What Is Sheryl Swoopes’ Net Worth?
Sheryl Swoopes is an American former professional basketball player who has a net worth of $300 thousand. Sheryl Swoopes was the first person signed to play in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and she was named WNBA MVP three times. Sheryl played for the Houston Comets (1997–2007), Seattle Storm (2008), and Tulsa Shock (2011), and at the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game, she was named one of the Top 15 Players of All Time. Swoopes won Olympic gold medals in 1996, 2000, and 2004 and FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup gold medals in 1998 and 2002, and she is one of just 11 women’s basketball players to win an NCAA Championship, a WNBA title, an Olympic gold medal, and a FIBA World Cup gold medal. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.
Since retiring from basketball, Sheryl has worked as an assistant basketball coach at Washington’s Mercer Island High School (2010) and head coach for the women’s basketball team at Loyola University Chicago (2013–2016), but she was fired from Loyola after the school investigated allegations of “student-athlete mistreatment.” At her alma mater, Texas Tech, Swoopes served as a color analyst for women’s basketball broadcasts from 2012 to 2013, and in 2017, she was hired as the Director of Player Development for the women’s basketball program. The following year, she became the assistant coach of the Texas Tech women’s basketball team. Sheryl also starred in the 1995 instructional video “Swoopes on Hoops” and voiced herself in 2019’s “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.”
Unfortunately Sheryl Swoopes filed for bankruptcy in 2004 as a result of mismanaging her money, and bankruptcy records revealed that she owed more than $700,000 at the time, including $275,000 to the IRS.
Sheryl Swoopes was born Sheryl Denise Swoopes on March 25, 1971, in Brownfield, Texas. Sheryl was raised by her mother, Ida Louise Swoopes, and she has three older brothers, who she played basketball with during her youth. Sadly, Ida passed away from colon cancer in March 2017, and when Sheryl was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame a few months later, she said of her mother, “Although she’s not physically here with us, I know she’s here in spirit and will forever live on in my heart.” At the age of 7, Swoopes started playing basketball in the Little Dribblers children’s league, and as a teenager, she was a member of the basketball team at Brownfield High School.
After graduation, Sheryl enrolled at the University of Texas but left before playing a single game. She then played basketball for two years at South Plains College before transferring to Texas Tech. In 1993, the Texas Tech Lady Raiders won the NCAA women’s basketball championship, and the following year, the school retired Swoopes’ jersey. During her time on the team, Sheryl set a record for best single-game championship scoring performance (47 points) during a 1993 game against Ohio State, breaking Bill Walton’s record. Swoopes averaged 24.9 points per game when she played for the Lady Raiders, which is the best points-per-game average in Texas Tech history, and she scored 23 double-doubles and three triple-doubles. In 1993, she won the Naismith College Player of the Year award and the Honda Sports Award, and she was named the WBCA Player of the Year and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year.
After being chosen for the USA national team, Sheryl played in the 1994 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, and the team won a bronze medal. The team won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, then they took home the gold at the 1998 World Cup in Germany, the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, the 2002 World Cup in China, and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. During the WNBA’s inaugural season in 1997, the Houston Comets recruited Swoopes, and six weeks after giving birth to her son, Sheryl played in the last third of the inaugural season The team won the 1997 WNBA Championship, and they won again in 1998, 1999, and 2000. During her 11 seasons with the Comets, Swoopes scored more than 2,000 points and was named WNBA MVP in 2000, 2002, and 2003. She is the second player in the history of the WNBA to be named All-Star Game MVP and regular season MVP in the same season and the first player to score a triple-double in both the playoffs and regular season. In 1995, Nike released Air Swoopes basketball sneakers, making Sheryl the first woman to have a Nike shoe named in her honor.
In March 2008, Swoopes ended her career with the Comets and signed with the Seattle Storm, but the Storm waived her in February 2009. In 2011, she played for the Tulsa Shock, and in August of that year, she ended the team’s 20-game losing streak, thanks to a buzzer-beating shot against the Los Angeles Sparks. After the 2011 season, Sheryl became a free agent, and in 2012, Steve Swetoha, the owner of the Tulsa Shock, said that he wasn’t planning on offering her a new contract. Swoopes began blogging for the “Shape” magazine website during the 2012 Summer Olympics and referred to herself as “a former professional basketball player.” In 2016, the WNBA voted Sheryl into the WNBA Top [email protected], which honored the 20 best players in the first 20 years of the league. In 2021, the league named her one of the top 25 WNBA players of all time.
Sheryl married Eric Jackson, her high school sweetheart, on June 7, 1995, and they welcomed son Jordan (born 1997) before divorcing in 1999. In October 2005, Swoopes became one of the highest-profile athletes to publicly come out as gay. She told “ESPN The Magazine,” “My reason for coming out isn’t to be some sort of hero. I’m just at a point in my life where I’m tired of having to pretend to be somebody I’m not. I’m tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about. About the person I love.” At the time, Sheryl was in a relationship with Alisa Scott, a former basketball player who served as an assistant coach for the Houston Comets, and she told the publication, “Discovering I’m gay just sort of happened much later in life. Being intimate with [Alisa] or any other woman never entered my mind. At the same time, I’m a firm believer that when you fall in love with somebody, you can’t control that.” Swoopes and Scott split up in 2011, and Sheryl became engaged to her longtime male friend Chris Unclesho later that year. Swoopes and Unclesho married on July 21, 2017.
Awards and Honors
In 1993, the Associated Press named Swoopes the Female Athlete of the Year, and she won the WBCA Player of the Year award as well as the Honda Sports Award. “Sports Illustrated” named her one of the decade’s top 20 female athletes in December 2009, and the publication also included her on its 2000 list of the best female athletes of the past century. In 2006, the Equality Forum honored Sheryl as an LGBT History Month Icon.