Sheryl Swoopes Bio And Facts

Sheryl Swoopes

Sheryl Denise Swoopes, or Sheryl Swoopes was born on March 25, 1971 in Brownfield, Texas. Swoopes was an incredibly talented and dedicated American basketball player who played on the Houston Comets. In 1991, Swoopes was named the 1991 National Junior College Player of the Year and then transferred to Texas Tech University. Swoopes won the National Player of the year award during her senior season and also helped lead her team, the Lady Raiders, to the 1993 National Collegiate Athletic Association national championship. During this game, Swoopes also set the record for the most points scored in the title game, with 47 points total. Swoopes later went on to join the Houston Comets before the Women’s National Basketball Association's inaugural campaign in ‘97 and helped lead the Comets to victory to win the WNBA title. Swoopes was an incredible defensive player and led the league in steals per game as well.

  • Birthday: March 25, 1971 (25-03-1971)
  • Education: South Plains College, Texas Tech University
  • Net Worth: $200,000
  • Occupation: Basketball player
  • Height: 6’0” (1.83 m)
  • Weight: 145 lbs (65.77 kgs)
  • Position: Forward
  • Years Active: 14
  • Nicknames: Female Michael Jordan
  • Teams: Houston Comets

Basketball Career

In 1991 Sheryl Swoopes was named the national junior college player of the year and transferred to Texas Tech University. While at Texas Tech, Swoopes won the National Player of the Year award in her senior season and helped lead the team to the 1993 National Collegiate Athletic Association national championship. Sheryl Swoopes joined the Houston Comets and helped the team win the ‘97 WNBA title. Swoopes and the Comets would later win three additional championships during the next three years, ending in 2000.

A back injury limited Swoopes appearances in just three games during the 2007 season and during 2008 Swoopes joined the Seattle Storm, but was released during the end of the season. In 2010, Swoopes played with the Greek team Esperides and later would join the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock in 2011. Swoopes stopped playing professional basketball and returned to work as director of player development in 2017 for the Texas Tech University women’s basketball team before being named assistant coach.

Titles and Awards

During her 14 year career, Sheryl Swoopes was recognized and earned her fair share of titles while being one of the most famous and talented professional women basketball players. During Sheryl Swoopes’ time as a part of the Houston Comets, she won the league’s Most Valuable Player award and the Defensive Player of the Year award in the year 2000. Sheryl would later win both of those awards again in the year 2002. 

In the year 2003, Swoopes would be recognized again for her incredible defensive skills and win the Defensive Player of the Year after she led the league in steals per game. In 2005, Sheryl became the league’s first three-time Most Valuable Player, for her incredible defensive and offensive skills. 

Swoopes was a five-time All-WNBA first-team selection, and won three Olympic gold medals as a member of the US women’s basketball team in 1996, 2000, and 2004. Finally in 2016, Swoopes was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Personal Life

Sheryl Swoopes was born in Brownfield, Texas on March 25, 1971 to her single mother, Louise Swoopes. Sheryl always had a passion for basketball and would play with her brothers frequently until she joined her high school basketball team. Swoopes was nicknamed the female Michael Jordan because of how amazing she was at basketball and for what an incredible team player she was as well.

In 1995, Swoopes married her high school sweetheart, Eric Jackson, but the two later divorced in 1999; together they had one child, Jordan Eric Jackson. In 2005, Swoopes made national news when she revealed that she was bisexual. In 2013, Swoopes became head coach of the Loyola University of Chicago women’s basketball team, but was later fired because of allegations that she mistreated her players. Later in 2017, Sheryl married Chris Unclesho and has been married ever since.

Fun Facts

  • Sheryl was named the National Junior College Player of the Year in 1991
  • Sheryl created her own shoe line named Air Swoopes
  • Swoopes is a huge fan of R&B music
  • Sheryl was one of the first prominent North American athletes to come out as bisexual in the year 2005
  • Texas Tech won their first National Championship when Sheryl was recruited onto their team
  • At the 1993 NCAA playoffs, Sheryl broke the WNBA playoff record by netting in 47 points versus the previous record of 28
  • Sheryl’s jersey has been retired twice now, at her first college, South Plains college, and at Texas Tech University
  • During her short but legendary two seasons at South Plains College, Sheryl set 15 school records
  • Sheryl has won championships in high school, college, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and in the Olympics
  • Sheryl represented the United States at the 2002 and 2006 World Championships, winning gold in 2002 and bronze in 2006


Why is Sheryl Swoopes nicknamed “female Michael Jordan?”

Sheryl Swoopes was nicknamed the “female Michael Jordan” because of her incredible offensive and defensive skills on the court, along with the incredible team connection she harbored wherever she went. Sheryl Swoopes is known for setting dozens of records within the Women’s National Basketball Association, just like Michael Jordan, making her nickname a perfect fit.

Was Sheryl Swoopes an Olympian?

Sheryl Swoopes did go to the Olympics three separate times during her 14 year long professional basketball career in the Women’s National Basketball League. In 1996, Swoopes traveled to Atlanta for basketball and played 8 games and won every game, winning her team the gold. In 2000 Swoopes traveled to the Sydney Olympics and also won the gold medal there along with earning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Why was Sheryl Swoopes number retired

Sheryl Swoopes' number was retired because of the incredible legacy she left behind at her high school, college, and university. Swoopes played as number 22 and that number has been retired from Brownfield High School, South Plains College, and Texas Tech University in order to honor Swoopes and all of the records and incredible moments she brought to each team during her time on the basketball teams.

When did Sheryl Swoopes retire?

After her 14 year long career, starting in 1997, Swoopes decided to retire from the life of professional basketball in 2011. After her professional athletic career ended, Swoopes became the head coach of the Loyola University of Chicago women’s basketball team in 2013, but was later fired in 2016. In 2017, Swoopes returned to Texas Tech University to serve as director of player development for the women’s basketball team before being named an assistant coach.