Coming Full Circle In Hoops

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: July 27, 2008

HOUSTON — At age 12, Lindsey Harding’s parents, Michael Harding and Lillian Andrews would purchase season tickets to attend the Houston Comets WNBA basketball games.

Harding remembers the excitement of watching point guard Kim Perrot, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson, Monica Lamb and others. She was there when the red, white, and blue streamers fell from the ceiling after winning four consecutive WNBA Championships.

As she watched, she set a goal to strive to be the best player that she could be and to one day play in the WNBA.

Now, 12 years later, Lindsey Harding’s dream has become a reality as she returned home as a member of the Minnesota Lynx weeks ago, as they prepared to face off against the Houston Comets.

“It is so great to be able to play in the longest running league around,” Harding said. “To come back to Houston and play against the team I watched growing up is exciting”.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Harding moved to Houston when she was younger and later attended Cy Fair High School. Upon graduation from high school she attended Duke University on a basketball scholarship.

At Duke, Harding was named the 2007 Naismith Player of the Year and the National Player of the Year. She was honored as a 2007 All-American, Defensive Player of the Year, ACC Female Athlete of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

She is Duke’s all-time assists leader with 579 and is one of two Blue Devils to post 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 5,000 assists and 250 steals in her career.

Harding, 24, started in 33 of 34 games as a sophomore at Duke. She was one of 12 nominees for the Nancy Lieberman StepUp-Award recognizing the top point guard in the nation.

As a freshman, she was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and ACC Rookie of the Week. She also set a Duke freshman record with 124 assists and her 68 steals ranked second on the Duke freshman record charts.

Drafted by the Phoenix Mercury as the first pick in the first round of the 2007 WNBA Draft, Harding saw her rookie season cut short after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

She averaged 11.7 points , 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 20 games before the injury, and she finished runner-up to Chicago’s Armintie Price in Rookie of the Year voting.

Despite being named to the 2007 WNBA All-Rookie Team, the Mercury decided to trade Harding to Minnesota in exchange for Tangela Smith. She earned a silver medal with Team USA at the Good Luck Beijing Tournament, but she missed the gold-medal contest after suffering a knee injury.

Harding, who made her 2008 season debut on June 20th at Detroit stayed positive throughout the test and trials that came her way.

“I believe that good things come to those who wait,” Harding stated. “And I have been patient with everything that comes my way.”

“Being able to play on the highest level of USA Basketball just one year out of college was such a rewarding experience. I learned so much from playing with Comets forward Tina Thompson and today I’m going against her on the court.”

The 5-foot-8 guard played 21 minutes dishing out seven assists, two steals, two points and one blocked shot in her return. “Coming back home to Houston is special”, said Harding.

“It’s cool to see the jersey’s of Cooper and Perrot and all four Championship banners. It was a great time for the city and it is a great time now.”

“The Comets will have to continue to win games, because when they do, the fans will come and support them just like me and my family did.”


Restaurant: Pappadeaux Food: Italian Snack: Cheese Movie: The Color Purple Actor: Jack Nicholson Actress: Halle Berry Color: Blue WNBA Team Growing Up: Houston Comets