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Ann Meyers
WNBA's [[New Jersey Gems (WBL)|New Jersey Gems (WBL)]]  – No. 15
Guard
Born March 26, 1955 (1955-03-26) (age 54)
San Diego, California
Nationality USA
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 134 lb (61 kg)
College UCLA
Draft 1st player drafted in the WBL, 1978
New Jersey Gems
WNBA career 1978–1981
Awards and Honors
WBL Co-MVP for the 1979-1980
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  United States
Women's Basketball
Silver 1976 Montreal Team Competition

Ann Elizabeth Meyers (born March 26, 1955 in San Diego, California) is a retired American basketball player and sportscaster. She is a distinguished figure in the history of women's basketball and sports journalism. A standout player in high school, college, the Olympic Games, international tournaments, and the professional levels, she is one of the most talented women to ever have played the game.

Meyers was the first player to be part of the U.S. national team while still in high school. She was the first woman to be signed to a four-year athletic scholarship for college, at UCLA[1]. She was also the only woman to sign a contract with a National Basketball Association team, the Indiana Pacers (1979).[2]

Meyers currently resides in Huntington Beach, California, and serves as the general manager for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and vice president of the NBA's Phoenix Suns. For over 26 years, she served as a network television sports analyst for ESPN, CBS, and NBC. In 2006, Meyers was awarded the Ronald Reagan Media Award from the United States Sports Academy.

Contents

Athletic accomplishments

High school

Ann attended Sonora High School in La Habra, California. As an all-around athlete, she competed in softball, badminton, field hockey, and tennis, as well as basketball. She earned thirteen Most Valuable Player awards in high school sports. She led her basketball teams to an 80-5 record. In 1974, Ann became the first high school student to play for the U.S. national team.

College

Ann was a four-year athletic scholarship player for the UCLA Bruins women's basketball team (1976–1979), the first woman to be so honored at any university. In a game against Stephen F. Austin on February 18, 1978, she recorded the first quadruple-double in NCAA Division I basketball history, with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals.[3][4] Since then, University of Tennessee at Martin junior guard Lester Hudson is the only other Division I basketball player, male or female, to have done so.[3] On March 25th, 1978, her UCLA Bruins team was the AIAW national champion: UCLA defeated Maryland, 90–74 at Pauley Pavilion. While at UCLA (1976–1979), she became the first four-time All American women's basketball player. She was the winner of the Broderick Award as outstanding women's college basketball player of the year, as well as the Broderick Cup for outstanding woman athlete of the year in 1978. As of 2008, Ann still holds UCLA career records for season steals (125), career steals (403), and career blocked shots (101). [4]

Olympics and World competition

Ann was a member of the US team that won the 1975 Pan American Games Gold medal. She played on the US Olympic basketball team that won a Silver Medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. That team was led by Billie Moore, her own coach at UCLA. She was on the 1979 US team that won the 1979 FIBA World Championship for Women Gold medal. This was the first time since 1957 that the United States won a World Championship title. She also won silver medals at the 1979 Pan American Games and 1977 World University Games.

Professional

In 1980, Ann made NBA history when she signed a $50,000 no-cut contract with NBA's Indiana Pacers. She participated in three-day tryouts for the team, the first by any woman for the NBA, but eventually was not chosen for the final squad.[5] She became a color analyst for the NBA at a time when there were very few women in sports casting.[6][2] Ann was the first woman player drafted by the Women's Professional Basketball League (WPBL) in 1978 to the New Jersey Gems. Playing for the Gems, Ann was the WPBL Co-MVP for the 1979-1980.[5] She wore jersey #14 for the Gems. She also won TV's Women Superstars competition three consecutive years: 1980, 1981, and 1982. Meyers served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of Basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics. [7]

Honors and Hall of Fame inductions

Family

On November 1, 1986, she married former Los Angeles Dodger Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale, and took the name Ann Meyers Drysdale. It was the first time that a married couple were members of their respective sports' Halls of Fame. Meyers and Drysdale had three children together: Don Jr. "D.J." (son), Darren (son), and Drew (daughter).

She was widowed on July 3, 1993 when Don died of a heart attack in Montreal, Canada.

Meyers is the sister of former NBA player Dave Meyers, who also played college basketball at UCLA, under legendary coach John Wooden. He played four seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks after being one of four players traded from the Los Angeles Lakers (who had selected him in the first round of the 1975 NBA Draft) for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Broadcasting Career

Ann Meyers has been the women's basketball analyst at the Summer Olympics since the NBC's coverage of the 2000 Sydney Olympics for NBC Sports.

She served as an analyst on ESPN's coverage of the WNBA and previously worked for NBC Sports full-time as its lead WNBA analyst from 1997 to 2002. Meyers also worked "Hoop-It-Up" telecasts in 1994 and 1995. Since 1983, she has served as an ESPN analyst for various events including both men's and women's NCAA basketball games.

She also worked as a color analyst for the Indiana Pacers making her the first woman to do game analysis for the team.

Meyers led the U.S. to a silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal as women's basketball made its Olympic debut, and returned eight years later as an announcer for ABC Sports at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She has since covered a wide variety of sports for major networks in the U.S, including the 1986, 1990 and 1994 Goodwill Games, men's and women's college basketball, and NCAA softball and volleyball.

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ "Interview with Phoenix Mercury GM Ann Meyers Drysdale". http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2009/4/26/854412/interview-with-phoenix-mercury-gm. Retrieved 2009-07-12.  
  2. ^ a b Mercury Name Ann Meyers Drysdale As General Manager Phoenix Mercury web site, September 12, 2006
  3. ^ a b SKYHAWK JUNIOR MAKES NCAA HISTORY WITH QUADRUPLE-DOUBLE. University of Tennessee at Martin - UT Martin Sports, November 14, 2007 (Quadruple-double history mention)
  4. ^ a b c UCLA Women's basketball media guide
  5. ^ a b Porter, Karra (May 2006) (in English). Mad Seasons: The Story of the First Women's Professional Basketball League, 1978-1981. Bison Books. ISBN 0803287895.  
  6. ^ Women's Basketball Pioneer Earns USSA Media Award American Sport Museum and Archives, January 13, 2006
  7. ^ Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup - A blog on sports media, news and networks - baltimoresun.com
  8. ^ "Hall of Famers". Basketball Hall of Fame. http://www.hoophall.com/hall-of-famers/tag/ann-e-meyers. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  9. ^ (in English) Vencedor, Sonora High School Yearbook, Volume 29. La Habra, California: Jostens. June 1995. pp. 129.  
  10. ^ "Winner of the Mel Greenberg Media Award". WBCA. http://www.wbca.org/Releases/MelGreen2009.html. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  
  11. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. http://www.wbhof.com/inductees.html. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  12. ^ 2003 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award Recipients. National Collegiate Athletic Association, November 21, 2002
  13. ^ NCAA ANNOUNCES SILVER ANNIVERSARY AWARD RECIPIENTS. National Collegiate Athletic Association, November 21, 2002

Bibliography

Preceded by
Richard C. Chapman
Maurice "Bo" Ellis
Herman Frazier
Betsy King
John Naber
Rodney E. Slater
Silver Anniversary Awards (NCAA)
Class of 2003
Debbie Brown
Ann Meyers Drysdale
Dale Kramer
Kenneth MacAfee
Warren Moon
Gifford Nielsen
Succeeded by
Trish Millines Dziko
Bruce Furniss
Virginia Gilder
Stacey Johnson
Gregory Kelser
Kellen Winslow







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