As part of the celebration for its landmark 20th season, the WNBA is honoring the 20 greatest and most influential players to play in the league. They have announced candidate list of 60 nominees, six of which are former UConn Huskies.
Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, Nykesha Sales and Diana Taurasi were all named on the list. The final 20 will be unveiled on the 10 a.m. SportsCenter on June 21, which was the day of the first regular season game in 1997.
The finalists will be chosen by a 15-person panel.
Sue Bird won two national championships at UConn and was selected 1st overall in the 2002 WNBA Draft. She has played in 425 WNBA games since, starting all 425. Bird has averaged 12.3 points per game, shooting 42.6% from the field. The nine-time All-Star has added 5.4 assists per game and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Swin Cash won two national championships at UConn before being selected 2nd overall in the 2002 WNBA Draft. Cash has played in 456 games, starting 415 of them. The three-time WNBA champion has averaged 11.0 points per game to go along with 5.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game. She is a four-time All-Star and two-time All-Star Game MVP.
Tina Charles was the 1st overall pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft after winning two national championships as a Husky. The 2012 WNBA MVP has played in 209 games, starting all of them. She has averaged 17.5 points per game, 10.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game and is a four-time All-Star.
Maya Moore was selected 1st overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft and is a three-time WNBA Champion. In 180 games with 180 starts, Moore has scored 18.8 points per game, adding 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. She was the 2014 WNBA MVP, 2013 Finals MVP, and 2015 All-Star Game MVP.
Nykesha Sales retired in 2007 after beginning her WNBA career in 1999, being selected by the Orlando Miracle as part of the expansion draft. She started in 274 of her 278 games played, averaging 14.2 points per game and 1.8 steals per game and was an eight-time All-Star.
Diana Taurasi was selected 1st overall in 2004 after leading UConn to three consecutive national titles. In 344 games and 344 starts, she has scored 20.2 points per game, as well as 4.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. She is a two-time champion and 2009 MVP. She is a five-time All-Star and has been selected to seven All-WNBA first teams.