In a stunning display of skill and determination, Diana Taurasi, the iconic star of the Phoenix Mercury, etched her name into the annals of basketball history by becoming the first player in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) to score an astonishing 10,000 points. With a career already filled with accolades and records, Taurasi’s latest achievement adds yet another shining jewel to her illustrious legacy.
The electrifying moment occurred on a pulsating evening at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, where fans packed the arena to witness history in the making. Needing just 18 points to reach the monumental milestone, Taurasi faced the Atlanta Dream with the weight of anticipation on her shoulders. In a defining third-quarter play, the 41-year-old sharpshooter unleashed a deep three-pointer, sending the crowd into a frenzy of cheers.
As Taurasi’s arms were raised in triumph, the game came to a halt, allowing her to share an emotional celebration with her teammates near center court. “The whole time, I’m like I hope this doesn’t screw up our momentum,” Taurasi confessed in an interview with ESPN, reflecting on the intense moment. “We needed this win pretty bad but it really was a nice feeling, you know when there’s anticipation and it kind of works out your way, and what a great night for women’s basketball tonight.”
But Taurasi didn’t stop at just reaching the milestone—she soared beyond it. With an astounding 42 points in the game, the highest single-game total of her career during regulation play, she propelled the Mercury to a decisive 91-71 victory over the Dream. ESPN reported that Taurasi also clinched the title of the oldest player in WNBA history to score 40 or more points in a game.
Beyond the numbers and records, Taurasi’s impact on the game goes far deeper. Known as the “White Mamba,” a nickname dubbed by the late Kobe Bryant, she epitomizes the essence of basketball greatness, always putting the pursuit of victory ahead of personal milestones. “I really don’t think about the number, I really don’t,” Taurasi humbly shared after a previous game. “I’ve just played basketball because I love to play.”
However, Taurasi’s love for the game is only part of her story. She’s been a driving force behind the Mercury’s journey, a team she’s proudly represented since being drafted first overall in 2004. Her unwavering dedication and unmatched skills have not only earned her the top spot on the all-time scoring list but also secured three WNBA championships for Phoenix and two Finals MVP awards.
As the WNBA Commissioner, Cathy Engelbert, eloquently stated, “Diana’s achievement stands as a testament to her skill, determination, and unwavering dedication to the game, which along with her competitive nature, has captivated fans with her incredible scoring ability, clutch performances, and unparalleled basketball IQ. We are honored to witness this milestone.”