WNBA history is filled with some of the best, most accomplished athletes the world has ever seen. From the giants of the first-ever WNBA dynasty Houston Comets such as Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson, plus Kim Perrot, for whom the WNBA Sportsmanship Award was posthumously named, to A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart and the other standouts of today, determining the best 25 players in league history is not an easy task.
On Sunday (Sept. 5) during halftime of the hotly-awaited matchup between the Las Vegas Aces and the Chicago Sky on ABC, the league will announce those 25 best players, determined by a panel of former and current players, coaches and media members, including me. After broadcasters reveal the “25 @ 25,” fans will have the chance to “Vote for the GOAT” — the greatest of all time — after the game (beginning at 5 p.m. ET).
The voting process revealed something that rekindled my ire for the USA Basketball Selection Committee’s choice to omit Nneka Ogwumike from the Tokyo Olympic roster, bringing into sharper focus its brazen disrespect and audacious discrimination against a player who could be considered the best player in WNBA history according to the league’s own criteria.
In addition to “7 Reasons Nneka Ogwumike Could Be Considered the Best Ever,” we deliver to you a #HardScreen for the ages.
The Hard Screen
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Tamryn Spruill is an author and freelance journalist covering women’s basketball, with issues of gender, race and sexuality central to her reporting. She has followed the WNBA since its 1996 inception, and she is writing a book about its exciting history through the lens of the passionate, persevering and powerful (80% Black, many LGBTQ+-identifying) women who make the league up (ABRAMS 2022). She is represented by JL Stermer at New Leaf Literary & Media.
Spruill’s bylines include Harper’s BAZAAR, The New York Times, SLAM, ZORA, Teen Vogue, The Athletic and Swish Appeal, where she also has served as editor-in-chief since 2018 when hired as the first woman to hold that position.
She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Journalism (University of South Carolina) and a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Goddard College).