February 3, 2015

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players, announced the appointment of former WNBA and collegiate standout Teresa Weatherspoon as the organization’s new WNBA Player Ambassador. In her new role, Weatherspoon will assist the NBRPA in shaping its programming to assist former WNBA players in life after basketball and serve communities. Weatherspoon will join former NBA star Jalen Rose as the NBRPA’s second official Ambassador and will also serve as an official spokesperson for the organization.

“In 2014 we announced ESPN/ABC analyst Jalen Rose had joined our organization as Player Ambassador & Spokesperson and we wanted to find someone of equal influence to assist us in growing our WNBA program – Teresa Weatherspoon was quickly identified as our top candidate and we are thrilled to welcome her to the NBRPA team,” said NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “Teresa has rich experience, both as a player and coach, and we plan to tap into her knowledge and network to help build programming and membership in the WNBA former player category.”

Weatherspoon helped establish the WNBA as a member of the New York Liberty 1997-2003 and finished her playing career with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2004. During her time in the league, Weatherspoon started 220 straight games and led the Liberty to four WNBA championship appearances in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002. She was a five-time WNBA All-Star, a four-time all-WNBA second teamer and the two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year. Prior to the establishment of the WNBA, Weatherspoon's professional playing experience started in 1988 when she went overseas to play six years in Italy – where she was named a six-time all-star – and two years in Russia.

During her Louisiana Tech playing career, which spanned from 1984 through 1988, Weatherspoon was a two-time Kodak All-American (1987, 1988) and won the prestigious Wade Trophy as the top player in the country during her senior season. As a senior, Weatherspoon earned an incredible trifecta as she was named the state player of the year, the American South Conference Player of the Year and the national player of the year. In that same year (1988), Weatherspoon won a national championship title – LA Tech defeated Auburn 56-54 in the NCAA title game – and an Olympic gold medal as part of the US National Team. Weatherspoon earned her bachelor's degree from Louisiana Tech and returned to coach her alma mater from 2009-2014.

Internationally, Weatherspoon earned distinction in USA Basketball circles, leading the US to the gold medal in the 1988 Olympics and the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics. She also earned gold medals in the 1986 World Championships, the 1986 Goodwill Games and the 1987 World University Games.

“I’m excited to help build a home for former WNBA players at the NBRPA,” Weatherspoon said. “I’m eager to provide input to help develop programming and grow our membership on the women’s side. It's a no-brainer to be a part of the NBRPA and get back into the atmosphere, the love circle of the game of basketball. At this point you don't feel like, 'Oh, I played in the WNBA, you're NBA, you're Harlem Globetrotters, you're ABA,' what you feel like is a family … a basketball family.”