Cappie Pondexter, along with 15 of the WNBA Top20@20 presented by Verizon honorees were presented with commemorative rings at Game 1 of the WNBA Finals on Sunday, October 9.
“It means a great deal because all the people that I’m surrounded by here are everyone that I grew up watching, when the WNBA first started,” said Pondexter when asked about the meaning of this accomplishment. “Just to be around all these players today feels surreal but I’m very appreciative at the same time. It’s a huge honor.”
In June 2016, Cappie Pondexter was one of 20 former and active players named to the WNBA Top20@20. Pondexter, who has competed in the WNBA for 11 seasons, is a two-time WNBA Champion and seven-time WNBA All-Star.
This season, Pondexter passed Lisa Leslie for sixth on the all-time scorers list. Pondexter has scored 6,312 points thus far in her career. After dishing 90 assists in the regular season, Pondexter reached the 1,400-career assists milestone; she passed Dawn Staley, Teresa Weatherspoon and Temeka Johnson on the list of all-time assists leaders and currently holds the eighth spot.
Ticha Penicheiro, who retired in 2012 after one season with the Chicago Sky, was also honored on court. Penicheiro is the all-time assist leader with a total of 2,599 assists accumulated over 15 seasons in the WNBA.
“To be here today amongst greatness coming from Portugal is really unbelievable. I did have great teammates and coaches. They made me look really good,” said Penicheiro. “I put a lot of hard work into the game with dedication, but it’s definitely a great honor to be here. It’s hard. Sometimes, I pinch myself. It’s surreal.”
The WNBA Top 20@20 presented by Verizon includes nine current players: Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Maya Moore, Candace Parker, Cappie Pondexter, Diana Taurasi and Lindsay Whalen. Eleven former players are also among the honorees: Cynthia Cooper, Yolanda Griffith, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Deanna Nolan, Katie Smith, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson and Teresa Weatherspoon.
The 60 nominees for the WNBA Top 20@20 presented by Verizon were selected based on factors like on-court performance and ability, leadership and sportsmanship, as well as contributions to team success. In addition, all players must have been a member of a WNBA team for two seasons and met three of the following seven criteria: the winner of a major individual award; a selection to either the All-WNBA First Team or All-WNBA Second Team; a selection to either the WNBA All-Defensive First Team or WNBA All-Defensive Second Team; a selection to the WNBA All-Star Game; a member of a WNBA Championship team; a current ranking among the top 30 career leaders in at least one major statistical category; and a selection to either the WNBA’s All-Decade Team (voted on in 2006) or the WNBA’s Top 15 Players (voted on in 2011).