Nikki McCray was an esteemed American basketball player who amassed an immense fortune through lucrative contracts and coaching opportunities. Additionally, she expanded her operations and created lucrative revenue streams as she expanded her enterprise further.
Former University of Tennessee guard and three-time WNBA All-Star was an unstoppable force on the court. She earned a place in the Hall of Fame.
Early Life and Education
Nikki McCray was an accomplished American basketball athlete renowned for her illustrious career spanning over two decades and earning considerable wealth and recognition during that period. Subsequently, she expanded into coaching which further increased her financial position.
McCray was born December 17, 1971 in Collierville, Tennessee and quickly developed an avid love for basketball as a child thanks to her grandmother who ensured that she would play alongside male cousins even though she was female.
She attended the University of Tennessee as part of their winning Lady Volunteers team before playing professionally in the WNBA for Washington Mystics, Indiana Fever, Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury teams.
Nikki McCray was born December 17, 1971 in Collierville and showed an early affinity for basketball, honing her skills at school before going on to represent Tennessee as a dominant guard.
After graduation, she embarked on her professional basketball journey by joining Columbus Quest of the American Basketball League. Within months of joining, she made an immediate mark within her league by winning its championship (1996)-97) as well as earning the MVP title.
He achieved more success in the WNBA with teams such as Washington Mystics, Indiana Fever, Phoenix Mercury, San Antonio Stars and Chicago Sky. She won two Olympic gold medals during this time. After retiring as a player in 2006 she is married to Thomas Penson and has one son named Thomas Nikson Penson.
Achievement and Honors
McCray made her mark on women’s basketball during an eight-season run in the WNBA and earned three All-Star team selections; additionally, she garnered gold medals as part of Team USA in both 1996 and 2000 Olympics.
Nikki Kesangane McCray-Penson made basketball her life from an early age. Attending Collierville High School, then later leading the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers to two NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships as coach.
After she finished playing, she turned her attention to coaching at a collegiate level and held various coaching roles at Western Kentucky, South Carolina, and Old Dominion. She shared her life with husband Thomas Nikson Penson; together they had one son.
Nikki McCray was an accomplished American basketball player who gained notoriety while competing in the Women’s National Basketball Association for eight seasons and earning three All-Star selections – she also participated in two Olympic teams.
After retiring from playing basketball, she moved on to coaching where she excelled at inspiring and motivating players. Her ability was demonstrated when she served as assistant coach of South Carolina Gamecocks before being appointed head coach for Mississippi State women’s basketball from 2020-2021.
Thomas Penson was an integral part of her life and offered unwavering support during her 10-year battle against cancer. They have one child together – now 10 years old. Thomas and Catherine had been married for 21 years when she passed.
Nikki McCray enjoyed a remarkable basketball career. Her passion for the game first ignited at an early age and as she excelled, her efforts and talent led to lucrative contracts which significantly added to her net worth.
Once her playing career had concluded, she turned her focus and commitment toward coaching female players – with great success. Her devotion has inspired generations of female athletes.
Her sudden passing has come as a shock and has caused many fans to come together in mourning. Robert Penson confirmed that she died due to complications associated with breast cancer which she was diagnosed with in 2013 before entering remission later. She was 51 when she passed.