Women’s Basketball: FAU and WNBA legend Yolanda Griffith inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

Griffith had an illustrious pro career and was named one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all time.


Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Michael Gennaro, Social Media Manager

Former FAU women’s basketball star and WNBA legend Yolanda Griffith has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2021, the Hall of Fame announced Sunday morning.

Griffith dominated at FAU before embarking on a globe-trotting professional career where she became known as one of the best rebounders and defensive players in women’s professional basketball history.

In Griffith’s lone season at FAU in 1992, she guided the Owls to a 20-8 record and their fourth regional appearance. Despite playing in only 22 games, Griffith shattered multiple single-season school records, including scoring averages (28.2), total points per game (621), field goal percentage (.631), rebounds per game (16.0), and total rebounds (352) as she was named All-American NCAA Division II Kodak Player of the Year. Griffith was inducted into the university’s hall of fame in 2006.

After her graduation, Griffith played professionally in Germany from 1993 to 1997. In 1997, Griffith was the top scorer and rebounder in Euroleague Women. Following her Euroleague career, Griffith came back to the U.S. to play two years in the American Basketball League. After her stint in the ABL, Griffith was the second pick to the Sacramento Monarchs in the 1999 WNBA draft.

Griffith made an immediate splash at the pro level, winning the WNBA MVP, Newcomer of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year awards in her rookie season with the Monarchs. In 2005, she led the team to their only title and was named WNBA Finals MVP in a 3-1 series victory over the Connecticut Sun.

In her 11-year WNBA career, Griffith was a WNBA All-Star eight times and was named to two All-WNBA first teams and three All-WNBA second teams. She was the WNBA’s rebound champion twice. At halftime of the 2011 WNBA All-Star game in San Antonio, Griffith was honored as one of the top 15 WNBA players of all time in a celebration of the greatest players of the first 15 years of the league’s history.

In addition to her professional accolades, Griffith starred for Team USA, helping the team bring home gold medals in the Summer Olympic games in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, and 2004 in Athens, Greece. 

Griffith will be enshrined on Sept. 11 in a historic class that includes legends of the women’s and men’s game. Lauren Jackson, a three-time WNBA MVP, will be inducted along with Griffith, as well as former WNBA president Val Ackerman. The NBA class of 2021 is headlined by Chris Bosh, Chris Webber, Paul Pierce, and Ben Wallace.

Michael Gennaro is the social media manager for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or message him on Twitter or Instagram @mycoolgennaro.