The Texas Longhorns women’s basketball team has hired a new assistant in WNBA legend Tina Thompson. The UT Athletics website reported the announcement. Thompson further elaborated on joining head coach Karen Aston’s staff.
“It feels great to be a Longhorn,” Thompson said. “The tradition of pursing excellence at UT is very much how I live my life. I love coach Aston’s passion and her good will, in the sense that she absolutely cares; it is about creating opportunities for young women who can be successful in basketball and long after their playing career. I’m really excited start working with a dynamic staff that is fully dedicated to the pursuit of excellence for our student-athletes and the program.”
Sure enough, Aston spoke highly of her new assistant as well.
“Tina is incredibly respected and recognized as one of the greats in our game, and to have her bring her knowledge and passion to the Forty Acres is an absolute home run for Texas Basketball,” Aston said. “In fact, this may just be our best recruiting job thus far at Texas. Her legacy includes championships and success at every level.
“As she brings her world champion and gold medal experiences to Texas, her ability to teach and mentor our players on the ‘how-tos’ of being successful on and off the court will resonate with them on a daily basis. I am truly excited for the opportunity to work with Tina and have her beside us all as we continue to move Texas back to national prominence.”
Before heading down the coaching road, Thompson had an incredible 17-year career in the WNBA. She was the first overall pick out of USC in the association’s inaugural draft in 1997 and went on to win four titles with the Houston Comets and also played for the Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm. Upon her retirement, she was (and still is) the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer with 7,488 points. Thompson also has two Olympic gold medals to her name, having won them at the 2004 and 2008 games.
Now, she can bring her championship experience to a Texas women’s team looking to take the next step forward. In its third season under Aston, the Longhorns went 24-11 (9-9 Big 12) and made it to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to Geno Auriemma-led UConn.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to AP Photo/Elaine Thompson