Sheryl Denise Swoopes (born March 25, 1971) is an American professional basketball player who played most recently for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA. She was the first player to be signed in the WNBA when it was created. She has won three Olympic Gold Medals and is a three-time WNBA MVP. Frequently referred to as the "female Michael Jordan," Swoopes is famous for both her offensive and defensive skills. In 2005, she averaged 18.6 points, 85% free throws, 4.3 assists, 2.65 steals and 37.1 minutes playing time per game. Swoopes is considered "one of the greatest collegiate players of all time".
Born in Brownfield, Texas, Swoopes was raised by her mother Louise Swoopes, and played basketball with her three older brothers. She began competing at age seven, in a local children's league called Little Dribblers. Coached under Dickie Faught and Kathey Granger, Swoopes was a member and junior on the 1988 Texas State Championship team.
Initially recruited by the University of Texas, Swoopes left the school shortly after her arrival without playing a game, and enrolled at South Plains College. After playing at South Plains for two years, Swoopes transferred to Texas Tech.