Sheryl Swoopes fought back tears as she read a poem to her late mother while accepting induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
The three-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player on Saturday acknowledged that the honor felt “bittersweet” because her mother was not with her.
Swoopes’ mother, Ida Louise Swoopes, died of colon cancer on March 14.
“Although she’s not physically here with us, I know she’s here in spirit and will forever live on in my heart,” Swoopes said.
As she closed her induction speech, Swoopes read from a poem that ended with the line: “God took you home to prove to us he only takes the best.”
“I love you, Mom. Thank you,” she said.
Swoopes knew this would be an emotional moment and said she intentionally wore a dress with pockets to hold the tissues that she would need later in her speech.
Swoopes won gold medals at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics and was part of Houston’s WNBA championship teams in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 — each of the league’s first four seasons.
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