Michele Van Gorp

Michele Van Gorp (born May 10, 1977) is a former professional basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), most recently with the Minnesota Lynx.

Michele Van Gorp
Personal information
Born (1977-05-10) May 10, 1977 (age 45)
Mount Clemens, Michigan
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight187 lb (85 kg)
Career information
High schoolChippewa Valley
(Clinton Charter Township, Michigan)
WNBA draft1999 / Round: 2 / Pick: 18th overall
Selected by the New York Liberty
Playing career1999–2004
Career history
1999New York Liberty
2000Portland Fire
2001–2004Minnesota Lynx
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Women’s Basketball
Representing  United States
Jones Cup
Silver medal – second place 1997 Taipei, Taiwan Team Competition

Early careerEdit

After attending Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township, Michigan, Van Gorp played collegiate basketball at Purdue University during her freshman and sophomore years, but transferred to Duke University alongside Nicole Erickson for her junior and senior years. She was the tallest woman to suit up in a Duke uniform. She led Duke to the school's first NCAA final, which took place in San Jose, and in which the Blue Devils were beaten 62-45 by Purdue.[1] She was inducted to the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.

Purdue and Duke statisticsEdit


  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
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1994-95 Purdue 25 55 46.9% 0.0% 60.0% 1.8 0.2 0.1 0.2 2.2
1995-96 Purdue 31 226 60.6% 0.0% 68.1% 3.6 0.5 0.3 1.5 7.3
Career Purdue 56 281 57.4% 0.0% 66.1% 2.8 0.4 0.2 0.9 5.0
1997-98 Duke 32 333 56.2% 31.6% 68.4% 4.1 0.7 0.4 0.7 10.4
1998-99 Duke 36 610 62.0% 25.0% 60.1% 5.5 1.1 0.6 1.0 16.9
Career Duke 68 943 59.9% 29.6% 63.3% 4.8 0.9 0.5 0.9 13.9

USA BasketballEdit

Van Gorp competed with USA Basketball as a member of the 1997 Jones Cup Team that won the silver medal in Taipei. Several of the games were close, with the USA team winning four games by six points or fewer, including an overtime game in the semifinal match against Japan. The gold medal game against South Korea was also close, but the USA fell 76–71 to claim the silver medal for the event. Van Gorp was the leading scorer in the game against Thailand, with 19 points and averaged 6.3 points per game over the course of the tournament.[3]

WNBA careerEdit

The first Duke student athlete to be selected in the WNBA's draft in 1999, she was selected in the second round, being the 18th overall pick. Van Gorp was traded to Portland after her rookie season, where she improved her personal averages and gained confidence in her game. After only one year with the Portland Fire she was traded to the Minnesota Lynx alongside Lynn Pride. With the Lynx, Van Gorp gained recognition as one of the league's toughest defenders and an effective weapon to help "shut down" Margo Dydek.

She missed most of the 2004 season due to a stress fracture in her left foot that occurred during a practice session. Surgeons had to insert a screw into the navicular bone of her foot. Van Gorp's contract with the Lynx had expired after the 2004 WNBA season ended, but she was still too injured to play for the 2005 season.[1]

Van Gorp was one of the first WNBA athletes to disclose to the media that she was in a same-sex relationship during her playing career.[4]

International careerEdit

Van Gorp also played in Europe for the following teams:

After WNBAEdit

According to a December 1, 2005, news article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Van Gorp filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court against a member of the Lynx's medical staff and three other parties. The suit named Dr. Joel Boyd, the team's orthopedic surgeon; Dr. Fernando Pena; Fairview-University Medical Center; and Orthopaedic Center as defendants. Van Gorp was reported to be seeking at least $50,000 for negligence and loss of employment.

After leaving the WNBA, Van Gorp was reported to be the assistant coach of Glens Falls, New York high school girls basketball team.[citation needed] In June 2007, Colgate University in upstate New York announced that Van Gorp had been appointed as an assistant coach of its women's basketball team.[2].

Van Gorp currently works in recruiting with the Duke Women's Basketball program in Durham, NC, and is also taking business school coursework.[5]


  1. ^ Pennington, Bill (March 29, 1999). "Purdue Completes Transfer of Power". New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  2. ^ "Purdue Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  3. ^ "1997 Women's R. William Jones Cup". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  4. ^ Buzinski, Jim (July 13, 2004). "Van Gorp Out and Proud". Outsports. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  5. ^ "Michele Van Gorp Bio". Go Duke.com. Duke University Athletics. November 7, 2013. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2014.

External linksEdit