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Teresa Edwards

Four-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Teresa Edwards, one of the most respected players in international women’s basketball history, first put on a USA uniform at the age of 17 at the 1981 U.S. Olympic Festival and was a fixture on USA Basketball teams for nearly two decades.

Just 20 years old and the youngest member of the gold medal winning 1984 U.S. Olympic Team, Edwards could not have imagined what lay ahead for her in international basketball. The talented guard went on to become the most decorated Olympic basketball player of all-time, male or female, winning four gold medals and one bronze medal for her country. She also etched her name in Olympic history books as the youngest recipient of a women's Olympic gold medal in 1984 (20) and the oldest (36) gold medalist in 2000, a record ceded to the 37-year-old Tamika Catchings in 2016.

Through the years, Edwards was a member of 22 different USA Basketball teams. Of a possible 18 medals, she won 14 gold, one silver and three bronze medals, and USA teams with Edwards on the roster compiled an overall record of 205-14 for a 93.6 winning percentage. Having played in 216 games representing the United States, Edwards compiled some incredible statistics -- 2,008 points, 890 assists, 576 rebounds and 372 steals and a career field goal percentage of 50.3. Numbers others can only dream of and a record of longevity beyond comprehension.

Olympic Honors

  • U.S. Chef de Mission for the 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Voted by 1996 USA Olympic Team captains to take the Olympic Oath on behalf of all Olympic competitors at the 1996 Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies.

Halls of Fame

  • FIBA Hall of Fame (2013)
  • U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame (2009)
  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2011)
  • Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (2010)
  • Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (2001)
  • NCAA Silver Anniversary Award (2011)

International Records:

  • Currently ranks No. 11 in the world for most won Olympic medals in the same team event; she jumps to No. 3 when factoring only for traditional team sports (sports using balls, pucks, etc.).
  • Scored 368 points over 22 FIBA World Cup games to rank 10th among all-time scorers at the event.
  • Is the only basketball athlete in the world to have won five Olympic medals.

USA Basketball Notes:

  • Gold Medals: 2000, 1996, 1988 & 1984 Olympics; 1990 & 1986 FIBA World Cup; 1990 & 1986 Goodwill Games; 1987 Pan American Games; 1984 R. William Jones Cup; 1982 COPABA Junior Tournament.
  • Silver Medals: 1997 World Cup Qualifying Tournament.
  • Bronze Medals: 1994 World Cup, 1992 Olympics, 1991 Pan American Games.
  • Tournament Titles: 1999 U.S. Olympic Cup; 1983, 1982 & 1981 U.S. Olympic Festivals.
  • Co-captain of the 1996 Olympic gold medal team.
  • Earned 1994 All-World Championship honors.

USA Basketball Records:

  • Named USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year a record four times (2000, 1996, 1990 and 1987), a mark since tied by Diana Taurasi.
  • Owns USA Olympic career records for games played (32, tie), assists (143) and steals (59), also lists fourth for points (265).
  • Set USA Olympic single-game record for assists with 15 vs. Australia (7/27/96).
  • Holds USA Olympic competition record for assists with 64 (1996) and ranks third in steals with 23 (1988).
  • Ranks second among all USA World Cup career leaders for points (371), first for 3-point percentage (52.0%) and fourth for assists (75) and steals (46).
  • Set the USA World Cup competition record for points with 175 (1990), also lists third in 3-point field goal percentage (53.6%, 1990), assists (30, 1986) and fifth in steals (23, 1990).
  • Holds USA World Cup single-game records for points with 32 vs. Canada (7/18/90) and Cuba (7/17/90) and is tied for first for assists with 12 vs. China (8/13/86).
  • Owns USA Pan American Games career records for assists (49) and steals (24) and lists fourth in points (175).
  • Set USA Pan American Games single-game records for field goals made with 11 (tie) vs. Brazil (8/15/87), field goals attempted with 21 vs. Cuba (8/10/91), highest field goal percentage with 1.000 (7-7) vs. Peru (8/12/87), assists (tie) with eight vs. Cuba (8/8/91) and Brazil (8/23/87).
  • Ranks third among USA Pan American Games single-competition leaders for points averaged (18.0 in 1991) and first and third for assists averaged (5.8 in 1987 and 4.3 in 1991) and second for steals averaged (2.7 in 1991).

Professional Notes:

  • Played for the WNBA Minnesota Lynx during the 2003 and 2004 seasons and spent 2007 as a Lynx assistant coach.
  • Played for the ABL Atlanta Glory and Philadelphia Rage.
  • Prior to the ABL folding in December 1998, ranked first in the ABL for scoring (21.0 ppg.), fourth for assists (5.6 apg.) and third for steals (2.9 spg.).
  • Named 1998 All-ABL first team, finished season ranked as the ABL leader in assists (6.7 apg.), second in steals (2.7 spg.) and third in scoring (20.4 ppg.).
  • On April 17, 1997, named Player/Head Coach of the ABL Atlanta Glory, posted a 15-29 record in the 1997-98 season.
  • Scored a league record 46 points vs. Seattle (11/20/97) and was the only ABL player to score 40 or more points in a game and did so four times in two seasons.
  • Shares the ABL single-game assist record, dished out 14 assists vs. Seattle (1/25/97).
  • Named 1997 All-ABL first team and runner-up to Olympic teammate Nikki McCray in league MVP voting.
  • Selected as 1998 and 1997 ABL All-Star as Eastern Conference starting guard. Scored an ABL All-Star Game record-tying 20 points in 1998.
  • Finished 1996-97 season ranked as the ABL's second leading scorer (21.1 ppg.).
  • Played professionally for nine years in Vicenia and Magenta, Italy (1987, 1988); Nagoya, Japan (1989-1993); Valencia, Spain (1994); and Tarbes, France (1994).

Collegiate Notes:

  • During her four seasons (1983-86), Georgia compiled a 116-17 overall record (87.2%), participated in four NCAA Tournaments, reached the NCAA Final Four twice (1985, 1983), finished runner-up in 1985 and won three Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles (1986, 1984, 1983).
  • Named 1986 and 1985 All-American by Kodak, Naismith, Women's Basketball News Service, and Street & Smith's.
  • Selected All-SEC first team in 1986, 1985 and 1984.
  • One of only three Georgia women's basketball players to have her number retired (#5).

Personal Notes:

  • Oldest of four children, has three younger brothers.
  • Earned her college degree in leisure studies in 1989.
  • Has a street named after her in her hometown of Cairo, Georgia, also the birthplace of Jackie Robinson.

USA Basketball Statistics

YEAR G FGM-A PCT 3PM-A PCT FTM-A PCT REB PTS AST BLK STL
2000 OLY 8 19-31 .613 3-6 .500 8-10 .800 15/ 1.9 49/6.1 27 1 3
1999-00 WNT 39 68-138 .493 13-35 .371 20-30 .667 88/2.3 169/4.3 143 9 66
1998 WNT 5 6-23 .261 2-6 .333 4-6 .667 21/ 4.2 18/3.6 27 0 17
1997 WCQ 5 23-57 .404 3-16 .188 24-32 .750 21/4.2 73/14.6 28 7 5
1997 WCQP 13 52-118 .441 13-36 .361 30-35 .857 38/2.9 147/11.3 62 1 25
1996 OLY 8 24-40 .600 1-4 .250 6-13 .462 30/ 3.8 55/6.9 64 2 8
*1995-96 WNT 49 119-228 .522 16-52 .308 58-71 .817 147/3.0 324/6.5 249 6 60
1994 WC 7 33-62 .532 11-22 .500 12-15 .800 25/3.6 89/12.7 21 1 9
1992 OLY 5 26-70 .371 5-24 .208 6-10 .600 2/ 0.4 63/12.6 27 1 18
1991 PAG 6 43-84 .512 8-22 .364 14-16 .875 8/1.3 108/18.0 26 2 16
1990 GWG 5 30-59 .508 5-13 .385 17-22 .773 11/2.2 82/16.4 21 2 13
1990 WC 8 65-122 .533 15-28 .536 30-41 .732 11/1.4 175/21.9 24 6 23
1988 OLY 5 33-57 .579 0-3 .000 17-21 .810 9/1.8 83/16.6 17 1 23
1987 PAG 4 31-54 .574 0-3 .000 5-10 .500 11/ 2.8 67/16.8 23 0 8
1986 WC 7 48-86 .558 0-0 .000 11-13 .846 18/2.6 107/15.3 30 1 14
1986 GWG 5 30-55 .545 1-2 .500 7-12 .583 9/ 2.5 70/14.0 15 1 13
1984 OLY 6 6-22 .273 n/a .--- 3-9 .333 12/2.0 15/ 2.5 8 0 7
1984 JC 8 21-41 .512 n/a .--- 2-2 1.000 15/1.9 44/ 5.5 9 3 12
1983 USOFS 4 28-60 .467 n/a .--- 5-7 .714 17/4.3 61/ 15.3 16 2 8
1982 JRCOP 8 59-112 .527 n/a .--- 13-27 .481 37/4.6 131/ 16.4 33 6 16
1982 USOFS 4 26-45 .578 n/a .--- 8-10 .800 17/4.3 60/ 15.0 12 2 4
1981 USOFS 4 9-23 .391 n/a .--- 0-0 .000 14/3.5 18/ 4.5 8 0 4
TOTALS *216 799-1587 .503 96-272 .353 300-412 .728 576/2.7 2008/9.4 890 54 372

*The 1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team played 52 games, however, statistics for two of the Senior National Team’s games are not available, also, statistics except for points are not available for one game during the Senior National Team’s tour. Edwards game total of 216 reflects all games, her point total reflects points scored in 214 games, all other statistics are for 213 games.

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