Teresa Weatherspoon
Weatherspoon introduction as Chicago Sky head coach, 2023
Chicago Sky
PositionHead coach
LeagueWNBA
Personal information
Born (1965-12-08) December 8, 1965 (age 58)
Pineland, Texas, U.S.
Listed height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Listed weight161 lb (73 kg)
Career information
High schoolWest Sabine (Pineland, Texas)
CollegeLouisiana Tech (1984–1988)
Playing career1988–2004
PositionGuard
Number11
Coaching career2007–present
Career history
As player:
1988–1992Busto Arsizio
1992–1993Magenta
1993–1994Como
1994–1996CSKA Moscow
1997–2003New York Liberty
2004Los Angeles Sparks
As coach:
2007–2008Westchester Phantoms
2008–2009Louisiana Tech (associate head coach)
2009–2014Louisiana Tech (Head coach)
20202023New Orleans Pelicans (assistant coach)
2023–presentChicago Sky (Head coach)
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Overall record99–71
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Medals
Women's Basketball
Representing  United States
FIBA World Championship for Women
Gold medal – first place 1986 Moscow Team Competition
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul Team Competition
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Barcelona Team Competition

Teresa Gaye Weatherspoon (born December 8, 1965) is an American professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach of the Chicago Sky[1] of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played for the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA and served as the head basketball coach of the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters. Weatherspoon was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.[2] In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. In 2016, Weatherspoon was chosen to the WNBA Top 20@20, a list of the league's best 20 players ever in celebration of the WNBA's twentieth anniversary.

Playing and coaching career

Born in Pineland, Texas, Weatherspoon was a health and physical education major and star basketball player at Louisiana Tech. In 1988, her senior season, she led the Lady Techsters to the NCAA national title. After college, Weatherspoon played overseas in Italy, France and Russia for 8 years.

WNBA

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. Her debut game was played on June 21, 1997 in a 67 - 57 win over the Los Angeles Sparks. In her first game, Weatherspoon recorded 3 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists (the first player in WNBA history to record double-digit assists in a game).[3] A talented ball-handler and charismatic leader, her energetic play quickly endeared her to the fans and media in New York. The Liberty reached the first WNBA finals, but fell short to the Houston Comets. Weatherspoon was the first winner of the league's Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The Liberty finished the 1998 season 18 - 12 behind Weatherspoon's averages of 6.8 points, 4 rebounds and 6.4 assists. However, the team missed the playoffs. Weatherspoon would win the Defensive Player of the Year Award again in 1998 becoming the first back to back recipient of the award.

Having a similar productive season with the Liberty in 1999 (in addition to being selected as a 1999 All-Star), Weatherspoon and the team were able to make it back to the Finals with an 18 - 14 record. During the 1999 WNBA Finals, Weatherspoon had one of the most memorable feats in WNBA history; in Game 2 on September 4, 1999 the Liberty were down 67–65 against the Houston Comets with no timeouts left and 2.4 seconds left on the game clock after a shot made by Tina Thompson. After receiving the inbound pass, Weatherspoon dribbled the ball up to half court and made a game-winning shot 50 feet away from the basket to force a Game 3.[4] That moment would later be referred to as "The Shot".[5]

From 2000 to 2003, Weatherspoon would make the All-Star Team every year and have the same productivity throughout the years with no drastic dip in her scoring or rebounding abilities, showing her reliance and toughness to the organization. The Liberty would make the Finals in 2000 and 2002 (making it 4 final appearances for Weatherspoon and the team) but unfortunately lost the Finals both times. Being swept by the Comets in 2000 and being swept by the Sparks in 2002.

The 2003 season would be the first time the Liberty had a losing record, as they finished the season 16 - 18 and missed the playoffs for only the 2nd time in 6 years. Weatherspoon also had the distinction of being the only WNBA player to start every one of her games until the 2004 season. From 1997 to 2003, she played in 220 games and started in every one of them.

Weatherspoon would finally say goodbye to her time with the Liberty, as for the 2004 season, she would not resign with the team and instead signed with the Sparks on February 4, 2004.[6] Her time with the Sparks saw a strong change in Weatherspoon's role on a team, as she would finally come off the bench for the first time in her career and play an average of only 8.6 minutes per game (after averaging 31.1 on the Liberty). The Sparks finished 25 - 9 but would not make the Finals, as they were eliminated in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.

Weatherspoon's final WNBA game ever was Game 2 of the 2004 Western Conference First Round on September 26, 2004 against the Sacramento Monarchs. The Sparks won the game 71 – 57 and evened the series 1 – 1 with Weatherspoon recording 2 rebounds in 3 minutes. However, Weatherspoon did not play in Game 3 and the Sparks lost that game 58 – 73 and were eliminated from the playoffs.[7] After her 2004 season with the Sparks, Weatherspoon retired.

Coaching Career

In 2007 Weatherspoon was the head coach of the Westchester Phantoms of the American Basketball Association. In April 2008 she joined the coaching staff of the Lady Techsters of Louisiana Tech. On February 9, 2009, she was promoted to interim head coach to replace former head coach Chris Long. April 2, 2009 saw Louisiana Tech shed the interim label and name Teresa head women's basketball coach. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in the fifteen-year history of the WNBA.[8] In 2016, Weatherspoon was named in the WNBA Top 20@20. On September 26, 2019, Weatherspoon was named two-way player development coach for the New Orleans Pelicans.[9] Weatherspoon was later promoted to a full-time assistant coach for the Pelicans on November 16, 2020.[10] The Pelicans released Weatherspoon from the coaching staff in June 2023.[11]

On October 12, 2023, Weatherspoon was hired to be the Head Coach of the Chicago Sky of the WNBA.[12]

National team career

Weatherspoon was selected to represent the US at the inaugural Goodwill games, held in Moscow in July 1986. North Carolina State's Kay Yow served as head coach. The team opened up with a 72–53 of Yugoslavia, and followed that with a 21-point win over Brazil 91–70. The third game was against Czechoslovakia and would be much closer, ending in a 78–70 victory. The USA faced Bulgaria in the semi-final match up, and again won, this time 67–58. This set up the final against the Soviet Union, led by 7-foot-2 Ivilana Semenova, considered the most dominant player in the world. The Soviet team, had a 152–2 record in major international competition over the prior three decades, including an 84–82 win over the US in the 1983 World Championships. The Soviets held the early edge, leading 21–19 at one time, before the USA went on a scoring run to take a large lead they would never relinquish. The final score was 83–60 in favor of the US, earning the gold medal for the USA squad. For the entire event, Teresa Gaye Weatherspoon averaged 1.6 points per game.[13]

Weatherspoon continued with the National team at the 1986 World Championship, held in Moscow, a month after the Goodwill games in Moscow, although she was injured and unable to play. The USA team was even more dominant this time. The early games were won easily, and the semifinal against Canada, while the closest game for the USA so far, ended up an 82–59 victory. At the same time, the Soviet team was winning easily as well, and the final game pitted two teams each with 6–0 records. The Soviet team, having lost only once at home, wanted to show that the Goodwill games setback was a fluke. The USA team started by scoring the first eight points, and raced to a 45–23 lead, although the Soviets fought back and reduced the halftime margin to 13. The USA went on a 15–1 run in the second half to put the game away, and ended up winning the gold medal with a score of 108–88.[14]

Weatherspoon was selected to be a member of the team representing the US at the 1987 World University Games held in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. The USA team won four of the five contests. After winning their first two games against Poland and Finland, the USA faced the host team Yugoslavia. The game went to overtime, but Yugoslavia prevailed, 93–89. The USA faced China in the next game. They won 84–83, but they needed to win by at least five points to remain in medal contention. They won the final game against Canada to secure fifth place. Weatherspoon averaged 8.6 points per games. She recorded 21 steals over the course of the event, tied for first place on the team.[15]

Head coaching record

Weatherspoon coaching for Louisiana Tech in 2012
Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (Western Athletic Conference) (2009–2013)
2008–09 Louisiana Tech 9–2 8–0 T–1st WNIT Second Round
2009–10 Louisiana Tech 23–9 11–5 2nd NCAA First Round
2010–11 Louisiana Tech 24–8 15–1 1st NCAA First Round
2011–12 Louisiana Tech 17–15 8–6 3rd
2012–13 Louisiana Tech 14–17 9–9 5th
Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (Conference USA) (2013–2014)
2013–14 Louisiana Tech 12–20 5–11 14th
Louisiana Tech: 99–71 56–32
Total: 99–71

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Personal life

Weatherspoon was born to Charles and Rowena Weatherspoon in Pineland, Texas. Her father, Charles Sr., played minor league baseball in the Minnesota Twins' farm system, and holds the record for the most grand slams (3) in a minor league game. Weatherspoon has two brothers and three sisters. She credits her family, especially her mother Rowena Weatherspoon, as the biggest influence on her basketball career. Her fans call her by her nicknames "T-Spoon" or "Spoon". She and former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon are second cousins.

In 1999, she published a book titled Teresa Weatherspoon's Basketball for Girls, filled with anecdotes and advice on improving basketball skills for young girls.

Career highlights

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career best ° League leader

WNBA

WNBA record

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
1997 New York 28 28 33.0 .467 .086 .650 4.1 6.2° 3.0° .1 3.4 7.0
1998 New York 30 30 33.4 .388 .327 .609 4.0 6.4 3.3 .0 3.2 6.8
1999 New York 32 32 33.9 .421 .378 .679 3.3 6.4 2.4 .1 2.5 7.2
2000 New York 32 32 33.7 .438 .250 .741 3.4 6.4 2.0 .2 2.7 6.4
2001 New York 32 32 30.4 .431 .385 .671 3.7 6.3 1.7 .1 2.5 6.5
2002 New York 32 32 29.8 .342 .100 .519 2.7 5.7 1.3 .1 2.4 3.4
2003 New York 34 34 24.2 .385 .000 .750 2.9 4.4 .8 .1 1.8 2.9
2004 Los Angeles 34 0 8.6 .320 .333 .9 .9 .4 .0 .8 .5
Career 254 220 28.1 .411 .281 .658 3.1 5.3 1.8 .1 2.4 5.0

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
1997 New York 2 2 37.5 .500 .000 .000 1.5 5.0 2.0 .0 6.0 5.0
1999 New York 6 6 33.8 .452 .368 .750 3.5 7.5° 1.0 .0 2.0 8.5
2000 New York 7 7 36.1 .353 .200 .636 2.7 7.0° 2.7 .0 2.9 4.6
2001 New York 6 6 33.0 .211 .273 1.000 3.7 4.7 1.2 .0 .8 3.8
2002 New York 8 8 30.1 .475 .000 .833 4.4 6.6 1.0 .0 1.8 6.6
2004 Los Angeles 2 0 5.0 .000 .000 .000 1.0 .5 .5 .0 1.5 .0
Career 31 29 31.6 .382 .282 .744 3.3 6.0 1.5 .0 2.1 5.5

College

Source[17]

Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1985 Louisiana Tech 33 195 51.4% NA 51.0% 3.8 7.2 NA NA 5.9
1986 Louisiana Tech 32 281 48.7% NA 54.5% 3.9 7.9 NA NA 8.8
1987 Louisiana Tech 33 311 52.1% NA 70.5% 4.2 8.2 NA NA 9.4
1988 Louisiana Tech 33 300 47.8% 35.7% 64.0% 4.4 6.0 3.1 0.3 9.1
Career 131 1087 49.8% 35.7% 59.6% 4.1 7.3 0.8 0.1 8.3

Awards and honors

As a basketball player:

As head coach of Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters:

See also

References

  1. ^ Costabile, Annie (October 10, 2023). "Sky hire Teresa Weatherspoon as coach". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 11, 2023.
  2. ^ Kaskey-Blomain, Michael (September 6, 2019). "2019 Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Vlade Divac thanks Jerry West; Teresa Weatherspoon gives epic speech". CBSSports.com. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  3. ^ https://www.basketball-reference.com/wnba/boxscores/199706210LAS.html
  4. ^ "No. 1 playoff moment in WNBA history". espnW. September 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "September 4, 1999: Teresa Weatherspoon Drains "The Shot"". WNBA.com – Official Site of the WNBA.
  6. ^ https://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/sparks-sign-wnba-veteran-teresa-weatherspoon/n-2999558
  7. ^ "Sacramento Monarchs at Los Angeles Sparks, September 26, 2004".
  8. ^ "WNBA.com: AllStar 2011". www.wnba.com.
  9. ^ "Pelicans add AJ Diggs and Naismith Hall of Fame Inductee Teresa Weatherspoon to coaching staff". NBA.com. September 26, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "Pelicans announce 2020–21 coaching staff". NBA.com. November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Lopez, Andrew (June 15, 2023). "Teresa Weatherspoon no longer on Pelicans staff". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  12. ^ "Chicago Sky Hire Teresa Weatherspoon as Head Coach". sky.wnba.com. WNBA. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  13. ^ "First Women's Goodwill Games – 1986". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  14. ^ "Tenth World Championship For Women – 1986". USA Basketball. August 14, 2013. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  15. ^ "Fourteenth World University Games – 1993". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Kaskey-Blomain, Michael (September 9, 2019). "2019 Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony: Vlade Divac thanks Jerry West; Teresa Weatherspoon gives epic speech". CBSSports.com. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  17. ^ "Women's Basketball Finest" (PDF). fs.ncaa.org. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  18. ^ "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  19. ^ "Past Honda Sports Award Winners for Basketball". The Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  20. ^ "Sophia Young a Honda Award Finalist". Baylor University Athletics. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  21. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". The Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  22. ^ "2018–19 Women's Basketball Roster". LA Tech Athletics.
  23. ^ "Lobo: I'm just 1st of many Huskies heading to Hall". Fox Sports. June 11, 2010. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  24. ^ "TSHOF to induct Olympian Teresa Weatherspoon". Texas Sports Hall of Fame. March 2, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  25. ^ "Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved July 1, 2014.