Rebecca Lobo life and biography

Rebecca Lobo picture, image, poster

Rebecca Lobo biography

Date of birth : 1973-11-06
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-06-25
Credited as : Basketball player WNBA, Olympic summer,

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Rebecca Lobo (also known as: Rebecca Rose Lobo-Rushin), born October 6, 1973 in Hartford, Connecticut, United States is an American basketball player and sports commentator.


Defeat is not a common word in Rebecca Lobo's vocabulary. During her senior year playing basketball for the University of Connecticut, her team did not lose a single game. The following year she joined USA Basketball's Women's National Team, which won fifty-two straight games on its way to the Olympics, and continued on to win a gold medal. Off-court, too, Lobo has come out a winner, remaining strong while her mother battled--and survived--breast cancer. Today, Lobo is one of the most recognized faces in women's professional basketball, and her popularity is credited as one of the factors that spurred creation of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Sporting Family

The 6'4" Lobo comes from a sports-oriented--and tall--family. Her dad and mom, both school administrators, stand 6'5" and 5'11", respectively. Her 6'10" brother, Jason, played basketball at Dartmouth and her sister, Rachel, is an assistant basketball coach at Massachussetts' Salem State. Lobo learned the sport of basketball in her backyard and expressed an early interest in going pro, writing to Boston Celtics president Red Auerbach when she was in third grade to announce she would be the first girl on his team. The following year, when plans for a girls' community basketball team in Lobo's hometown of Granby, Connecticut (her family later moved to Massachusetts) fell through, Lobo joined the boys' team and earned a spot as a starter with the traveling unit.

At Massachusetts' Southwick-Tolland Regional High School, Lobo excelled in track, softball and field hockey, in addition to basketball. She made the varsity basketball team as a freshman and scored thirty-two points in her first game. She went on to score a total of 2,710 points over her high school career, the most ever scored by a player, male or female, in state history. Lobo shone off-court as well, graduating as class salutatorian.

Strength on- and off-court

Lobo's college career at the University of Connecticut began inauspiciously. While she performed well personally--her average of 14.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game earned her Big East Rookie of the Year honors--the Huskies were eliminated from the NCAA tournament in the second round. The team's performance was even more lackluster the following year. During Lobo's junior year, however, the team began to turn around, making it to the "Great Eight" of the NCAA tournament. Crisis struck on the homefront, however, when Lobo's mother, RuthAnn learned that she had breast cancer. An ardent supporter of her daughter, RuthAnn arranged her chemotherapy treatments around Rebecca's games. But Lobo told People that basketball took a back seat to her mother's concerns. "Scoring points means nothing compared to what she went through," Lobo remarked.

By Lobo's senior year, her mother's cancer was in remission. It was during this season that Lobo and the Huskies accomplished a rare and amazing feat--not only did they enter the NCAA tournament with an unbelievable 33-0 record, they captured the championship, making them undefeated for the entire season. For her role in this amazing season, Lobo received the Naismith National Player of the Year Award and the Wade Trophy. In addition, she was named Final Four MVP and Women's Sports Foundation's Sportswoman of the Year, among numerous other honors.

During Lobo's tenure at UConn, the popularity of women's basketball grew significantly, with Lobo's team drawing record crowds and young girls donning their hero's trademark French braid. At the time, Lobo's coach, Geno Auriemma, summed up Lobo's allure. "What is she great at?" he asked Sports Illustrated. "I can't say any one thing. But the sum of the parts is unreal."

Remains in Limelight

Lobo remained in the limelight following graduation from UConn. In 1996 she became the youngest member of the USA Basketball Women's National Team, which won all fifty-two of its games leading up to the Olympics and went on to capture the gold. That same year, Lobo and her mother released a co-autobiography, The Home Team: Of Mothers, Daughters, and American Champions.

Following the Olympics, Lobo signed on to the newly formed Women's National Basketball Association, playing for the New York Liberty, and became the main focus of the league's marketing campaign. In 1997 Lobo was named to the all-WNBA second team and in 1999 she made the first-ever WNBA Eastern Conference All-Star team. A knee injury forced her to sit out the Madison Square Gardens game, however. She tore her anterior cruciate ligament in the first minute of the Liberty's first game that season. After almost six months of rehabilitation she returned to the Liberty, only to re-injure herself. She was back on the court in 2001 and in 2002 the Liberty traded her to the Houston Comets.

In 1997 Lobo also began to explore a career she had considered before going pro: sports broadcasting. In the off-season she began providing sports commentary for ESPN.

Today, Lobo remains one of the most popular personalities in the WNBA. She is continually sought after for endorsements and has even had a shoe, the Reebok "Lobo" named after her.

AWARDS

1990, Becomes top scorer in Massachusetts high school history with 2,710 points; 1992, Big East Rookie of the Year; 1994, Kodak All-American; 1994-95, Big East Player of the Year; 1994-95, Big East Scholar-Athlete; 1994-95, Big East tournament MVP; 1994-95, Academic All-American; 1995, Naismith National Player of the Year; 1995, NCAA Final Four MVP; 1995, Wade Trophy; 1995, Named Sportwoman of the Year by Women's Sports Foundation; 1996, Named to UA Basketball Women's National Team and U.S. Olympic team.

CHRONOLOGY

* 1973 Born October 6 in Connecticut
* 1987 Enters Massachusetts' Southwick-Tolland Regional High School as starter for varsity basketball team
* 1991 Graduates from Southwick Tolland as salutatorian and top scorer in Massachusetts history
* 1991 Enters University of Connecticut
* 1992 Named Big East Rookie of the Year
* 1994 Becomes only Big East player to win Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete honors
* 1994-95 Leads UConn through undefeated season and NCAA tournament championship
* 1995 Captures second Big East Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete awards
* 1995 Earns Naismith National Player of the Year award and Final Four MVP award
* 1995 Jogs with President Clinton and appears on David Letterman
* 1996 Tours with USA basketball Women's National Team
* 1996 Becomes youngest member of gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic team
* 1997 Assigned to New York Liberty in newly formed Women's National Basketball Association
* 1997 Achieves All-WNBA second-team honors
* 1997 Signs on as sports commentator with ESPN
* 2002 Traded to Houston Comets

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