Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

February 23, 1999

Washington Mystics Team Captain Nikki McCray To Deliver Women's History Month Keynote Address at the Library of Congress

Nikki McCray, captain of the Women's National Basketball Association Washington Mystics, will deliver the 1999 Women's History Month keynote address at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, March 3, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Memorial Building, at 1 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

"We are pleased to have Ms. McCray with us to kick-off our monthlong celebration of women's history," said Federal Women's Program Manager Jean Parker. "As an employee of the first women's professional basketball team in the nation's capital and through her community service, Ms. McCray is a wonderful role model for young people."

The oldest of four children, Ms. McCray is a native of Collierville, Tenn. During her years at Collierville High School, her prowess on the basketball court earned her the No. 10 spot on the National Federation of State High School Associations' list of all-time high school scorers. This drew the attention of Pat Summitt, coach of the Lady Volunteers, University of Tennessee, who recruited Ms. McCray for the team. In 1995, she graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in sports marketing and education.

Following graduation, Ms. McCray played for the 1996 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic women's basketball team. In 1997 she was named the American Basketball League's (ABL) most valuable player, having led the ABL Columbus Quest to a league championship. She was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. National team at the 1998 FIBA (the international basketball association) Women's World Championship in Germany.

After signing with the Women's National Basketball Association in 1998, Ms. McCray was the first player selected for the Washington Mystics in 1998. During their inaugural season, the Mystics led the league in attendance with an average of 16,000 fans per game, and two sell-out crowds of 20,000 (the largest number ever to watch professional women's basketball in the United States). She was named one of six core members of USA Basketball's Senior National Team, a precursor to the 2000 Olympic team.

During the off-season, Ms. McCray is involved with several community organizations and is the official spokesperson for the Wizards and Mystics Pick & Roll reading incentive program, in which some 3,500 area students participate. She has worked at Abe's Table, a soup kitchen sponsored by team owner Abe Pollin.

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PR 99-028
ISSN 0731-3527

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