Taurasi, 41, is in her 19th season with the Phoenix Mercury. Her 10,000th point came on a three-point shot with 8:23 left in the third quarter in a 91-71 win vs. the Atlanta Dream. Teammate Moriah Jefferson hit Taurasi on a pass that she caught and dropped in for the record-setting shot.
The game at Phoenix’s Footprint Center was stopped momentarily for Taurasi and her teammates to celebrate. Brittney Griner, who took off two games this week to deal with mental health issues, was there wearing a Taurasi jersey.
Mercury GM Jim Pitman presented Taurasi with the game ball as streamers were shot off. The crowd of 7,564 cheered as Taurasi rewrote the WNBA history books. Tina Thompson, the Hall of Famer and four-time WNBA champion for the Houston Comets and Los Angeles Sparks is second on the all-time list with 7,488 points.
“It was a cool night,” Taurasi said. “You couldn’t have wrote this any better, for our fans and for our city.”
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Mercury. The former UConn star finished with 42 points, the most she’s had in regulation in her career. She is the oldest WNBA player to score more than 40 points in a game.
“On behalf of the WNBA and basketball fans worldwide, I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Diana on reaching the incredible milestone of 10,000 points as she continues to author new chapters [in] an illustrious WNBA career,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement.
“Diana’s achievement stands as a testament to her skill, determination, and unwavering dedication to the game, which along with her competitive nature, has captivated fans with her incredible scoring ability, clutch performances, and unparalleled basketball IQ. We are honored to witness this milestone.”
Taurasi is a free agent next season but has not made the decision on whether or not to retire. The three-time champion was WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2004, has won five scoring titles, an Olympic gold medal and made 10 WNBA All-Star appearances.
Taurasi’s parents Lily and Mario watched her achieve her latest honor, but her wife, former WNBA player turned Mercury executive Penny Taylor and their children are in Australia for what Taurasi said were “family things.”
Afterward, she was shown a video montage that included tributes from Magic Johnson, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Dawn Staley, Steve Nash, Mike D’Antoni and retired WNBA stars Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus. She also received a pair of custom Jordans, a gold-painted basketball and a bottle of champagne. Despite the individual accolades she’s amassed in her career, including this latest one, Taurasi acknowledged the people she says contributed most to her success.
“I’m really thankful for my teammates because moments like this, it’s everyone’s moment,” Taurasi said. “And they really came with me, and they wanted me to do it tonight. And I said, ‘Boy, it would’ve been terrible if I only scored 17 tonight and pass out shirts with 9,999.’ But, luckily, it happened. And I’m just really grateful.”
See how Twitter’s reacting to the history-making shot below.
Diana Taurasi Makes History As 1st WNBA Player To Score 10,000 Points, Twitter Salutes was originally published on cassiuslife.com