Last week the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame announced its class of 2022, which will be officially inducted this June in Knoxville, Tennessee. Among the eight people named is DeLisha Milton-Jones, two-time WNBA Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist who is currently in her second year as head coach at Old Dominion University.

“I feel so blessed to have my career come to this point to where I’m being recognized for all of my sacrifices and efforts that were made over my 17-year tenure in the WNBA,” said Milton-Jones. “To be able to do it domestically and internationally…I’m tickled pink that I was able to do it for so long and at such a high level.”

Milton-Jones played in a then record-setting 499 WNBA games. In addition to her two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks, she won professional titles overseas, including the prestigious EuroLeague Championship. Despite international and domestic success, she was largely overlooked for WNBA honors because she played in the shadow of legendary players Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker and Tina Thompson.

“When I look over my career, if I had it all to do again, I would do it the exact same way—giving everything that I had in every moment and never being selfish,” she said. “I had the ability to take over a game, but I did what’s best for the team. As a result, my sacrificing allowed for us to have opportunities to call ourselves champions.”

Milton-Jones gave abundant praise to her husband, Roland Jones Jr., who not only helped her develop her game, but also pushed her into coaching. “It’s awesome when you can go on a journey that I’ve been on and you are able to share that space with someone you love,” she said. The first team she coached was Jones’ American Basketball Association team, and he took her critiques in stride. Her ODU team is having a winning season and aiming for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

“It motivates me to be even better in whatever capacity that I can be as their leader and that living example for them,” said Milton-Jones, who is thrilled to share this moment with her ODU players. “I’m hoping that one day one of them can be showered with an award and an honor like this.”

Other honorees include former Liberty player Becky Hammon, now an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs and recently named head coach of the Las Vegas Aces, and Penny Taylor, a three-time WNBA Champion with the Phoenix Mercury. Also, Title IX, which celebrates 50 years this year, is the recipient of the Trailblazer of the Game award.

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