Teresa Gaye Weatherspoon (born December 8, 1965) is a retired American basketball player who 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. 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.
Weatherspoon coaching for Louisiana Tech in 2012
|New Orleans Pelicans|
|Position||Player development coach|
|Born||December 8, 1965|
|College||Louisiana Tech (1984–1988)|
|1997–2003||New York Liberty|
|2004||Los Angeles Sparks|
|Career highlights and awards|
Playing and coaching careerEdit
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. That moment would later be referred to as "The Shot". 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. 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.
Louisiana Tech 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|
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.
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 out the game away, and ended up winning the gold medal with a score of 108–88.
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.
Awards and honorsEdit
Head coaching recordEdit
|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|
|Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (Conference USA) (2013–2014)|
Postseason invitational champion
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 Arizona Cardinals 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.
- WNBA #2 all-time in career assists
- Led the New York Liberty to the first ever WNBA Finals in 1997 and again in 1999
- Started in the first five WNBA All-Star games (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,& 2003 )
- All WNBA Second Team (1997, 1998, 1999, & 2000)
- WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (1997 & 1998)
- Hit a memorable court to court shot to tie the WNBA Finals series with the Houston Comets in 1999
- Started all her WNBA games up until the 2003 season
- Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Class of 2019 
WNBA career statisticsEdit
|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 high||League leader|
|Career||8 years, 2 teams||254||220||28.1||.411||.281||.658||3.1||5.3||1.8||0.1||2.37||5.0|
|Career||6 years, 2 teams||31||29||31.6||.382||.282||.744||3.3||6.0||1.5||0.0||2.13||5.5|
Awards and honorsEdit
As a basketball player:
- 1986 World Championships Gold Medalist (with Team USA)
- 1986 Goodwill Games Gold Medalist (with Team USA)
- 1987 World University Games Gold Medalist (with Team USA)
- 1988 Olympic Games Gold Medalist (with Team USA)
- 1992 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist (with Team USA)
- 1988 Wade Trophy
- 2010 Weatherspoon was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2010.
- 2010 Inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
- 2011 Inducted into the New York Liberty Ring of Honor
- 2011 Named One of Top 15 WNBA Players of All-Time
- 2019 Naismith Memorial Basketball HOFer
As head coach of Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters:
- "No. 1 playoff moment in WNBA history". espnW.
- "September 4, 1999: Teresa Weatherspoon Drains "The Shot"". WNBA.com – Official Site of the WNBA.
- "WNBA.com: AllStar 2011". www.wnba.com.
- "Pelicans add AJ Diggs and Naismith Hall of Fame Inductee Teresa Weatherspoon to coaching staff". NBA.com. September 26, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
- "Women's Basketball Finest" (PDF). fs.ncaa.org. Retrieved 2017-10-03.
- "First Women's Goodwill Games – 1986". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Tenth World Championship For Women – 1986". USA Basketball. August 14, 2013. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "Fourteenth World University Games – 1993". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- "2018–19 Women's Basketball Roster". LA Tech Athletics.
- "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014.
- "Lobo: I'm just 1st of many Huskies heading to Hall". Fox Sports. Jun 11, 2010. Archived from the original on 28 April 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- "Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 1 Jul 2014.