Comets' Tiffany Woosley hits big after a career at Tennessee

Jennifer Markesino

Tiffany Woosley is the Houston Comets guard from Coffee County, Tenn.

She was selected developmental player by the Women's National Basketball Association, and was signed by the Comets in May 1997.

Woosley's story begins like many other athletes'. She had been a star player for the Tennessee Lady Volunteers for three years by the time she entered her senior year.

Woosley, through her college career, had earned two consecutive All-South Eastern Conference mentions, with the help of her 13 points per game.

She also shot 88 percent at the free-throw line in her career. Woosley broke the Tennessee accuracy record in free throws in 1993, while breaking her own personal record in 1994.

The Tennessee star reached 1,000 career points during her junior year in college. Although the Lady Volunteers did not win the Final Four that year, Woosley's would-have-been senior year had Tennessee's chances for a championship looking up for the following season.

But that season was stopped short for "Wooz" when she injured her right knee in the eighth game of the year.

Woosley was unable to participate in any more games during the season, but still watched her teammates from the sidelines win their fourth consecutive SEC championship.

With Woosley's career virtually stunted before it took off, she began coaching basketball at Lincoln County High School in Tennessee.

She also played in the Lincoln County High School men's basketball league due to the lack of female participation for a separate league.

Little did Woosley know that her playing career had not yet seen its best moments.

Three years later, Tiffany received the fateful call from the WNBA.

"This is my first time playing in three years," said Woosley, who is now 24 years old.

In Woosley's first year with the Comets, she has proven herself a valuable asset to her teammates and coach Van Chancellor, and has been undaunted by the larger crowds in the WNBA, despite her petite 5-foot-7 inch, 132-pound frame.

Woosley hopes the new league can continue to grow in popularity.

"I hope (the WNBA) will last," she said.

"We (have) exciting games. They are physical, but not dirty. One thing every team in the WNBA has to do is have sportsmanship."

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