The WNBA celebrates its 25th season by announcing the W25 – a collection of the 25 greatest and most influential players in the history of the league. The league unveiled its W25 during the halftime show of the Las Vegas Aces at the Chicago Sky on ABC.
Introduced in March, the WNBA launched the W25 platform in order to honor and pay homage to the most skilled players in the game – based on their overall contribution to the league and community. The players were vetted from a list of 72 nominees based on on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service, and contributions to team success. Each nominee was required to have been a member of the league for two or more seasons, and to meet four of seven-part criteria.
Selected by a credited group of media and women’s basketball pioneers, the class of 25 game-changing players consists of 10 active players and 15 retired players:
Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Angel McCoughtry, Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, Seimone Augustus, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper, Yolanda Griffith, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Maya Moore, Ticha Penicheiro, Cappie Pondexter, Katie Smith, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson, and Lindsay Whalen.
“Throughout this season, the WNBA and our fans are celebrating the impact the WNBA has made on sports and society over a quarter of a century,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “I can think of no better way to honor those responsible for that impact than by unveiling the members of this prestigious group, The W25. These athletes have played the game at the highest level on the court – they are scorers and rebounders, assist makers and defensive stoppers, leaders and mentors. In the community, they have powerful voices, individually and collectively, speaking out on important issues in our society. Together, they have transformed the way the game is played, changed the way athletes are viewed, become incredible role models, and inspired generations of young, diverse athletes.”
To continue the historic momentum, the league is launching its first-ever “Vote for the GOAT” program. Live until September 19, 2021, fans will be able to vote on WNBA.com or on the WNBA app for a member of the W25 to be named the greatest of all time (GOAT).
The GOAT will be unveiled during the WNBA Finals 2021 presented by YouTube TV.