Former WNBA star Nikki McCray-Penson has died at age 51. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 when she was a member of Dawn Staley’s coaching staff at the University of South Carolina.
McCray-Penson spent her last year as an assistant coach at Rutgers. The school confirmed her death to The NY Post on Friday.
“She was so devoted to her husband and son, and still gave all of herself to everyone in the program. We will miss her dearly but will keep Nikki’s memory alive in our hearts,” the statement read in part.
“Heart hurts like crazy over this one!” former teammate A’ja Wilson wrote on Twitter.
McCray-Penson, a 5’11” guard, played for the University of Tennessee from 1991–1995. She was a two-time SEC Player of the Year and led the U.S. Olympic Team to a gold medal in 1996.
McCray-Penson played in the WNBA for 8 seasons and was named to three WNBA All-Star teams (in 1999, 2000, and 2001). She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Prayers to her family may she rest in power.