One of the most decorated players in women’s college and pro basketball will be on the sidelines at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum Wednesday night when the Sam Houston women play host to Texas Southern in a 6:30 p.m. non-conference contest.
Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is in her first season as head coach of the TSU women's basketball program.
The former college and WNBA pro star was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August, 13, 2010. Cooper-Dyke was an Olympic gold medalist and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Most Valuable Player.
She was a four-year standout at Southern California, playing on back-to-back NCAA championships in 1983 and 1984. She began her professional career overseas and played 10 seasons in Spain and Italy. She returned to the United States in 1997 to play with the Houston Comets of the newly-formed WNBA.
She subsequently led the Comets to four consecutive WNBA championships and was named WNBA Finals MVP four times. Cooper-Dyke was voted the league's MVP in 1997 and 1998 and was a four-time WNBA All-Star before retiring in 2000.
The young Tigers team brings a 1-6 record into Johnson Coliseum to face a Sam Houston team that stands 2-3.
The Bearkats are coming off a 78-50 victory over A&M-Commerce in the fifth annual “Pack-the-House” game that attracted a record crowd of more than 3800 fans last Friday.
Sam Houston’s senior trio of forwards Britni Martin and Sequeena Thomas and guard Chanice Smith each are averaging in double figures.
Martin leads the team with 16.6 points per game. Thomas boasts averages of 10.8 points and 12.2 rebounds. Smith is pouring in 10.6 points per contest.
For the Tigers, 6-1 forward Gianne Fleming is scoring 10.4 points per game while 5-9 guard Brijan Turner sports a 10.2 scoring mean.
Following the Texas Southern game, the Sam Houston women will begin a five-game road swing that starts with a trip to South Alabama Saturday.
Wednesday features a special Christmas toy drive. Fans may bring a new, unwrapped toy for donation to the sixth annual M.A.S.H. (Make a Smile Happen) presented by 101.7 KSAM, 104.9 The Hits & Margarita's Mexican Restaurant to support the Community Toy Drive.