Today in Sports History: October 23

By Veronica An

Sheryl Swoopes became the first woman signed by Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 1996. The Comets signed her for their inaugural season after she played for the USA national team in the 1996 World Championship in Sydney, Australia. Swoopes also gained attention as the first woman signed by Nike to design a basketball shoe. The Air Swoopes debuted shortly before the 1996 Olympic games. Swoopes led the Comets to the 1997 Championship plus three more back-to-back championships only six weeks after giving birth to her son. Swoopes won MVP three times (2000, 2002, 2003) and accumulated over 2,000 career points, 500 career rebounds, 300 career assists and 200 career steals with the Comets. In 2011, she was recognized as one of the 15 greatest players in league history during the 2011 All-Star Game.

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