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Diana Taurasi

Category: Other sports, Women in Sports
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Biography:

Diana Taurasi is a professional basketball player, who currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA and UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia. A fan favorite and superstar alike, Diana was voted as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history by fans in 2011, as well as racking up three Olympic gold medals, two WNBA championships, five Euroleague championships, and three USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Awards.

Diana Taurasi was selected first overall in the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury, averaging 17 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists in her rookie season, receiving the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award. Under the direction of former NBA coach Paul Westhead, and addition of rookie Cappie Pondexter to the Mercury’s, Diana broke Katie Smith’s league record for points in a season and earned a third straight trip to the All Star Game in 2006. In 2007, Diana led the team to their first WNBA title, becoming the seventh player to ever win an NCAA title, a WNBA title, and an Olympic gold medal, along with other basketball greats Maya Moore, Tamika Catchings, and Sheryl Swoopes. In 2009, Diana led the Mercury to its second WNBA championship, earning the WNBA MVP Finals honor. She won the WNBA MVP award earlier that season, becoming one of only two players, alongside Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, to win the season scoring title, the season MVP award, a WNBA Championship and the finals MVP in the same season.

To supplement her impressive WNBA career, sports speaker Diana Taurasi was a member of the USA women’s 2004, 2008 and 2012 gold medal Olympic Basketball Teams. In 2009, she was invited to the USA Basketball Women’s National Team, where she trained to compete in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational, as well as the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Olympics. Prior to her professional career, Diana played for the University of Connecticut playing primarily point and shooting guard, where she led the Huskies to three consecutive NCAA championships. During her time there, Diana received the Naismith College Player of the year in 2003 and 2004, along with the 2003 Wade Trophy and the 2003 Associated Press Player of the Year Award.

Putting a strong emphasis on philanthropy in her life, Diana started the Diana Taurasi Foundation, which has recently joined with KaBOOM!, UCONN Women’s Basketball alumni, Barnum Financial, People’s Bank, the Bridgeport Bluefish, and Chemwerth in building a children’s playground in Bridgeport, CT. Setting herself apart as a strong role model and leader, she has also opened a Reading and Learning Room at the Boys and Girls Club in Guadalupe. On top of her charitable work, she signed a shoe deal with Nike for her Nike Shox DT, and has an endorsement deal with Eight O’clock Coffee.