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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Blazers hiring WNBA great as scout

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers already have a former NBA champion in head coach Chauncey Billups leading their team. Now they are adding a former WNBA champion to their organization as well.

Portland announced this week that they have hired Tina Thompson to their basketball operations staff as a scout. Thompson had spent the last four seasons serving as head coach of the Virginia women’s basketball team.

It is hard to beat Thompson’s hoops resume. She was a four-time WNBA champion, a nine-time All-Star, and an eight-time All-WNBA selection in her 17 years in the league (on top of winning two Olympic gold medals for Team USA in 2004 and 2008). Thompson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 and remains the second all-time leading scorer in WNBA history (Diana Taurasi surpassed her in 2017).

Thompson also previously played in the Pacific Northwest for the Seattle Storm from 2012 to 2013. She now becomes the latest WNBA legend to make a name for herself in the ranks of the NBA.

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