Taj McWilliams-Franklin named women’s basketball assistant coach

New Boston University women’s basketball coach Katy Steding added yet another prestigious assistant coach to her staff Thursday with the announcement that Taj McWilliams-Franklin will join her on the sidelines this upcoming season.

“I am so proud to add Taj to our staff here at BU,” Steding said in a statement. “She is a person of amazing accomplishments and great character and she will be a terrific mentor and teacher to our team.”

McWilliams-Franklin boasts an illustrious resume both on and off the court. In her 13 years in the WNBA, McWilliams-Franklin played for seven different teams, captured two WNBA Championships and was named to the All-Star team six times.

A dominant post player, McWilliams-Franklin averaged 11.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists over the course of her WNBA career. She is one of only twelve players in league history to score over 5,000 points.

McWilliams-Franklin was awarded the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship award in 2005, which is given annually to the player who showcases the most sportsmanship on the court through fair play, integrity and ethical behavior.

In addition to playing in the WNBA, McWilliams-Franklin spent a considerable amount of time overseas. She started her professional career playing for Wolfenbüttel in Germany in 1993 and later spent time competing in both Luxembourg and Israel before returning to the U.S. to partake in the American Basketball League in 1996. McWilliams-Franklin competed for the Philadelphia Rage for two seasons before moving to the WNBA in 1999, where she was the 32nd overall pick by the Orlando Miracle in that year’s draft.

At the end of the 2012 season, McWilliams-Franklin announced her retirement from the game as a player. Shortly after, she was awarded her first coaching job as an assistant coach with Rice University during the 2012-13 campaign. The following year, she was added to Bill Laimbeer’s staff with the New York Liberty of the WNBA – a team that she played for in 2010.

McWilliams-Franklin began her collegiate career at Georgia State University, but transferred to St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, after one season. There, she earned several accolades and achievements, including winning the NAIA Player of the Year award in 1993. She set school records in career scoring (1,837 points), points in a single season (760), scoring average (24.5 points per game) and field-goal percentage (.640).

“I am beyond excited to be a part of this new era of Terrier basketball,” McWilliams-Franklin said in a statement. “Coach Steding is a genuine, knowledgeable and respected pioneer of the game and I want to thank her and the entire BU athletic department for welcoming me into the Terrier community. I look forward to beginning this new journey and becoming a hard-working and contributing member of the University.”

McWilliams-Franklin will join an assistant coaching staff that consists of Cindy Blodgett and Stephanie Tobey, who were added to the program earlier this summer.

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