Sometimes players choose specific jersey numbers and are even superstitious. In other cases, they just stick with what they are given. In either case, their numbers become part of their identity.
While we wait for the NCAA women’s basketball tournament Sweet 16 from 2021, which starts on Saturday, there’s some kind of numerology: a look at the best players on each of the 37 jersey numbers allowed in college hoops from AIAW and NCAA times are.
While there were different types of women’s basketball teams and competitions in the 20th century, the modern college game as we know it dates back to the late 1960s. The first AIAW tournament took place in 1972. 1982 had both the NCAA and AIAW tournaments, but from then on it was just the NCAA.
There are separate national record books for those who have spent all or most of their careers in either the AIAW or the NCAA, but individual schools generally combine both in their records. References to All-Americans made here specifically refer to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s annual teams of 10, which began in 1974-75.
Some very good players missed this list because their jersey number was so highly competitive. Even current players have achieved the grade – marked with (*).
00 | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4th | 5 | 10 | 11 | 12th | 13th | 14th | 15th | 20th | 21 | 22nd | 23 | 24 | 25th | 30th | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55
00. Ruth Riley, Notre Dame (1997-2001)
See also: * Naz Hillmon, Michigan as of 2018; Shawntinice Polk, Arizona 2002-05; Michelle Snow, Tennessee (1998-2002); Tracy Reid, North Carolina (1994-98); La’Keshia Frett, Georgia (1993-97); Sylvia Crawley, North Carolina (1990-94).
It’s not really a widely used number, but the biggest hit is with post players. Coach Muffet McGraw got lost in the grain fields trying to find Riley’s tiny Indiana town during the recruitment process. But the 6-foot-5 center found its way to South Bend, Indiana, and led the Irish to their first NCAA title of Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in 2001. She was the 2003 WNBA Finals MVP for Detroit and won Olympic gold in 2004. Crawley, part of Tar Heels’ 1994 NCAA title team, and Snow were centers too, and both could dive in. Polk, another center, died of a blood clot a few months before its busy season at the age of 22. Reid, a wing, helped North Carolina win three ACC tournament titles and was the WNBA’s first rookie of the year in 1998.
Hillmon, a junior striker, is the current Big Ten Player of the Year and Michigan’s first All-American Associated Press. Her mother, Na’Sheema Hillmon, wore the number 4 in Vanderbilt in the 1990s.
0. Odyssey Sims, Baylor (2010-2014)
See also: * Rennia Davis, Tennessee 2017-21; Satou Sabally, Oregon (2017-20); Mikayla Pivec, State of Oregon (2016-20); Chantel Osahor, Washington (2013-17); Olympia Scott, Stanford (1994-98).
Zero has been used more frequently in recent years. It went well with players like Sims, Scott, and Osahor, whose first or last name began with the letter “O”, and Sabally and Pivec, whose schools did so. A Guardian of the Atlanta Dream, Sims, along with center Brittney Griner, helped lead Baylor to a 40-0 championship season in 2012. As a senior in 2014, Sims averaged 28.5 PPG. Sabally helped Oregon get its first Women’s Final Four in 2019 and was Dallas’ number 2 on the 2020 WNBA draft. Davis is expected to be a first-round WNBA draft pick this year.
1. Crystal Langhorne, Maryland (2004-08)
See also: * Dana Evans, Louisville 2017-21; Tori Jankoska, Michigan State (2013-17); Alexis Peterson, Syracuse (2013-17); Rachel Banham, Minnesota (2011-16); Elizabeth Williams, Duke (2011-15); A’dia Mathies, Kentucky (2009-13); Shavonte Zellous, Pittsburgh (2005-09); Katie Gearlds, Purdue (2003-07); Mistie Bass, Duke (2002-06).
Langhorne, a striker / center, is second in Maryland after Alyssa Thomas in terms of career points (2,247) and rebounds (1,229) and first in percentage of career goals (65.2). She led Maryland in the national championship season 2006 in the rating (17.2) and in the rebound (8.6). She recently retired after a 13-year WNBA career winning two titles with the Seattle Storm.
Banham (3,093) is one of 13 women in the NCAA era to score at least 3,000 points. The guard’s 60-point performance in 2016 is related to Long Beach State’s Cindy Brown (1987) for the Division I single-game record. Evans is the reigning two-time ACC Player of the Year and is expected to be a WNBA first-round draft pick.
2. Jayne Appel, Stanford (2006-10)
See also: * Aari McDonald, Arizona (2017-21); Morgan William, Mississippi State (2014-18); Louella Tomlinson, St. Mary’s (2007-11); Erlana Larkins, North Carolina (2003-07); Tamara James, Miami (2002-06); Temeka Johnson, LSU (2001-05).
From 6-4 Center Appel to 5-2 Guard William, the pair had some big moments in NCAA tournaments. Appel led the Cardinal to the Final Four three times, and her 46 points in the 2009 Elite Eight are Stanford’s single game highs. William hit the overtime jump that defeated UConn in the 2017 national semifinals, ending the Huskies’ 111-game winning streak. He also helped the State of Mississippi reach the 2018 NCAA Finals. She is the Bulldogs career leader in free throw percentages (84.7).
Larkins went to the 2006 and 2007 Final Fours with UNC. Striker Tomlinson (663) is the second best player in Division I history after Baylors Brittney Griner and leads in blocks per career average (5.3). McDonald is the current Pac-12 Player of the Year and is expected to be a WNBA first-round draft pick.
3. Diana Taurasi, UConn (2000-04)
See also: Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M (2017-20); Sophie Cunningham, Missouri (2015-19); Jordin Canada, UCLA (2014-18); Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State (2014-18); Courtney Paris, Oklahoma (2005-09); Candace Parker, Tennessee (2004-08); Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State (2000-04); Marie Ferdinand, LSU (1997-01); Shalonda Enis, Alabama (1995-97); Michelle Marciniak, Tennessee (1993-96); Sheila Ethridge, Louisiana Tech (1987-91); Andrea Congreaves, Mercer (1989-93).
Now we’re talking about the big number leagues with two superstars who have each won two Final Four for Greatest Player and are still playing in the WNBA. UConn coach Geno Auriemma thought Taurasi, a guard, might be the women’s baby Ruth, so she wore the number 3 and won three NCAA championships. With the Phoenix Mercury, she has three WNBA titles and four Olympic gold medals. Parker, a striker / center now with the Chicago Sky, ranked 3rd as an Allen Iverson fan and led Tennessee to the 2007 and 2008 national championships. She won the 2016 WNBA title with Los Angeles and has two Olympic gold medals .
Paris, a center, is Division I number 1 in rebounds at 2,034. Mitchell, a Guardian with the Indiana Fever, is runner-up in NCAA career points (3,402).
4. Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame (2009-13)
See also: Moriah Jefferson, UConn (2012-16); Tayler Hill, Ohio State (2009-13); Candice Dupree, Temple (2002-06); Kim Smith, Utah (2002-06); Janel McCarville, Minnesota (2001-05); Stacy Frese, Iowa State (1996-2000); Rosemary Kosiorek, West Virginia (1989-92); Penny Toler, Long Beach State (1986-89); Jasmina Perazic, Maryland (1979-83).
The Irish won a national championship in 2001, but the South Bend hometown hero Diggins really brought a boast and confidence – and three Final Four appearances – that added to Notre Dame. Diggins, now with the Phoenix Mercury, is second in points at Notre Dame (2,357), third in assists (745) and first in steals (381). Jefferson, now with the Dallas Wings, was part of four national championship teams at UConn and is the school’s all-time assists leader (659).
5. Teresa Edwards, Georgia (1982-86)
See also: Crystal Dangerfield, UConn (2016-20); Jackie Young, Notre Dame (2016-19); Essence Carson, Rutgers (2004-08); Ukari Figgs, Purdue (1995-99); Kisha Ford, Georgia Tech (1993-97); Bettye Fiscus, Arkansas (1981-85); Angela Turner, Louisiana Tech (1978-82).
Hard call between Turner and Edwards that could go either way. Edwards had the most adorned overall career, playing in five Olympics – the first during his undergraduate studies in 1984 – and winning four gold medals. She averaged 15.5 PPG and 5.1 APG in Georgia, and went to the Final Four in 1983 and 1985. But Turner (14.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG) was a key part of a Louisiana tech juggernaut who won national championships in the AIAW in 1981 and the NCAA in 1982, and she also went on to two other final fours. Figgs was the most outstanding player in the 1999 Final Four when Purdue won its championship.
10. Sue Bird, UConn (1998-2002)
See also: * Rhyne Howard, Kentucky (since 2018); Megan Gustafson, Iowa (2015-19); Kelsey Plum, Washington (2013-17); Lindsey Harding, Duke (2002-07); Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State (2006-10); Jackie Stiles, Missouri State (1997-2001); Dominique Canty, Alabama (1995-99); Murriel Page, Florida (1994-98); Christy Smith, Arkansas (1994-98); Jamila Wideman, Stanford (1993-97); Saudia Roundtree, Georgia (1994-96); Pokey Chatman, LSU (1987-91); Jennifer Azzi (1986-90); Nancy Lieberman, Old Dominion (1976-80).
This is the greatest guard number in college women’s history. Two entries (Gustafson and Page) were received, but 10 is a feast for perimeter skills and has more Wade Trophy winners (five with six awards) than any other number: Lieberman (twice), Azzi, Bird, Stiles and Plum. Two-time NCAA champion Bird has four WNBA titles and four Olympic gold medals and is still playing at 40. Lieberman won two AIAW titles and has the nation’s Top Point Guard Award named after her. The career leaders of Division I No. 1 and 3 are Plum (3,527) and Stiles (3,393). Azzi, the most outstanding player of the 1990 Final Four, led Stanford to his first NCAA title.
11. Teresa Weatherspoon, Louisiana Tech (1984-88)
See also: Brianna Turner, Notre Dame (2014-19); Natalie Achonwa, Notre Dame (2010-14); Elena Delle Donne, Delaware (2009-2013); Amber Harris, Xavier (2005-11); Candice Wiggins (2004-08); Andrea Nagy, Florida International (1991-95); Donna Holt, Virginia (1984-88); Leslie Nichols, Kentucky (1982-86); Georgeann Wells, West Virginia (1982-86); Paula McGee, USC (1980-84); Anita Ortega, UCLA (1974-79).
This diverse group includes one of the best point guards, one of the most prolific goal scorers and the first dunker. Weatherspoon had 958 assists and 411 steals – both program records – as he led Louisiana Tech to two final fours and won the 1988 NCAA title and Wade Trophy. Weatherspoon played eight seasons in the WNBA and made one of the league’s most famous shots in the 1999 final. Today he is an NBA assistant for the Pelicans.
Delle Donne traded chasing NCAA titles – after signing with UConn and then changing her mind – for chasing her heart. She stayed home to be around her disabled sister. She became the legend of Delaware and ranks ninth on the Division I list (3,039). Now with the Washington Mystics, she was twice MVP in the WNBA.
Wiggins, a four-time 2008 WBCA All-American and Wade winner, has Stanford’s highest career scoring average (19.2 PPG) and got the program going again with a 2008 Final Four trip. Welles was the first woman to be immersed in a college game on December 21, 1984 and is West Virginia’s career leader in blocked shots (436).
12. Carol Blazejowski, Montclair State (1974-78)
See also: Chelsea Gray, Duke (2010-14); Ivory Latta, North Carolina (2003-07); Katryna Gaither, Notre Dame (1993-97); Angela Aycock, Kansas (1991-95); Deanna Tate, Maryland (1985-89); Brantley Southers, South Carolina (1981-86); Val Still, Kentucky (1979-83); Denise Curry, UCLA (1977-81); Theresa Shank, Immaculata (1970-74).
The Blaze scored 3,199 while Curry had 3,198. In 1978 Blazejowski, who later was the long-time general manager of the WNBA’s New York Liberty, won the first Wade Trophy. But Currys Bruins defeated Blazejowski’s team in the AIAW semi-finals en route to the 1978 national championship. Both were three-time All-Americans. Shank led the Mighty Macs to three consecutive AIAW titles from 1972-74. Under her married name Theresa Grentz, she also won the last AIAW championship in 1982 as head coach at Rutgers. Latta led North Carolina to the 2006 and 2007 Final Fours.
13. Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford (2010-14)
See also: Nina Davis, Baylor (2013-17); Danielle Robinson, Oklahoma (2007-11); Kelly Mazzante, Penn State (2000-04); Guiliana Mendiola, Washington (2000-04); Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota (2000-04); Maylana Martin, UCLA (1996-2000); Martha Parker, South Carolina (1985-89); Medina Dixon, Old Dominion (1981-85); Jill Rankin, Wayland Baptist / Tennessee (1976-80).
Current Los Angeles Sparks forward / center Ogwumike, Stanford’s career leader on points (2,737) and rebounds (1,567), made the Final Four three times, was three times All-American and was the 2014 WNBA No. 1 draft pick. Dating the Indiana Fever, Robinson was on the Oklahoma Final Four teams in 2009 and 2010. The Minnesota native Whalen led the Gophers to their only Final Four in 2004 and then won four WNBA titles for the Minnesota Lynx. She is now the head coach at her alma mater.
14. Nicole Powell, Stanford (2000-04)
See also: Kayla Pedersen, Stanford (2007-11); Alexis Hornbuckle, Tennessee (2004-08); Deanna Nolan, Georgia (1997-2001); Cindy Blodgett, Maine (1994-98); Tina Thompson, USC (1993-97); Shannon Johnson, South Carolina (1992-96); Mary Ostrowski, Tennessee (1980-84); Julie Gross, LSU (1976-80).
Three of the largest Pac-12s are in this group, led by three-time All-American Guard / Striker Powell, who is in the top five at Stanford for points (17.3 PPG), rebound (9.6 RPG) and assists (577) goes. . She also has six of the eight triple doubles in Stanford history. Nobody played more minutes (4,762) for the cardinal than Pedersen, who played four final fours and finished second in his career at Stanford (1,266).
Surprisingly, Thompson never received the WBCA first-team All-American award, despite averaging 19.7 points and 10.2 rebounds over her USC career. Her greatest fame came as a professional: the striker was number 1 on the 1997 WNBA draft, won four championships with the Houston Comets and two Olympic gold medals, and averaged 15.1 PPG over a 17-year WNBA career. Blodgett, a Maine legend who loved horror writer Stephen King, is 13th on the NCAA Division I rankings (3,005 points).
15. Ann Meyers, UCLA (1974-78)
See also: Lauren Cox, Baylor (2016-20); Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State (2015-19); Kia Vaughn, Rutgers (2005-09); Laura Harper, Maryland (2004-08); Tan White, Mississippi State (2001-05); Jia Perkins, Texas Tech (2000-04); Asjha Jones, UConn (1998-2002); Shelly Pennefather, Villanova (1983-87); Annette Smith, Texas (1981-86); Tracey Claxton, Kansas / Old Dominion (1980-85); LaTaunya Pollard, Long Beach State (1979-83); Maree Jackson, LSU (1976-78).
Meyers, who averaged 17.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 4.8 steals as a four-time All-American, led UCLA to the 1978 AIAW championship and won silver for Team USA in 1976 at the first women’s Olympic basketball competition WBCA’s Shooting Guard Award is named after her.
Pollard, the 1983 Wade Trophy winner, is the career leader in Long Beach State with 3,001 points. Claxton was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1985 Final Four for Champion Old Dominion. Pennefather won the Wade Trophy in 1987 and then became a nun in the convent. Jackson is the mother of three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson, but was a great player herself. In just two seasons at LSU, she collected 1,852 points (26.5 PPG) and 1,032 rebounds (14.7 RPG). Key to Mississippi’s 2017 and 18 Final Four teams, McCowan is the Bulldogs career rebound leader (1,502) and is now suffering from Indiana Fever.
20. Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (2016-20)
See also: Brittney Sykes, Syracuse (2012-17); Briann January, Arizona State (2005-09); Renee Montgomery, UConn (2005-09); Kristi Toliver, Maryland (2005-09); Camille Little, North Carolina (2003-07); Alana Beard, Duke (2000-04); Shameka Christon, Arkansas (2000-04); Kara Lawson, Tennessee (1999-2003); LaNeishea Caufield, Oklahoma (1998-2002); Niesa Johnson, Alabama (1991-95); Shelley Sheetz, Colorado (1991-95); Rehema Stephens, UCLA (1989-92); Fran Harris, Texas (1982-86); Pam Leake, North Carolina (1982-86); Kim Mulkey, Louisiana Tech (1980-84); Carolyn Bush, Wayland Baptist (1973-75).
The 20s are very popular numbers, and Ionescu was one of the most popular college players. With an NCAA record of 26 triple doubles, she is the only Division I player, women or men, to have reached the 2K / 1K / 1K mark with 2,562 points, 1,040 rebounds and 1,091 assists. She led the Ducks to their first Final Four in 2019 and Pac-12 tournament titles in 2018 and 2020. Oregon would have been one of the favorites for the 2020 NCAA tournament had it not been canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ionescu was number 1 in the 2020 WNBA draft of the New York Liberty.
As with # 10, guards dominate # 20. Three from the 2009 class won WNBA championships: January, Montgomery, and Toliver; The latter two also won NCAA titles. Beard won the 2004 Wade Trophy and went to two final fours with Duke. After that, he had a 14-year WNBA career. Mulkey played for the Louisiana Tech AIAW and NCAA championship teams in 1981 and 1982, was an assistant coach on the Lady Techsters NCAA title team in 1988, and has won three NCAA titles as head coach at Baylor.
Harris is one of the outliers on this number as a striker; She was the leading goalscorer in Texas from 1985-86 when the 34-0 Longhorns won their national championship. Little, also a striker, went to two final fours in tar heels and played 13 seasons in the WNBA.
21. Jennifer Rizzotti, UConn (1992-96)
See also: Kalani Brown, Baylor (2015-19); Bridget Carleton, State of Iowa (2015-19); Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga (2007-11); Chantelle Anderson, Vanderbilt (1999-2003); Stacey Dales, Oklahoma (1997-2002); Semeka Randall, Tennessee (1997-2001); Ticha Penicheiro, Old Dominion (1994-98); DeLisha Milton, Florida (1993-97); Beth Morgan, Notre Dame (1993-97); Krista Kirkland, Texas Tech (1989-93); Susan Robinson, Penn State (1988-92); Kim Pehlke, Western Kentucky (1988-92); Carolyn Jones, Auburn (1988-91); Clemette Haskins, Western Kentucky (1983-87); Rhonda Windham, Southern Cal (1982-87); Joyce Walker, LSU (1980-84); Theresa Huff, Wisconsin (1979-83); Cathy Parson, West Virginia (1979-83); Adrian Mitchell, Kansas (1975-79).
This is where the Point Guards stand out: Rizzotti led UConn to his first NCAA championship in 1995 and returned to the Final Four in 1996. She is third on UConn’s list of career assistants (637) with 1,540 points. Vandersloot had the highest season in Division I history (367, 10.2 per game) when he led Gonzaga to the 2011 Elite Eight. In 2020, the Chicago Sky Guard became the first WNBA player to average 10.0 assists per season. Like Vandersloot (1,118), Penicheiro (939) and Dales (764) are the assistants at their school. Penicheiro also became one of the most prolific assists in the WNBA with 2,600 in a 15-season career.
There are also some high ranking goal scorers under this number. Walker (2,906) from LSU, Parson (2,115) from West Virginia, and Anderson (2,604) from Vanderbilt are their school’s career guides.
22. Sheryl Swoopes, Texas Tech (1991-93)
See also: A’ja Wilson, South Carolina (2014-18); Jerica Coley, Florida International (2010-2014); Amy Jaeschke, Northwestern (2007-11); Alysha Clark, Belmont / Middle Tennessee (2005-10); Monica Wright, Virginia (2006-10); Matee Ajavon, Rutgers (2004-08); Stephanie White, Purdue (1995-99); Lisa Branch, Texas A&M (1992-96); MaChelle Joseph, Purdue (1988-92); Jennifer Gillom, Ole Miss (1982-86); Pam Gant, Louisiana Tech (1981-85); Anne Donovan, Old Dominion (1979-83); Holly Warlick, Tennessee (1976-80).
It’s mostly a guard number, but it was also worn by the famous Donovan center. Swoopes only spent two seasons at Texas Tech after junior college but became one of Division I’s most recognizable players. Her 47 points in the 1993 NCAA final are still the record in the championship, as is her 177 total points in a single tournament ( in five games, since the field was only expanded to 64 in 1994). Swoopes won four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets, three WNBA MVP awards, and three Olympic gold medals.
Wilson led the Gamecocks to their first national championship (2017) and four SEC tournament titles. Coley is seventh on the NCAA Division I Scoring List (3,107). Two of Purdue’s top guards, White (1999 national champion) and Joseph (the school’s top runner with 2,405 points), both wore 22.
23. Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee (1995-99)
See also: Bria Holmes, West Virginia (2012-16); Aerial Powers, Michigan State (2012-16); Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn (2011-15); Shoni Schimmel, Louisville (2010-14); Danielle Adams, Texas A&M (2009-11); Maya Moore, UConn (2007-11); Kelsey Griffin, Nebraska (2005-10); Kelly Miller, Georgia (1997-2001); Georgia Schweitzer, Duke (1997-2001); Nikki McCray, Tennessee (1991-95); Charlotte Smith, North Carolina (1991-95); Katy Steding, Stanford (1986-90); Clinette Jordan, State of Oklahoma (1985-89); Sue Wicks, Rutgers (1984-88); Tammy Jackson, Florida (1981-85); Nell Fortner, Texas (1977-81); Bernadette Locke, Georgia (1979-81); Suzie Snider Eppers, Baylor (1973-77).
Moore (3,036) and Holdsclaw (3,025) rank 10th and 11th on the NCAA Division I’s 3,000-point list and are two of the greatest players of all time. The advantage here goes to Holdsclaw, who won three NCAA titles against Moore’s two. On a WNBA jersey number list, the top spot at 23 would go to Moore, who won four titles with the Minnesota Lynx. Holdsclaw, who averaged 8.8 rebounds in her career, is also one of two players – USC’s Cheryl Miller is the other – to lead her team as a freshman to a national championship season.
Smith hit one of the most iconic shots in basketball history: a 3-pointer seven-tenths of a second ahead to beat Louisiana Tech 60-59 in the 1994 NCAA Finals. She also holds the NCAA championship game record for rebounds (23).
Schweitzer led Duke to his first Final Four in 1999. Adams was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Final Four when Texas A&M won its championship. Snider Eppers is Baylor’s career scoring leader (3,861), placing her fifth on the AIAW all-time list.
24. Dawn Staley, Virginia (1988-92)
See also: Napheesa Collier, UConn (2015-19); Arike Ogunbowale, Notre Dame (2015-19); Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina (2011-15); DeWanna Bonner, Auburn (2005-09); Armintie Price, Ole Miss (2003-07); Tamika Catchings, Tennessee (1997-2001); Edwina Brown, Texas (1996-2000); Kristin Folkl, Stanford (1994-98); Cornelia Gayden, LSU (1991-95); Natalie Williams, UCLA (1990-94); Dawn Staley, Virginia (1988-92); Kerry Bascom, UConn (1987-91); Lorri Johnson, Pittsburgh (1987-91); Clarissa Davis, Texas (1986-89); Adrienne Goodson, Old Dominion (1984-88); Chris Moreland, Duke (1984-88); Molly McGuire, Oklahoma (1979-83); Bev Smith, Oregon (1978-82); Linda Wagoner, Texas (1976-80); Marianne Crawford Stanley, Immaculata (1972-76).
It’s quite a battle here for the top spot among the Staley and Ogunbowale guards and the Forward Catchings. A three-time All-American like Catchings, Staley had 2,135 points, 729 assists and 454 steals, was twice National Player of the Year, and led Virginia to three Final Four appearances. She is the only outstanding Final Four player on an inferior team (1991). Her professional career spanned three Olympic gold medals and she won the 2017 NCAA title as head coach in South Carolina.
Catches helped the Lady Vols win the 1998 national championship and advance to the 2000 NCAA final. She is fourth on Tennessee’s career scoreboard (2,113) and sixth in rebounding (1,004) despite being limited to 17 of the Lady Vols’ 34 games in her senior season due to a torn ACL. She made a brilliant professional career, winning the WNBA title with Indiana in 2012 and four gold medals with the US Olympic team.
Ogunbowale is Notre Dame’s career top scorer (2,626 points) and scored two hits in the 2018 Final Four that could be heard around the world to beat UConn in the semifinals and Mississippi State in the finals. She wore the number 2 as a freshman but moved to 24 for the remainder of her Notre Dame career and now to the Dallas Wings. She led the WNBA on average (22.7) in 2020.
Folkl and Williams are two of the greatest athletes in NCAA history as All-Americans in basketball and volleyball, and both played in the WNBA. Bonner, now with the Connecticut Sun, is Auburn’s career leader in points (2,162) and runner-up in rebounds (1,047). He won two WNBA titles in Phoenix. Davis was the most outstanding player in the 1986 Final Four for Texas.
25. Alyssa Thomas, Maryland (2010-14)
See also: Asia Durr, Louisville (2015-19); Makayla Epps, Kentucky (2013-17); Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina (2012-16); Marissa Coleman, Maryland (2004-09); Monique Currie, Duke (2001-06); Cappie Pondexter, Rutgers (2001-06); Svetlana Abrosimova, UConn (1997-2001); Becky Hammon, Colorado State (1995-99); Debra Williams, Louisiana Tech (1992-96); Merlakia Jones, Florida (1991-95); Ruthie Bolton, Auburn (1985-89); Vicky Bullett, Maryland (1985-89); Andrea Lloyd, Texas (1983-87); Franthea Price, Iowa (1986-90).
A special number in Maryland as three of the largest terps – Thomas, Coleman, and Bullett – carried 25. Three-time All-American striker Thomas, who plays with the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, is Maryland’s career leader in points (2,356) and is recovering (1,235), leading the terps to the 2014 Final Four. Coleman, who was third in Maryland Place in the ranking (2,205), was a member of the Terps national team in 2006. And Bullett led Maryland to the Final Four in 1989.
Lloyd was in the 1986 NCAA title team from Texas. Hammon, Colorado State’s all-time top scorer (2,740), was not signed by the WNBA in 1999 but had a 16-year career and is now an NBA assistant coach with the Spurs. A UConn fan favorite, Abrosimova was a three-time All-American who helped Huskies win the 2000 NCAA title, but whose senior season was interrupted by a foot injury. She played 10 seasons in the WNBA and won a championship with Seattle in 2010. Pondexter and Currie finished second and third in the 2006 WNBA draft and had a long professional career, with Pondexter winning two titles with Phoenix. Durr, with the New York Liberty, is runner-up on Louisville’s all-time points list (2,485) and was a two-time ACC Player of the Year.
30. Breanna Stewart, UConn 2012-16)
See also: Nneka Ogwumike, Stanford (2008-12); Helen Darling, Penn State (1996-2000); Amanda Wilson, Louisiana Tech (1995-99); Adia Barnes, Arizona (1994-98); Kate Starbird, Stanford (1993-97); Katie Smith, Ohio State (1992-96); Heather Burge, Virginia (1989-93); Tia Paschal, Florida State (1989-93); Bridgette Gordon, Tennessee (1985-89); Michelle Edwards, Iowa (1984-88); Maurtice Ivy, Nebraska (1984-88); Pam McGee, USC (1980-84).
Nobody is going to beat Stewart, who was the most outstanding player four times in the Final Four in leading UConn to four championships. Sie erzielte in ihrer Huskies-Karriere durchschnittlich 17,6 Punkte und 7,8 Rebounds. Jetzt mit dem Seattle Storm hat sie den MVP-Preis der WNBA, zwei Meistertitel und eine olympische Goldmedaille gewonnen, als sie noch 26 Jahre alt war. Tennessees Gordon (1989 Final Four MOP) und USCs McGee gewannen jeweils zwei NCAA-Titel.
Ogwumike gewann einen WNBA MVP Award, als sie die Los Angeles Sparks zum Titel 2016 führte. Mit Stanford erreichte sie vier Final Fours mit durchschnittlich 17,2 Punkten und 8,5 Rebounds. Starbird ist in Stanfords Top 10 in Punkten (2.215), Assists (437) und Steals (252) und führte den Kardinal zu drei Final Fours. Burge hat sich mit Zwillingsschwester Heidi in Virginias drei Final Four-Teams zusammengetan. Smith, ein dreimaliger olympischer Goldmedaillengewinner, der zwei WNBA-Titel gewann, führte den Bundesstaat Ohio 1993 zu seinen einzigen Final Four.
31. Cheryl Miller, USC (1982-86)
Siehe auch: Kristine Anigwe, Cal (2015-19); Stefanie Dolson (UConn, 2010-14); Tina Charles, UConn (2006-10); Wendy Palmer, Virginia (1992-96); Clara Jackson, Ole Miss (1990-94); Lynette Woodard, Kansas (1977-81).
Es gibt so viele Spieler, von denen Sie sich fragen: “Was hätte sein können?” wenn die WNBA in ihren Primzahlen existiert hätte. Die Wunder der Naismith Hall of Fame, Miller und Woodard, stehen ganz oben auf der Liste. Miller führte USC zu den NCAA-Titeln 1983 und 1984 sowie zu den Final Four 1986. Sie und Tennessees Chamique Holdsclaw sind die einzigen Neulinge in der NCAA-Ära, die ein Team in einer nationalen Meisterschaftssaison in der Wertung führen. Miller war ein 6: 2-Stürmer, der sich mit durchschnittlich 23,6 Punkten, 12,0 Rebounds, 3,2 Assists, 3,6 Steals und 2,5 geblockten Schüssen in allem hervorgetan hat. Sie erlitt kurz nach dem Ende ihrer College-Karriere eine Knieverletzung und begann mit dem Rundfunk. Könnte ihr Weg anders gewesen sein, wenn sie sich hätte rehabilitieren können, wenn sie gewusst hätte, dass sie eine US-amerikanische Pro-Liga zum Spielen hat? Sie hat in der WNBA und kollegial trainiert.
Woodard, ein 6-Fuß-Wächter, ist der Karriere-Scoring-Leader der AIAW (3.649) und hat wie Miller alles getan: durchschnittlich 26,3 Punkte, 12,5 Rebounds, 3,1 Assists und 3,8 Steals für die Jayhawks. Sie gewann 1984 olympisches Gold und spielte im Ausland. 1985 war sie die erste Frau, die für die Harlem Globetrotters spielte. Woodard war in der Lage, in den ersten beiden Spielzeiten der WNBA, 1997 mit Cleveland und ’98 mit Detroit, in einigen Spielen insgesamt 55 Spiele zu spielen – beginnend einige Monate vor seinem 38. Lebensjahr.
Charles und Dolson haben bei UConn jeweils zwei NCAA-Titel gewonnen und sind derzeit in der WNBA.
32. Katrina McClain, Georgia (1983-87)
Siehe auch: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Maryland (2013-17); Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame (2012-15); Nikki Blue, UCLA (2002-06); Cheryl Ford, Louisiana Tech (1999-2003); LaToya Thomas, Mississippi State (1999-2003); Swin Cash, UConn (1998-2002); Angie Welle, Iowa State (1999-2002); Katie Douglas, Purdue (1997-2001); Stacey Lovelace, Purdue (1992-96); Tammi Reiss, Virginia (1988-92); Daedra Charles, Tennessee (1988-91); Andrea Stinson, NC State (1988-91); Nikita Lowry, Ohio State (1985-89); Cherie Nelson, Southern Cal (1985-89); Suzie McConnell, Penn State (1984-88); Lillie Mason, Western Kentucky (1981-86); Kym Hampton, Arizona State (1980-84); Cindy Noble, Tennessee (1978-81).
A two-time All-American, McClain is third on Georgia’s career points list (2,195), second in rebounding (1,193) and first in field-goal percentage (62.0). In the postseason, she was even more accurate: McClain holds the record for NCAA tournament career field-goal percentage (minimum 10 games played) at 71.4 percent (60 of 84) in 12 games. She helped Georgia get to the 1985 NCAA final, and as a U.S. Olympian won two gold medals and a bronze. The WBCA’s power forward award is named after her.
Penn State’s McConnell is the Division I leader in career assists (1,307). Charles won two NCAA titles with Tennessee, and Cash (who wore 23 her freshman year) did the same at UConn. Douglas helped Purdue win its 1999 NCAA title and make the 2001 final. Notre Dame’s Loyd and Virginia’s Reiss each made it to three consecutive Final Fours. Cash (three times), Loyd (twice) and Douglas are also WNBA champions; Loyd is still playing for Seattle. Thomas, the 2003 WNBA No. 1 draft pick, was a four-time All-American and Mississippi State’s career scoring leader (2,981), while Welle is tops on Iowa State’s scoring (2,149) and rebounding (1,209) lists.
33. Seimone Augustus, LSU (2002-06)
See also: Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn (2015-19); Natasha Howard, Florida State (2010-14); Maggie Lucas, Penn State (2010-14); Tiffany Jackson, Texas (2003-07); Sophia Young, Baylor (2002-06); Tanisha Wright, Penn State (2001-05); Shea Ralph, UConn (1996-2001); Tamecka Dixon, Kansas (1993-97); Clarisse Machanguana, Old Dominion (1994-97); Jamelle Elliott, UConn (1992-96); Lisa Leslie, USC (1990-94); Sarah Behn, Boston College, 1989-93; Valorie Whiteside, Appalachian State (1984-88); Kamie Ethridge, Texas (1982-86); Wanda Ford, Drake (1982-86); Joni Davis, Missouri (1981-85); Debbie Lytle, Maryland (1979-83); Carol Menken, Oregon State (1978-81).
Two of the top 33s — Augustus and Leslie — were hometown heroes in college. Augustus stayed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to lead LSU to its first Final Four in 2004, starting the program’s streak of five national semifinal appearances in a row. The guard is second at LSU in scoring (2,702 points), was a three-time All-American and twice won the Wade Trophy. As a pro, she won four WNBA titles with the Minnesota Lynx and three Olympic gold medals; she’s currently with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Leslie is from greater Los Angeles, where she played collegiately with USC, and in the WNBA with the Sparks. The center is much better known for her professional number — 9 — which she wore in winning two WNBA titles, three WNBA MVP awards and four Olympic gold medals. As No. 33 for USC, she averaged 20.1 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks.
Ethridge was the point guard who in 1986 guided Texas to the NCAA title and won the Wade Trophy. Ford is second in Division I history in total rebounds (1,815) but first in rebounding average (15.5 RPG). Ralph was the Final Four’s most outstanding player in 2000 for UConn’s title team, and is a Huskies assistant now along with Elliott, a 1995 national champion.
34. Sylvia Fowles, LSU (2004-08)
See also: Victoria Dunlap, Kentucky (2007-11); Tasha Humphrey, Georgia (2004-08); Tamika Williams, UConn (1998-2002); Phylesha Whaley, Oklahoma (1996-2000); Heidi Gillingham, Vanderbilt (1990-94); Tonya Sampson, North Carolina (1990-94); Maggie Davis Stinnett, Baylor (1986-91); Sonja Henning, Stanford (1987-91); Becky Jackson, Auburn (1980-84).
Fowles is one of the most dominant centers in women’s hoops history, going to four Final Fours. A two-time All-American, she averaged 15.5 points and 10.9 rebounds at LSU, where she’s the career leader in rebounds (1,570) and blocks (321). Fowles has won two WNBA titles with the Minnesota Lynx, was league MVP in 2017 and has three Olympic gold medals.
Fowles is 6-6, but Gillingham — who led Vanderbilt to its only Final Four in 1993 — is one of the tallest women to ever play at 6-10. Williams won two NCAA titles at UConn. Henning is Stanford’s career leader in assists (757) and led the Cardinal with 21 points in their 1990 NCAA final victory. Jackson is Auburn’s career leader in rebounds (1,118) and field goal percentage (60.2), and second in points (2,068).
35. Angel McCoughtry, Louisville (2005-09)
See also: *Charli Collier, Texas (2018-21); Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State (2014-18); Jonquel Jones, George Washington (2012-16); Jordan Hooper, Nebraska (2010-14); Coco Miller, Georgia (1997-2001); Tamicha Jackson, Louisiana Tech (1996-2000).
This is the least popular jersey number in the 30s, but it has a superstar player attached to it who turned her program into a national contender. McCoughtry is Louisville’s career leader in points (2,779), rebounds (1,261) and steals (481). The guard/forward led the Cardinals to their first Final Four in 2009, when she was the WNBA’s No. 1 draft pick. She has played in three WNBA Finals with Atlanta, one with current team Las Vegas and has won two Olympic gold medals.
Vivians also hugely impacted her program, helping Mississippi State to its first Final Four in 2017, and again in 2018. She is second in Bulldog history with 2,527 points, and currently plays for the Indiana Fever in the WNBA. Collier, who is leaving Texas after three seasons, could be the top pick in the 2021 WNBA draft.
40. Nancy Dunkle, Cal State Fullerton (1973-77)
See also: Kayla Alexander, Syracuse (2009-13); Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee (2008-12); Tere Williams, Virginia Tech 1997-2001; Tajama Abraham, George Washington 1993-97; Joy Holmes, Purdue (1987-91); Genia Miller, Cal State Fullerton (1987-91); Wendy Scholtens, Vanderbilt (1987-91); Nora Lewis, Louisiana Tech (1985-89); Rosie Walker, Stephen F. Austin (1978-80).
The two greatest players in Cal State Fullerton history were centers who wore 40. Dunkle (1,519 points, 729 rebounds) was a three-time All-American who won a silver medal with the 1976 Olympic team. Miller, a 1991 All-American, is the Titans’ career leader in points (2,415), rebounds (1,162) and blocks (428).
Walker was a two-time All-American who made the 1980 Olympic team that didn’t compete in the U.S.-boycotted Moscow Games. Lewis played for Louisiana Tech’s 1988 NCAA title team. Scholtens is Vanderbilt’s career leader in rebounds (1,272) and is second in scoring (2,602). Stricklen, who’s now with the Atlanta Dream, finished her Tennessee career eighth in points (1,882) playing on coach Pat Summitt’s last team.
41. Pam Kelly, Louisiana Tech (1978-82)
See also: Alaina Coates, South Carolina (2013-17); Stacy Stephens, Texas 2000-04; Jolene Anderson, Wisconsin (2004-08); Jessie Stomski, Wisconsin (1998-2002).
It’s not a popular number, but a superstar represents it: Louisiana Tech legend Kelly, a forward, was a three-time All-American, and is first in scoring (2,979) and rebounding (1,511) for the program. A teammate four years with Angela Turner, Kelly won the 1981 AIAW and 1982 NCAA titles and went to two other Final Fours.
Coates was part of the 2017 Gamecock national championship team and also went to the 2015 Final Four. Stephens led the Longhorns to the 2003 Final Four. Anderson and Stomski rank first and third, respectively, on Wisconsin’s career scoring list.
42. Brittney Griner, Baylor (2009-13)
See also: Jantel Lavender, Ohio State (2007-11); Nikki Teasley, North Carolina (1997-2002); Nykesha Sales, (UConn, 1994-98); Carol Ann Shudlick, Minnesota (1990-94); Linda Burgess, Alabama (1990-92); Patricia Hoskins, Mississippi Valley State (1985-89); Renee Kelly, Missouri (1983-87); Barbara Kennedy, Clemson (1978-82); Peggie Gillom, Ole Miss (1976-80); Inge Nissen, Old Dominion (1976-80).
Griner has been a game-changer on both ends, a premier center who can dunk and protect the rim. She is the NCAA Division I leader in blocked shots (748) and fourth in points (3,283). Griner led Baylor to a 40-0 championship season in 2012 when she was the Final Four’s most outstanding player. A two-time Wade Trophy winner and three-time All-American, Griner was the No. 1 WNBA draft pick in 2013. She won the WNBA title with Phoenix in 2014 and an Olympic gold medal in 2016.
Hoskins is fifth on the NCAA’s list of career points (3,122) and fourth in rebounds (1,662). Lavender, currently with the Indiana Fever in the WNBA, averaged 20.7 points and 10.7 rebounds at Ohio State, where she was a four-time Big Ten player of the year. Nissen starred for ODU’s two AIAW championship teams in 1979 and ’80.
43. Venus Lacy, Louisiana Tech (1987-90)
See also: Alison Bales, Duke (2003-07); Ann Strother, UConn (2002-06); Shyra Ely (2001-05); Tasha Pointer, Rutgers (1997-2001); Alicia Thompson, Texas Tech (1994-98); Vicki Hall, Texas (1988-93); Eugenia Connor, Ole Miss (1981-85); Linda Page, NC State (1981-85); Sue Galkantas, Florida State (1980-84).
Lacy spent one season at Old Dominion, then transferred to Louisiana Tech and won the 1988 national championship. Despite playing just three seasons at Louisiana Tech, she is fourth in program history in scoring (2,004) and rebounding (1,125) and was on the 1996 Olympic team.
Galkantas is Florida State’s career scoring leader (2,323) and is second in rebounds (1,006).
44. Cynthia Cooper, USC
See also: Ruth Hamblin, Oregon State (2012-16); Chasity Melvin, NC State (1994-98); Barb Franke, Wisconsin (1991-96); Tracey Hall, Ohio State (1984-88); Erica Westbrooks, Louisiana Tech (1984-88); Renee Dennis, Virginia Tech; 1983-87; Cassandra Crumpton, Alabama (1982-84); Carolyn Thompson, Texas Tech (1980-84); Cindy Brognon, Mercer/Tennessee (1976-79); Retha Swindell, Texas (1975-79); Tara Heiss, Maryland (1974-78); Patricia Roberts, Tennessee (1976-77).
Cooper, a guard, was a key component but overshadowed at USC by teammates like Cheryl Miller and twins Pam and Paula McGee. Yet Cooper went on to have the greatest pro career of any of the players on USC’s 1983 and ’84 NCAA championship teams. She had 1,559 points, 381 assists and 256 steals at USC, won Olympic gold in 1988 and bronze in ’92, and is one of four USC women’s players in the Naismith Hall of Fame. Like fellow USC Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie, Cooper is better known for her WNBA number: 14. A longtime star overseas in Italy, Cooper entered the WNBA at age 34 and led the Houston Comets to the league’s first four championships in 1997-2000. A two-time WNBA MVP, she has gone on to coach in the WNBA and collegiately, including at her alma mater, and is currently at Texas Southern.
Melvin is in the top five in points (2,042) and rebounds (1,020) for NC State, and led the Wolfpack to their only Final Four in 1998. Westbrooks was Final Four MVP for 1988 NCAA champion Louisiana Tech. Brognon is second on the AIAW’s all-time scoring list (3,204).
45. Lusia Harris, Delta State (1973-77)
See also: Borislava Hristova, Washington State (2015-20); Noelle Quinn, UCLA (2003-07); Jocelyn Penn, South Carolina (1998-2003); Janet Harris, Georgia (1981-85); June Olkowski, Rutgers (1978-82).
Two great players named Harris — unrelated — are tops at this number. Lusia Harris, a center from Mississippi, was the driving force for the Delta State dynasty of the 1970s. She played for legendary coach Margaret Wade, for whom the Wade Trophy is named, and won the AIAW championship in 1975, ’76 and ’77. She was the tournament’s most valuable player three times and a three-time All-American, averaging 25.9 points and 14.5 rebounds in her career. She won silver with the U.S. team in the first Olympic women’s basketball competition in 1976. Harris was selected in the seventh round of the 1977 NBA draft by New Orleans (137th pick) but declined to try out for the team.
Janet Harris, a three-time All-American post player from Chicago, led Georgia to two Final Fours and is the program’s all-time leader in points (2,641) and rebounds (1,396). Olkowski helped Rutgers win the last AIAW title in 1982.
50. Rebecca Lobo, UConn (1991-95)
See also: Jessica Davenport, Ohio State (2003-07); Sandora Irvin, TCU (2001-05); Shereka Wright, Purdue (2000-04); Tangela Smith, Iowa (1994-98); Delmonica DeHorney, Arkansas (1987-91); Vickie Orr, Auburn (1985-89); Anucha Browne, Northwestern (1981-85); Kris Kirchner, Rutgers (1980-81); Genia Beasley, NC State (1976-80).
Lobo, a center, starred for the UConn team that changed the sport, winning the 1995 NCAA title to start what is now an 11-championship dynasty. Browne is Northwestern’s career scoring leader (2,307) and averaged 30.5 points her senior season. Beasley is the Wolfpack’s career leader in points (2,367) and rebounds (1,245). Kirchner starred her first three seasons at Maryland wearing No. 53; she transferred to Rutgers and became an All-American wearing No. 50.
51. Janice Lawrence, Louisiana Tech (1980-84)
See also: Jessica Breland, North Carolina (2006-2011); Sydney Colson, Texas A&M (2007-11); Latasha Byears, DePaul (1994-96); Karen Jennings, Nebraska (1989-93); Christy Winters, Maryland (1986-90).
The most outstanding player at the first NCAA Women’s Final Four in 1982, Lawrence scored 20 points in the national championship game victory. The center is second in scoring (2,403) and fifth in rebounding (1,097) in Louisiana Tech’s vast cast of stars, and she won Olympic gold in 1984.
Jennings is the most decorated Nebraska player, winning the 1993 Wade Trophy and Big Eight player of the year honors twice. Breland overcame cancer, which forced her to redshirt a season at North Carolina, and she is still playing in the WNBA. So is Colson, who helped Texas A&M win its 2011 NCAA title.
52. Val Whiting, Stanford (1989-93)
See also: Kara Wolters, UConn (1993-97); Tyasha Harris, South Carolina (2016-20); Cinietra Henderson, Texas (1989-93); Liz Shimek, Michigan State (2002-06).
Whiting, a center, played for both Stanford national championship teams, and went to three Final Fours. She is sixth in both career points (2,077) and rebounds (1,134) for the Cardinal. Wolters, also a center, was on UConn’s 1995 NCAA title team, and Harris was the point guard for the Gamecocks’ 2017 national championship squad. Shimek helped the Spartans make their only Final Four appearance, in 2005.
53. Cindy Brown, Long Beach State (1983-87)
See also: Kendra Wecker, Kansas State (2001-05); Jayme Olson, Iowa State (1994-98); Dana Johnson, Tennessee (1991-95); Sheila Foster, South Carolina (1978-82); Valerie Walker, Cheyney (1978-82).
Brown, a forward/center, was a two-time All-American who led the 49ers to their first Final Four appearance in 1987; her 60-point performance in February of that year is tied for the Division I single-game record with Minnesota’s Rachel Banham (2016). Walker, a forward who also was a two-time All-American, led Cheyney — then coached by C. Vivian Stringer — to the first NCAA championship game in 1982.
54. Plenette Pierson, Texas Tech (1999-03)
See also: Toni Foster, Iowa (1989-93); Terry Dorner, Rutgers (1980-82).
Sorry, 54, but you’re the number with the least star power. The two programs with the most titles, UConn and Tennessee, have never even had a player wear 54. Pierson wore it compiling 1,602 points and 787 rebounds at Texas Tech, and kept it early in her 15-season WNBA career. The forward switched to 23, 33 and 22 the rest of the way, winning two championships in Detroit and one in Minnesota. Foster led Iowa in scoring and rebounding for three seasons, culminating in the program’s lone Final Four trip her senior year of 1993. Dorner was the Scarlet Knights’ leading scorer on their 1981-82 AIAW championship team.
55. Vickie Johnson, Louisiana Tech (1992-1996)
See also: Nicky Anosike, Tennessee (2004-08); Tammy Sutton-Brown, Rutgers (1997-2001); Michi Atkins, Texas Tech (1992-96); Sheri Sam, Vanderbilt (1992-96); Lorri Bauman, Drake (1980-84).
Johnson, now head coach of the Dallas Wings after a 13-season WNBA playing career, was a two-time All-American who is sixth in scoring (1,960) at Louisiana Tech. The guard had a double-double in the 1994 national championship game that the Lady Techsters lost on a buzzer-beater. Bauman is sixth in Division I career scoring with 3,115 points, and her 50-point game in the inaugural NCAA tournament in 1982 is still the single-game tournament record. Anosike won two NCAA titles with Tennessee.