Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens will soon be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the 2020 class, and a pair of WNBA legends were nominated for induction in 2021. Yet, plenty more women’s basketball nominees still await the call.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is set this May to induct its Class of 2020, including WNBA legend Tamika Catchings and women’s basketball coaching greats Kim Mulkey and Barbara Stevens. The Hall also recently revealed its 2021 nominees, which include two more WNBA superstars of yesteryear as first-timers: Lauren Jackson and Yolanda Griffith.
Alongside Jackson and Griffith are several other women who have been nominated previously, but have yet to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Don’t forget about these women. Their time is coming — for some, sooner rather than later — and their résumés are filled with excellence, in playing and in coaching, on and off the court.
Hammon is currently an assistant coach for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs — a position she has held since 2014 — and recently made headlines when she became the first woman to act as head coach during an NBA regular-season game.
Women’s basketball fans, however, likely still associate Hammon with her long and prosperous WNBA career. An undrafted guard out of Colorado State, Hammon played 16 years in the league and earned six All-Star appearances during her time with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars.
The current vice president of basketball operations and team development for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, Cash retired from the WNBA in 2016 as one of the most decorated players in women’s basketball history. She won a pair of national championships collegiately with the Connecticut Huskies before moving to the pros, where she won three more championships — two with the Detroit Shock (2003, 2006) and one with the Seattle Storm (2010).
Cash’s resume also includes her extensive time as a member of USA Basketball. She won gold medals in both the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics, as well as gold in the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
During her 15-year WNBA career, Cash scored 5,119 points (20th in WNBA history) and pulled down 2,521 rebounds (12th). She was named to four All-Star teams; in 2011, she was named to the WNBA All-Defensive Team.
A graduate of Stanford University, Azzi played four years for the Cardinal, averaging 6.2 assists per game and leading Stanford to a national championship in 1990, when she also won the Wade Trophy and Naismith Player of the Year honors. From there, Azzi became a household name with USA Basketball, winning gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and two FIBA World Championships (1990 Malaysia, 1998 Germany).
Professionally, Azzi played three years in the American Basketball League (ABL) before it folded in 1998. She then moved onto the WNBA, where she played for the Detroit Shock and Utah Starzz (which later relocated and rebranded as the San Antonio Silver Stars).
Azzi was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. She also coached the San Francisco Dons from 2010 to 2016, going 21-12 and reaching the NCAA Tournament in her final season.
Stanley has been coaching women’s basketball at various levels for over 40 years. She got her first head coaching gig soon after graduating as a player from Immaculata University, leading the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs from 1977 to 1987. Old Dominion reached the NCAA Tournament Final Four three times and won a national championship in 1985 under Stanley’s guidance.
Stanley later held head coaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California and the University of California. She was named head coach of the Washington Mystics in 2002 — the same year she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame — winning WNBA Coach of the Year honors in her first season.
After holding assistant coaching positions with the New York Liberty, Rutgers University, the Los Angeles Sparks and again with the Mystics, Stanley returned to the WNBA head coaching ranks in 2019 when she was tabbed to lead the Indiana Fever.