|Rutgers Scarlet Knights|
|Born||December 17, 1971|
|Listed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Listed weight||158 lb (72 kg)|
|2005||San Antonio Stars|
|2006–2008||Western Kentucky (assistant)|
|2008–2017||South Carolina (assistant)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at WNBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Women's Basketball Hall of Fame|
Nikki Kesangane McCray-Penson (born December 17, 1971) is the former head coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs women's basketball team and a former professional women's basketball player. She played in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) for eight seasons. In 2008 after leaving the WNBA, McCray joined the coaching staff as an assistant coach for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. McCray-Penson was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
A 5-foot-11-inch (1.80 m) guard from the University of Tennessee, McCray was a member of the Washington Mystics, the Indiana Fever, the Phoenix Mercury, the San Antonio Silver Stars, and the Chicago Sky. She was named to three WNBA All-Star teams (in 1999, 2000, and 2001) and scored 2,550 career points. Prior to joining the WNBA in 1998, she was a star in the now-defunct American Basketball League. While playing in the American Basketball League, McCray was named Most Valuable Player for the 1996–97 season.
McCray has also played basketball at the international level. She won gold medals at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics, and she participated on America's 1998 FIBA World Championship team. She made a name for herself in women's basketball as a world class defender by shutting down a number of the world's best players.
In 2000, she was named a member of the President's Fitness Council, and was also chosen for the 2000 USA Olympic basketball team.
Previously McCray was an assistant coach at University of South Carolina. She made a new home for herself at the University of South Carolina with a former teammate as head coach, Dawn Staley. Staley said about McCray: "Nikki is hungry for success, and that comes from playing at Tennessee where the coach never settles for anything less than being number one at whatever she's doing. That mentality is instilled in Nikki, and I want people around me like that. She is energetic, confident and engaging – all qualities that you need when you're coaching and recruiting. We spent two Olympic Games together and have shared being successful in the very best arena there is to test yourself." She resigned as head coach at Mississippi State in October, 2021 citing health reasons.
In addition to her career on the court, McCray also created a name for herself in the realm of community service. In the year 2000 Nikki McCray was hand-picked by President Bill Clinton to be made a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
In 1999 The Library of Congress selected Nikki McCray to be the keynote speaker for the Women's History Month Address. "We are pleased to have Ms. McCray with us to kick-off our month long celebration of women's history," said Federal Women's Program Manager Jean Parker. "As an employee of the first women's professional basketball team in the nation's capital and through her community service, Ms. McCray is a wonderful role model for young people."
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|Old Dominion Lady Monarchs (Conference USA) (2017–2020)|
|2018–19||Old Dominion||21–10||10–6||5th||WNIT First Round|
|2019–20||Old Dominion||24–6||14–4||2nd||Postseason not held|
|Old Dominion:||53–39 (.576)||30–20 (.600)|
|Mississippi State Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (2020–2021)|
|Mississippi State:||10–9 (.526)||5–7 (.417)|
Postseason invitational champion