Cynthia Cooper was named the second ever Phoenix Mercury head coach after leading the Houston Comets to four championships in WNBA.
Cooper, a former guard, earned All-WNBA First Team honors in each of her four seasons in the WNBA, and she was selected to the WNBA All-Star Team each year the game was played. Cooper is the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, and the Comet's all-time leader in points scored, scoring average, free throw percentage, assists and minutes played. She was named the WNBA Player of the Week six times in four seasons, and she was the first player to earn the award for two consecutive weeks.
Cooper led the WNBA in scoring from 1997-99, and she was the first player in WNBA history to reach the 300, 400, 500, 1000, 2000 and 2500-point plateaus. Cooper started every game she played and missed only two games in her WNBA career. She was originally signed by the WNBA and assigned to Houston on Jan. 22, 1997.
Prior to joining the WNBA in its first year of existence, Cooper played overseas from 1986-1997. She played in Spain and Italy and was the leading scorer eight times in 11 seasons. Cooper was also a member of the 1992 bronze-medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team and the 1988 gold-medal-winning Olympic team.
In college, she won two NCAA Championships (1983, 1984) with the University of Southern California. She led the Trojans to three Final Four appearances in four years, and currently ranks eighth on USC's all-time scoring list, fifth in assists and third in steals.
In addition to her basketball talents, Cooper has written an autobiography titled "She Got Game," and she has published a book project with elementary school children titled "Modern Day Fairy Tales." In the summer of 2001, Cooper is set to release "Reflections," a collection of her poems. She signed a recording contract with Virgin Records in 1999, and she is the Chief Executive Officer of Cooper-Metoyer Communications (CMC), a company she co-founded with her best friend and business partner Lavaille Metoyer.
Cooper, who went to Locke High School in Los Angeles, currently resides in Sugarland, Texas with her son Tyquon and four nieces and nephews. In honor of her late mother who raised eight children, Cooper founded the Mary Cobbs "Building Dream" Foundation which helps raise funds for breast cancer research in partnership with General Motors' Concept: Cure. Cooper also has her own shoe with NIKE called the Air C14 and she speaks fluent Italian.