Swoopes: Director's Moment


About the film

Sheryl Swoopes famously has been labeled as the female Michael Jordan, but that's only part of her story.

On the court, she won a national championship with Texas Tech, three Olympic gold medals with Team USA, four consecutive WNBA championships with the Houston Comets, and three league MVP awards. She even had a Nike shoe named after her, the Air Swoopes.

Off the court, she has had a life full of transitions. She gave birth to her son, Jordan, during the inaugural season of the WNBA. Later, she divorced her high school sweetheart and became the highest-profile athlete in her sport to acknowledge she was gay.

The film "Swoopes" shows how the hoops star struggled with love, money and personal identity, but never lost her spirit.

Click here to learn more about the film and its director, Hannah Storm.


What it was all about

At the height of her success in the WNBA, Sheryl Swoopes acknowledged she was gay in a 2005 interview with ESPN The Magazine's LZ Granderson. She was the most recognizable athlete in a team sport, male or female, to make such an acknowledgement.

And, at the time, Swoopes' acknowledgement challenged the views of the WNBA, the sports marketplace and society as a whole.

"For Sheryl Swoopes, it was always about who she loved, not necessarily the gender of who she loved but that she loved and was committed to another person, and she was never afraid to talk about that," said "Swoopes" director Hannah Storm. "But I dare say that Sheryl was a bit ahead of her time. That kind of [acknowledgement] is, now here in 2013, being more openly discussed, and Sheryl did it a while ago."

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Director Hannah Storm on Sheryl Swoopes' decision to acknowledge her sexuality in 2005, an important scene from the film "Swoopes":

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It took me going through a lot of things in my life to finally accept myself. So, for the little girls out there who don't feel like they belong and they want to change something about themselves, it's OK to be different. It's OK to stand over here all by yourself and fight for what you believe in.
Sheryl Swoopes from 'Swoopes'

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