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The Jock Box: L.A. Sparks' Tina Thompson

The Jock Box: L.A. Sparks' Tina Thompson

Every week I slave over a mouse, keypad and double whatever and tonic to bring you the “Jock’s Box”: A quick look at women athletes that have caught my eye for one reason or another. This week it’s Tina Thompson, forward for the L.A. Sparks.

Every week I slave over a mouse, keypad and double whatever and tonic to bring you the “Jock’s Box”: A quick look at women athletes that have caught my eye for one reason or another. This week it’s Tina Thompson, forward for the L.A. Sparks.

Sparks has just surpassed Lisa Leslie for the all-time leading scorer in the WNBA. (Don’t feel too sorry for Lisa—she was just given the honor of having her #9 jersey retired. She’s also talking about joining the TNT team as a sports analyst…

…but we’re here to talk about #32 Tina.

She was the first draft pick in the history of the WNBA and is the last of the original WNBA players. She’s won Olympic gold twice (2004 and 2008), is an eight-time All-WNBA select, and has also been named to the ALL-Decade team. She also has four championships playing with the Houston Comets.

The L.A. Sparks have been struggling with the playoffs looming close, but Tina was one player that shined with this personal victory. She scored her record-breaking shot on a 16-ft jumper: Shot number 6,264. The crowd let out a roar--they instantly knew what had happened—but Thompson took a while to come around.

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“I heard them cheer, but I didn’t hear the announcement. I rarely hear stuff that goes on outside of what we talk about. I mean, I assumed that I did because my teammates started giving me high fives, but I didn’t actually hear what was said. I don’t keep score of my points during a game, that’s kind of…psycho.”

When asked to give a word to future WNBA all-time scoring champions everywhere, she had this to say. “Continue to work hard, be consistent, and put the effort in. I think that with all hard work, you’ll get positive results. Little girls, always play with boys. They make you tougher.”

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Helen Wortham