WNBA all-star Sheryl Swoopes to speak here Thursday evening

Sheryl Swoopes, three-time Olympic gold medalist and Women’s National Basketball Association all-star, will discuss “Dedication and Determination: The Keys to Success” in an 8:30 p.m. lecture Thursday, Feb. 7, in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

The talk is sponsored by St. Thomas’ University Lectures Committee.

Sheryl Swoopes

The talk is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required; however, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 8:15 p.m. The lecture will include a question-and-answer session.

Considered by many to have raised the profile of women’s basketball, Swoopes found opportunities to be lacking for female basketball players when she began her career in the early ’90s.

Since she became the first player to be signed by the WNBA in 1996, Swoopes often has been called “the female Michael Jordan.” Like Jordan, she had a Nike shoe, the Air Swoopes, named after her.

A college basketball standout, Swoopes first garnered national attention when she became the only player – male or female – to score 47 points in a collegiate national championship game. Swoopes played for Texas Tech University until she graduated in 1993.

Swoopes is a forward for the Houston Comets and has been with the team since their inaugural season in 1997. Throughout her career, Swoopes has earned numerous accolades, including the 2002 WNBA Player of the Year Award, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards in 2000, 2002 and 2003, and three Olympic gold medals in 1996, 2000 and 2004. She also was a regular season MVP in 2000, 2002 and 2003.

Off court, Swoopes established the Sheryl Swoopes Foundation for Youth, an organization that educates and empowers youth. She also serves on the advisory board for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and on the advisory council for the Talbots Foundation. She lives in Houston, Texas.

For more information about Swoopes’ talk, call Jese Ledbetter, (651) 962-6134.