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ESPN, Hannah Storm profile Sheryl Swoopes

SHERYL SWOOPES, Basketball The six-time WNBA All-Star and

The six-time WNBA All-Star and four-time champion (foreground) was married to a man for four years and had a child. But in 2005 she came out, while still an active player. By 2011, however, she was reportedly engaged to a man. | Credit: AP

"Swoopes," the latest in ESPN's "Nine for IX" summer documentary series, premieres at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and is well worth your time.

Director Hannah Storm - yes, that Hannah Storm! - takes a look at the NCAA champ, Olympic champ and WNBA champ who also was a pioneer in women's basketball marketing, complete with her own Nike shoe.

Speaking of which, Nike boss Phil Knight is among the talking heads featured in the film, along with former WNBA teammates Cynthia Cooper and Tina Thompson, plus NBA commish David Stern.

The clips of Swoopes at her peak are a reminder of just how much game she had, why she became a hoops phenomenon and why her divorce and subsequent relationship with a female assistant coach became such big news in its day.

Even though it's a documentary, it closes with a recent couple of turns in Swoopes' personal and professional lives that I wasn't aware of and therefore won't share with you here lest I ruin the surprise.

Hmm. Spoiler alerts for a documentary? In this case, it applies.

Next up in the series, Aug. 6, "The Diplomat," about Katarina Witt. I am tempted to report that I might have had a crush on her at one time in my life, but, well . . . who didn't?


(Newsday's app users can watch a "Swoopes" clip at

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