It was impossible for Swin Cash to assess her impact on the basketball world in real time, as she focused on winning games and winning championships and making unexpected layup attempts on the third row.
But every now and then, she gets a direct message from social media to remind her of a picture she once signed or how much fun she had at the venue.
Cash told Yahoo Sports: “This is a photo of me looking at the hell kid, a shot of a guy at the Boys and Girls Club with this kid. “And now that kid is like the vice president of Microsoft or something and they remember the experience. You never know who you’re going to touch.”
In the year Before her eye-rolling reaction to the 2021 NBA draft lottery became an adorable gif, before she took on a big role as a vp with the New Orleans Pelicans, money’s footprints were all over basketball — culminating in Naismith’s entry. Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend.
She has won multiple gold medals, WNBA championships, and NCAA national championships. Victory followed her at every stop and at every request, her charming personality splashed into those surroundings.
She helped lead the Huskies to a 39-0 record in 2002 before becoming a member of the Detroit Shock in Connecticut and being the second overall pick in the WNBA draft.
They bounced back from an 0-13 start in her rookie season and went on to win the first of two WNBA championships the following season. Nicknamed the “Princess of the Castle” due to her connection to fans and the Detroit area, she embraces all aspects, as well as being recognized for her individuality.
“People always say [the phrase], it’s like a movie. But it really was,” Cash said. “The city was on fire. It was very exciting.”
She was already friends with Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton through their relationship at UConn and became friends with Chauncey Billups upon arrival. Over the years, it was common to see her at Pistons games or Detroit Lions games, or to see her in drag on a local radio station.
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“I was a big believer — and I taught that you have to buy people into your market, like hot, who’s who, like inviting people to our games,” Cash said. “It really became a whole family kind of thing.”
Some of the WNBA’s biggest hits happened in 2011. Including a record 22,076 for Game 3 of the 2003 Finals between the Shock and Los Angeles Sparks. In that series, Cash was third in scoring, second in rebounds and led the team in assists.
We were winning, but we played Detroit style. They could see themselves in us,” Cash said. “People would text and say, ‘I liked the game because I watched you and Deanna. [Nolan]You were all special. It was a cultural thing.”
Although she had an up-and-down relationship with Shock coach Bill Laimbeer, the former Pistons center coach, it was a fruitful relationship during their time. She was a two-time All-Star and two-time All-WNBA as well.
“It’s like when you get family and you get people and they get you and you can agree to disagree. And you can do something beautiful,” Cash said. “I’ll give him credit. At 22, I can walk into a gym and sit down and say, ‘I’m hired to do X, Y, and Z, and you’re a franchise.'”
Empowering money was something she appreciated, and questioning staffing decisions playfully prepared her for her current role.
“I didn’t know what that was planning inside of me. But he did that. So I have a lot of respect for him,” Cash said. “And, he said, that’s kind of the pattern he’s following. And I said, ‘Well, this is what I know about winning.’ And that’s what we did in Detroit.
Before the Shock moved to Tulsa, Cash moved to Seattle in 1998. She won another championship in 2010 and was named to the WNBA’s 20th Anniversary Team — and 25th Anniversary Team — as her career waned, making several All-Star appearances. In 2016, the New York Liberty.
Even with all the accolades and clear resumes, she never thought about the Hall.
“Once you play and people start bringing it up to you, ‘Oh, you’re eligible after so many years,’ you start to wrap your mind around it,” Cash said. “I don’t even think about it when I’m playing.”
But it’s a reality now, and as she takes the stage to enter basketball immortality, she’s unique in a way that never ends her basketball journey — another layer of being a rising star in the front office.
“Mother’s time is more important than anyone else’s,” Kash said.
Her mother relies on a scooter to get around and is delaying back surgery to see her son graduate. In the year It was the same as the 2004 Olympics in Greece, when her mother needed a hip replacement but wanted to support Swin.
“A lot of people could have put that jacket on me. But that’s what goes through my mind is that my mom deserves that,” Cash said. “And I think as I go about my speech, I think a lot is given, but a lot is left to be desired.”
Paid back and forward – in cash.