Ann Meyers

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Ann Meyers Drysdale
Personal information
Born (1955-03-26) March 26, 1955 (age 68)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Listed height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Listed weight134 lb (61 kg)
Career information
High schoolSonora (La Habra, California)
CollegeUCLA (1974–1978)
WBL draft1978: 1st round, 1st overall pick
Selected by the Houston Angels
Playing career1978–1981
PositionShooting guard
Number15
Career history
1979–1981New Jersey Gems
Career highlights and awards
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
FIBA Hall of Fame as player
Medals
Women's Basketball
Representing the  United States
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1975 Mexico City National team
Silver medal – second place 1979 San Juan National team
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1976 Montreal Team competition
World University Games
Silver medal – second place 1977 Sofia National team
World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1979 Seoul National team
Jones Cup
Gold medal – first place 1979 Taipei Team competition

Ann Meyers Drysdale (born Ann Elizabeth Meyers; March 26, 1955) is an American retired pro basketball player and a sportscaster. She was a standout player in high school, college, the Olympic Games, international tournaments, and at professional levels.

Meyers was the first player to be part of the U.S. national team while still in high school. She was the first woman signed to a four-year college athletic scholarship, at UCLA.[1] She was also the first woman to sign a contract with a National Basketball Association team, the 1979 Indiana Pacers, for $50,000.

Meyers was president and general manager for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and a vice president for the NBA's Phoenix Suns.[2][3] She is a vice president for the Phoenix Mercury and a color analyst for the Phoenix Suns television broadcasts. For over 26 years, she served as a network television sports analyst for TNT, ESPN, CBS, and NBC. Meyers is a board member for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is named after Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott, and is given annually to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. In 1993, Meyers was one of the first women players inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and in the inaugural class at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. She was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007 and into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Early life[edit]

Meyers was born on March 26, 1955, the sixth of Patricia and Bob Meyers' 11 children. Her father played guard for Marquette University, then for the Shooting Stars, a professional team in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of her brothers, Dave, was an All-American at UCLA and went on to play for the Milwaukee Bucks.[4]

Athletic accomplishments[edit]

High school[edit]

Meyers attended Cornelia Connelly High School and then later Sonora High School in La Habra, California, where she was able to engage in more competitive play. As an all-around athlete, she lettered in seven sports, including in softball, badminton, field hockey, tennis, and basketball.[5] She earned thirteen Most Valuable Player awards in high school sports. She led her basketball teams to an 80–5 record. In 1974, Meyers became the first high school student to play for the U.S. national team.[4]

College[edit]

Meyers was a four-year athletic scholarship player for the UCLA Bruins women's basketball team (1974–1978),[6] the first woman to be so honored at any university.[4] In a game against Stephen F. Austin on February 18, 1978, she recorded the first quadruple-double in NCAA Division I basketball history, with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals.[6][7] Since then, only four Division I players, three female and one male, have done so.[7] On March 25, 1978, her UCLA Bruins team was the AIAW national champion: UCLA defeated Maryland, 90–74 at Pauley Pavilion. While at UCLA (1976–1979), she became the first four-time All-American women's basketball player. She was the winner of the Honda Sports Award as outstanding women's college basketball player of the year, as well as the Broderick Cup for outstanding woman athlete of the year in 1978.[8][9] As of 2008, she still holds UCLA career records for season steals (125), career steals (403), and career blocked shots (101).[6]

UCLA statistics[edit]

Source[10]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1977–78 UCLA 29 538 .526 .800 9.6 6.3 4.3 1.1 18.6
1976–77 UCLA 22 402 .505 .828 7.3 5.0 3.5 1.3 18.3
1975–76 UCLA 23 323 .426 .730 8.2 5.6 3.6 0.7 14.0
1974–75 UCLA 23 422 .528 .767 8.3 5.4 5.2 1.1 18.3
Career 97 1,685 .500 .785 8.4 5.6 4.2 1.0 17.4

Olympics and world competition[edit]

Meyers was a member of the US team that won the 1975 Pan American Games Gold medal.[4] She played on the US Olympic basketball team that won a silver medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.[4] That team was led by Billie Moore, her own coach at UCLA. She was on the 1979 US team that won the 1979 FIBA World Championship for Women Gold medal.[4] This was the first time since 1957 that the United States won a World Championship title. She also won silver medals at the 1979 Pan American Games and 1977 World University Games.[4]

Meyers was named to the team representing the US at the 1979 William Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan. The USA team won all six games en route to the gold medal.[11]

Professional[edit]

In July 1978, Meyers was selected first overall by the Houston Angels in the inaugural Women's Professional Basketball League draft. She decided against signing with the Angels to keep her amateur status and be eligible for the 1980 Olympics.

In 1979, Meyers made NBA history when she signed a $50,000 no-cut contract with NBA's Indiana Pacers.[4] She participated in three-day tryouts for the team, the first by any woman for the NBA, but eventually was not chosen for the final squad.[12] She became a color analyst for the team at a time when there were very few women in sportscasting.[13]

After her stint with the Pacers, Meyers finally joined the WBL and signed with the New Jersey Gems. Playing for the Gems, Meyers was the WPBL Co-MVP for the 1979–1980 season.[12] She wore jersey No. 15 for the Gems.

Superstars[edit]

Meyers entered the inaugural Women Superstars competition in 1979, finishing fourth, but then went on to win the next three consecutive years: 1980, 1981, and 1982.[5]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Meyers has been the women's basketball analyst at the Summer Olympics since the NBC's coverage of the 2000 Sydney Olympics for NBC Sports. She was offered a job to broadcast the Chicago Bulls games in 1993, but she turned it down due to family considerations.[14]

She served as an analyst on ESPN's coverage of the WNBA and previously worked for NBC Sports full-time as its lead WNBA analyst from 1997 to 2002. Meyers also worked "Hoop-It-Up" telecasts in 1994 and 1995. Since 1983, she has served as an ESPN analyst for various events including both men's and women's NCAA basketball games.

She also worked as a color analyst for the Indiana Pacers making her the first woman to do game analysis for the team. In 2012, she joined the Phoenix Suns broadcast team as a color analyst.[15] On July 11, 2018, she announced her retirement from the Suns.

Meyers led the U.S. to a silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal as women's basketball made its Olympic debut, and returned eight years later as an announcer for ABC Sports at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She has since covered a wide variety of sports for major networks in the U.S, including the 1986, 1990 and 1994 Goodwill Games, men's and women's college basketball, and NCAA softball and volleyball.

Meyers served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of women's basketball at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.[16]

Personal life[edit]

On November 1, 1986, she married former Los Angeles Dodger Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale, and took the name Ann Meyers Drysdale. It was the first time that a married couple were members of their respective sports' Halls of Fame. They had three children: sons Don Jr. (DJ) and Darren, and daughter Drew.[17]

Meyers was widowed on July 3, 1993, when Drysdale died of a heart attack in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[18]

Meyers is the sister of former NBA player Dave Meyers, who also played college basketball and was an All-American at UCLA, under coach John Wooden. He played four seasons for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

Previously a resident of Rancho Mirage, California,[19] Meyers resides in Huntington Beach, California.

Honors and Hall of Fame inductions[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with Phoenix Mercury GM Ann Meyers Drysdale". April 26, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  2. ^ Mercury's Drysdale adds title of president, Miami Herald, June 30, 2010
  3. ^ "A Lifetime of Firsts". Phoenix Woman. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Porter p. 120
  5. ^ a b Woolum p 188
  6. ^ a b c d UCLA Women's basketball media guide
  7. ^ a b SKYHAWK JUNIOR MAKES NCAA HISTORY WITH QUADRUPLE-DOUBLE. University of Tennessee at Martin – UT Martin Sports, November 14, 2007 (Quadruple-double history mention)
  8. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". CWSA. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  9. ^ "The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame :: Ann Meyers". www.hoophall.com. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  10. ^ "UCLA Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "1979 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Porter, Karra (May 2006). Mad Seasons: The Story of the First Women's Professional Basketball League, 1978–1981. Bison Books. ISBN 0-8032-8789-5.
  13. ^ Mercury Name Ann Meyers Drysdale As General Manager Phoenix Mercury web site, September 12, 2006
  14. ^ Smith, Michelle (May 7, 2010). "Ann Meyers Drysdale Epitomizes Working Mothers". AOL Sports. Archived from the original on May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  15. ^ "Ann Meyers Drysdale joins Phoenix Suns broadcast team". AZCentral.com. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  16. ^ Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup – A blog on sports media, news and networks – baltimoresun.com Archived November 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Lyons, Richard D. (July 5, 1993). "Don Drysdale, Hall of Fame Pitcher, Dies at 56". The New York Times.
  18. ^ Lyons, Richard D. (July 5, 1993). "Don Drysdale, Hall of Fame Pitcher, Dies at 56". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  19. ^ Meyers Drysdale, Ann (2012). You Let Some Girl Beat You?: The Story of Ann Meyers Drysdale. Behler. ISBN 978-1933016788.
  20. ^ "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  21. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  22. ^ "Hall of Famers". Basketball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on August 31, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
  23. ^ Vencedor, Sonora High School Yearbook, Volume 29. La Habra, California: Jostens. June 1995. p. 129.
  24. ^ "Mel Greenberg Media Award". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  25. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
  26. ^ 2003 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award Recipients[permanent dead link]. National Collegiate Athletic Association, November 21, 2002
  27. ^ NCAA ANNOUNCES SILVER ANNIVERSARY AWARD RECIPIENTS Archived May 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. National Collegiate Athletic Association, November 21, 2002

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]