Teresa Weatherspoon

Last updated

Teresa Weatherspoon
Teresa Weatherspoon at Maggie Dixon.jpg
Weatherspoon coaching for Louisiana Tech in 2012
New Orleans Pelicans
PositionAssistant coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1965-12-08) December 8, 1965 (age 56)
Pineland, Texas
Career information
College Louisiana Tech (1984–1988)
Playing career1988–2004
Position Guard
Number11
Coaching career2007–present
Career history
As player:
1988–1992Busto Arsizio
1992–1993Magenta
1993–1994 Como
1994–1996 CSKA Moscow
1997–2003 New York Liberty
2004 Los Angeles Sparks
As coach:
2007–2008 Westchester Phantoms
2008–2009 Louisiana Tech (assoc HC)
2009–2014Louisiana Tech
2020–present New Orleans Pelicans (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Overall record99–71
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Teresa Gaye Weatherspoon (born December 8, 1965) is an American professional basketball coach and former player who serves as assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). She played for the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (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. [1] 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.

Contents

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.

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. In 1997 she was the first winner of the league's Defensive Player of the Year Award. She won the title again in 1998. During the 1999 WNBA Finals, Weatherspoon had one of the most memorable feats in WNBA history; in Game 2, 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. [2] That moment would later be referred to as "The Shot". [3] Up until the 2003 season, she held the distinction of being the only WNBA player to start every one of her games. After the 2003 season, she was not re-signed by the Liberty and signed with the Los Angeles Sparks. After her 2004 season with the Sparks, Weatherspoon retired.

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. [4] 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. [5] Weatherspoon was later promoted to a full-time assistant coach for the Pelicans on November 16, 2020. [6]

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. [7]

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. [8]

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. [9]

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
SeasonTeamOverallConferenceStandingPostseason
Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (Western Athletic Conference)(2009–2013)
2008–09Louisiana Tech 9–28–0T–1st WNIT Second Round
2009–10Louisiana Tech 23–911–52nd NCAA First Round
2010–11Louisiana Tech 24–815–11st NCAA First Round
2011–12Louisiana Tech 17–158–63rd
2012–13Louisiana Tech 14–179–95th
Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (Conference USA)(2013–2014)
2013–14Louisiana Tech 12–205–1114th
Louisiana Tech:99–7156–32
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
  GPGames 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 high°League leader

WNBA

Double-dagger-14-plain.pngWNBA record

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGTOPPG
1997 New York 282833.0.467.086.6504.16.2°3.0°.13.47.0
1998 New York 303033.4.388.327.6094.06.43.3Double-dagger-14-plain.png.03.26.8
1999 New York 323233.9.421.378.6793.36.42.4.12.57.2
2000 New York 323233.7.438.250.7413.46.42.0.22.76.4
2001 New York 323230.4.431.385.6713.76.31.7.12.56.5
2002 New York 323229.8.342.100.5192.75.71.3.12.43.4
2003 New York 343424.2.385.000.7502.94.4.8.11.82.9
2004 Los Angeles 3408.6.320.333.9.9.4.0.8.5
Career25422028.1.411.281.6583.15.31.8.12.45.0

Playoffs

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGTOPPG
1997 New York 2237.5.500.000.0001.55.02.0.06.05.0
1999 New York 6633.8.452.368.7503.57.5°1.0.02.08.5
2000 New York 7736.1.353.200.6362.77.0°2.7.02.94.6
2001 New York 6633.0.211.2731.0003.74.71.2.0.83.8
2002 New York 8830.1.475.000.8334.46.61.0.01.86.6
2004 Los Angeles 205.0.000.000.0001.0.5.5.01.5.0
Career312931.6.382.282.7443.36.01.5.02.15.5

College

Source [11]

YearTeamGPPointsFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1985Louisiana Tech3319551.4%NA51.0%3.87.2NANA5.9
1986Louisiana Tech3228148.7%NA54.5%3.97.9NANA8.8
1987Louisiana Tech3331152.1%NA70.5%4.28.2NANA9.4
1988Louisiana Tech3330047.8%35.7%64.0%4.46.03.10.39.1
Career131108749.8%35.7%59.6%4.17.30.80.18.3

Awards and honors

As a basketball player:

As head coach of Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters:

See also

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References

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