
2000Indiana Fever
2001–2002Sacramento Monarchs
Career highlights and awards
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Kara Wolters Drinan (born August 15, 1975) is a retired American collegiate and professional basketball player. Standing at six feet seven inches (2.01 m), she was nicknamed "Big Girl". She is the tallest player in University of Connecticut women's basketball history and one of the tallest women to ever play in the WNBA. Wolters was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.


Wolters was born the youngest child of Liz and William Wolters and grew up in a basketball family. Her mother, Liz, once scored 50 points in one game at Wellesley High, more than any Massachusetts high school player before.[1] Her father, William, known as Willie, is in the Boston College Hall of Fame and was an eighth-round Seattle SuperSonics draft pick in the 1967 NBA draft.[2] He was born in West Germany and moved to America with his family at 11 years old. He later became an insurance lawyer in Boston. Kara has always worn uniform number 52, the same number as her father, as a tribute.[3]

Wolters has stated she has always been tall and was already 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) in eighth grade and she continued to grow rapidly during her career at Holliston High School. She still retains the schools scoring, rebounding and blocked shots record.[4]

Her brother Ray played basketball at Assumption College and later Eastern Connecticut State University. She has two older sisters: Kristen, who also played college basketball, at Rhode Island, and Katie.[1]

When Katie was six, a tumor was discovered in her brain. The growth was so large and tangled up in her brain stem that complete removal was not possible. Because of the subsequent surgery and treatment with radiation, she developed short-term memory loss and lost some of her sense of balance, and sometimes has seizures that prevent her from driving.[5] Kara would later form the "Kara Kares Foundation" in 1998, which supports brain tumor research. Katie died in 2004 as a result of her brain tumor.

Wolters married Sean Drinan, a financial advisor with Stifel Nicolaus, in November 2004 and currently works as a studio analyst during University of Connecticut women's basketball games for SNY. They have two daughters. Her first daughter, Sydney Elizabeth, was born on March 8, 2007 and her second daughter, Delaney Katherine, was born on March 12, 2008.

Wolters now is with an AAU team out of Hartford, Connecticut, where she coaches one of her daughters, Sydney, who is also number 52, as well as some other girls. The team is known as the Connecticut Spirit, and play in many AAU tournaments. Kara also runs a basketball camp during the summer, with many UConn players as coaches and counselors. The program takes place in East Hartford, CT, and in Massachusetts to grades 4-10.

University of Connecticut

Wolters played for the women's basketball team at the University of Connecticut from 1993 to 1997. She was a member of the 1995 team that won the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship, which capped a perfect 35–0 season. Her UConn team compiled a 132–8 record (94.3%)

Wolters appeared in four NCAA Tournaments, advanced to the 1996 Final Four, the 1994 and 1997 Final Eights and won four Big East Conference Championships and four Big East Tournament titles. In 1997 she was named the National Player of the Year.[6]

She finished her career as Connecticut's all-time leading rebounder (1286) and shot blocker (396).

Wolters was a member of the inaugural class (2006) of inductees to the University of Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor" recognition program.[7]

USA Basketball

Wolters was invited to be a member of the Jones Cup team representing the US in 1996. She helped the team to a 9–0 record, and the gold medal in the event. Wolters averaged 5.9 points per game.[8]

Wolters represented the US at the 1997 World University Games held in Marsala, Sicily, Italy in August 1997. The USA team won all six games, earning the gold medal at the event. In the semi-final game against the previously unbeaten Czech Republic, Wolters scored 14 points, recorded ten rebounds and blocked five shots to hold the team win and advance to the gold medal game. Wolters averaged 11.3 points per game, second highest on the team and had 13 blocks, more than the rest of the team combined.[9]

Wolters was named to the USA national team in 1998. The national team traveled to Berlin, Germany in July and August 1998 for the FIBA World Championships. The USA team won a close opening game against Japan 95–89, then won their next six games easily. In the semifinal game against Brazil, the USA team was behind as much as ten points in the first half, but the USA went on to win 93–79. The gold medal game was a rematch against Russia. In the first game, the USA team dominated almost from the beginning, but in the rematch, the team from Russia took the early lead and led much of the way. With under two minutes remaining, the USA was down by two points but the USA responded, then held on to win the gold medal 71–65. Wolters averaged 5.0 points per game and recorded seven blocks.[10]



Wolters was drafted by the New England Blizzard of the ABL in 1997. She played for the team in the 1997–98 and 1998–99 seasons, the final two of the league's existence.


Wolters was selected by the Houston Comets in the third round (36th overall) during the 1999 WNBA Draft and subsequently in the 2000 Expansion Draft by Indiana Fever.

Wolters was traded to the Sacramento Monarchs for the 14th pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft on April 11, 2001. Wolters continued to play for the Monarchs until May 20, 2003, when she was released.[11]

In her four-year WNBA career, Wolters averaged 50 percent in field goal shooting, 75 percent in free throw shooting, 3.2 rebounds per game, and 6.5 points per game.


Wolters was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic women's basketball team during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

She ranks second among all-time USA World Championship competitors for the most blocked shots (11).

Wolters is one of only 12 women to receive a Gold Medal in the Olympics, an NCAA championship, and a WNBA Championship. The others are Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Brittney Griner, Maya Moore, Candace Parker, Ruth Riley, Breanna Stewart, Sheryl Swoopes, and Diana Taurasi.

Honors and awards

USA Basketball notes

USA Basketball records

Collegiate notes

University of Connecticut statistics

Kara Wolters Statistics[12] at University of Connecticut
1993–94 33 168 264 0.636 0 0 0 29 57 0.509 159 4.8 9 54 75 12 511 365 11.1
1994–95 33 222 354 0.627 0 0 0 59 89 0.663 204 6.2 38 60 94 13 761 503 15.2
1995–96 37 306 486 0.630 0 0 0 82 142 0.577 291 7.9 37 103 105 14 978 694 18.8
1996–97 34 251 403 0.623 0 0 0 77 135 0.57 273 8.0 46 78 96 12 894 579 17.0
Totals 137 947 1507 0.628 0 0 0 247 423 0.584 927 6.8 130 295 370 51 3144 2141 15.6

See also


  1. ^ a b Gelin, Dana (November 27, 1995). "Center Stage Kara Wolters, A Testament To The Power Of Self-Improvement, Is The New Player To Watch At Uconn". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  2. ^ "1967 NBA Draft".
  3. ^ "WNBA.com: Kara Wolters Playerfile". WNBA.com. WNBA Enterprises, LLC. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "Kara Wolters - College Player - Inducted 2008". ctwomensbasketballhalloffame.com. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  5. ^ "Charities". Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  6. ^ Altavilla, John (March 15, 2015). "Wolters Was The Strength, And Personality, Of The 1995 Champs". Hartford Courant. Tribune Company. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  7. ^ "Women's Basketball 1995 National Championship Team to be Recognized as "Huskies of Honor"". Archived from the original on February 7, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2009.
  8. ^ "1996 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  9. ^ "Eighteenth World University Games – 1993". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  10. ^ "Thirteenth World Championship For Women – 1998". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "Monarchs Say Goodbye to Veteran Kara Wolters". Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  12. ^ "UConn Media Guide" (PDF). p. 148. Retrieved June 10, 2009.

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