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Peep these 13 WNBA players who would make great head coaches

It’s widely known among basketball fans that if you enjoy seeing the fundamentals of the game at play, you watch the women’s game. Through their ball handling, well-timed screens and amazing footwork, the ladies hold it down. From WNBA legends to their current crop of stars, there’s a select few who could turn heads in the world of coaching.

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Below, check out which ladies would be able to answer the call to be a head coach in the WNBA if that special time comes. Icons like Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes obviously made the list, but so did some of the newer faces who deserve more recognition.

1. Lisa Leslie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG6umfDoVTU&ab_channel=BIG3

Leslie has already exhibited her coaching chops in Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league, but the former WNBA champion — and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer — has yet to step into the coaching ranks of the WNBA. Leslie has proven her ability to lead in a coaching position, as well as command the attention and respect of the men she has coached. With this kind of track record, Leslie could easily excel.

2. Candace Parker

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrqTbwtTjrM&pp=ygUdY2FuZGFjZSBwYXJrZXIgaW5zaWRlIHRoZSBuYmE%3D

Candace Parker is not only currently on the roster of reigning WNBA champion team the Las Vegas Aces, but she is also on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” as an analyst. Fans can watch Parker on screen several times a week during the NBA season, always meticulously breaking games down. Her passion and knowledge shine through every time she graces our televisions. As a former league and Finals MVP, it isn’t hard to imagine Parker mastering the art of coaching as well.

3. Maya Moore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq36Rv-CF4w&pp=ygUVbWF5YSBtb29yZSBoaWdobGlnaHRz

Maya Moore is a four-time WNBA champion who won Finals and league MVP. For a time, she was the measuring stick of a superstar in the WNBA in addition to being a social justice advocate. With her dynamic playing style and commitment to excellence, a transition to the coaching ranks could flow naturally.

4. Sheryl Swoopes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8kUgNV2Ui4&ab_channel=FOXSoul

When you think about the most decorated players in the history of the WNBA, you think of Swoopes. As one of the first players to sign a WNBA contract, Swoopes’ whole career has been historic. With four championships under her belt, she knows what it takes to maintain greatness over an extended amount of time. After an illustrious career on the court, she went into the administrative ranks of Texas Tech and had a short stint as an assistant coach. With her unique knowledge and experiences, Swoopes could be a legendary head coach.

5. Brittney Griner

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD8Bhjq8qdU&ab_channel=ESPN

Brittney Griner is a force to be reckoned with, to say the least. A WNBA champion and defensive juggernaut, she has been an anchor to her team’s success. Aside from being one of the few ladies in league history who can dunk, Griner is also known for her physicality and mental toughness, which was on full display while she was detained in Russia in 2022. Her defensive prowess and mental fortitude could translate well into being an effective head coach.

6. Cappie Pondexter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE1wNdr19rI&ab_channel=WNBA

The point guard position is so synonymous with coaching that a player who excels in it usually translates to being a good head coach. Cappie Pondexter played the game with such assertiveness that she took on the role of being a coach on the floor and commanded her team’s presence on the court. She was such a great leader that she was voted as the 2007 WNBA Finals MVP. Seeing the game as astutely as she does, Pondexter could make for a formidable head coach.

7. A’ja Wilson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRzeQfa52iQ&pp=ygUVYSdqYSB3aWxzb24gcG9zdCBnYW1l

A’ja Wilson is the best blend of everything that makes a star player in sports. She has immeasurable talent and also understands the value of showmanship. The baller knows her away around a post-game interview, and she has what it takes to win at the highest of levels.

The true key that would make Wilson a great head coach is the fact that Hall of Famer Becky Hammon is one of her coaches. Under her guidance, Wilson could become legendary in the role.

8. Nneka Ogwumike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h9iUT0ag2U&ab_channel=MalikaAndrews-ESPN

Nneka Ogwumike made waves last off-season as she navigated free agency. With the rise of talent consistently increasing in the WNBA, free agency news is becoming more interesting. She comes from a basketball family, with younger sister Chiney Ogwumike being her former teammate on the Los Angeles Sparks. Nneka has exhibited a championship pedigree and the ability to constantly adapt, proving that she could excel as a head coach after her playing days are through.

9. Angel Reese

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibwIz632OKQ&ab_channel=WomenHooping

The poise and self-awareness that Angel Reese exhibits should be commended. She is able to see where adjustments are needed throughout the course of a game. She has shown this ability even in the collegiate ranks, having won an NCAA title in 2023. Now a member of the Chicago Sky, Reese has a career ahead of her that could make for a great precursor to a head coach position.

10. Tamika Catchings

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=092C4AOzDbM

Tamika Catchings played for 15 years in the WNBA and spent some time after that as a game analyst with the SEC Network. She spent her whole playing career with the Indiana Fever, winning a championship and finals MVP in 2012. Not only has Catchings earned a long list of accolades, but she has overcome many obstacles, such as being born hard of hearing.

In 2017, she joined the ranks of the NBA through her role on the Indiana Pacers’ administrative staff as director of player programming. Catchings’ career has taken many shapes, and she has excelled through them all. With her story and discipline, the go-getter could reign supreme as a head coach.

11. Chiney Ogwumike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHletm06h6Y&ab_channel=ESPN

Chiney Ogwumike is as trusted a voice in the field as she is an active player. As the first Black woman and the first WNBA player to host a national radio show for ESPN, when you watch her game analysis, you gain a deeper appreciation of Chiney’s attention to detail and her ability to motivate. It’s those qualities that could really propel someone in their coaching endeavors.

12. Seimone Augustus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWJQZJ2OzCM&ab_channel=MinnesotaLynx

Seimone Augustus is a proven winner as a four-time WNBA champion with the Minnesota Lynx. The tandem of her and Maya Moore over that stretch truly proved to be an unstoppable force. Augustus served as an assistant coach to the Los Angeles Sparks in 2021 and 2022. She stepped away for personal reasons but has expressed interest in coaching again down the line. As a champion player who has dabbled in off-the-court leadership, she could make for a great head coach.

13. Tina Charles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qu_1vA3SRs&ab_channel=WNBA

There aren’t many players who are as fierce as Tina Charles in the center position. One of the most tenured ballers in WNBA history, she continues to be amazing on the glass and is a capable scorer. She made her name in the league with her physicality and expert work under the rim. The way that Charles excels in the fundamentals of the game with footwork and rebounding would make her an asset to a squad that needs a head coach who has performed at a high level. Her success could command the respect of the room, but only time will tell if coaching lies in her future.

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