NORFOLK, Va.— Old Dominion head basketball coach DeLisha Milton Jones is one of 12 finalists for the Class of 2022 in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the organization announced late Thursday night. Milton-Jones has found success at every station in her decorated basketball career.
“I am honored to be recognized as a finalist for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame,” said Milton-Jones. “It would be the icing on the cake of my amazing career within the game I love very much. What an amazing group of powerful pioneers of the game to be a part of. I’m really thankful!”
Milton-Jones is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in 2000 and 2008 and missed the 2004 games through injury. She also won two WNBA titles and helped the Los Angeles Sparks clash in 2001 and 2002. She retired in 2006 after a 17-year career with the league record for most games played (499) – a record since broken by the great Sue Bird. Milton-Jones was a 2000 and 2007 WNBA All-Star, and represented the US Olympic team in The Game at Radio City in 2004, an exhibition between the US Olympic team and a roster of WNBA stars that took the place of a traditional All-Star. star game. Overall, in addition to Los Angeles, Milton-Jones also played for Atlanta, New York, Washington and San Antonio. Her 5,571 career points ranks 16th in WNBA history. She also made stints in Spain, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Czech Republic and Russia to play professionally.
Milton-Jones was the second overall pick in the 1997 ABL Draft and then the fourth overall pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft after an award-winning collegiate career in Florida. As a senior, she won the Wade Trophy for the best player in women’s basketball in 1996-97 and received First Team All-American honors from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, the Associated Press and the Basketball Times. Milton-Jones was the 1997 SEC Player of the Year and was selected First Team All-SEC. She was also named the Middle East’s Outstanding Player of 1997 and guided the Gators to the Elite Eight and an iconic game with eventual national runners-up Monarchs. She also received first-team All-Conference honors in 1996, was named second-team in 1995, and made the 1994 All Freshman team. In 2007 she was inducted into the Florida Gator Hall of Fame.
Her coaching career began in 2005 when she was named interim manager of the Los Angeles Stars mid-season. At the time, Milton-Jones became only the second woman to coach a male professional team. Milton-Jones took charge of the Pepperdine women’s basketball program for the 2017-18 season and led the 2018-19 Waves to one of their best seasons ever with a 22-10 record and an appearance in the WNIT Sweet 16. Those 22 wins were the most since 2002 and 12 more than the season before. The WNIT offering marked the first postseason tournament appearance in the program’s history.
Milton-Jones took control of the famed Old Dominion program ahead of the 2019-20 season and guided the Monarchs through turbulent times in their debut season. ODU has won seven of their last nine games this season and reached the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament as an understudded but determined No. 6 seed. The Monarchs are currently in their second season at 13-3.
In addition to Milton-Jones as finalists for the Class of 2022 are Debbie Antonelli (Contributor), Alice “Cookie” Barron (Veteran), Evelyn Blalock (Coach), Cathy Boswell (Player), Doug Bruno (Coach), Becky Hammon (Player), Donna Lopiano (Contributor), Lisa Mattingly (Official), Paul Sanderford (Coach), Bob Schneider (Coach) and Penny Taylor (International Player). The Class of 2022 will be selected from the 12 finalists and announced on ESPN2 on February 14th during the Maryland at Iowa game (9pm ET).