After what transpired last night, is it time for this proclamation? Swin Cash is the best female athlete ever from the WPIAL.
The Seattle Storm won the WNBA championship last night and Cash played a pivotal role, with 18 points (including three 3-pointers) and six rebounds as the Storm swept Atlanta, three games to none.
It is yet another impressive feat on Cash's already impressive resume. When you put together what the McKeesport High School graduate has done individually, and then throw in the team success, I say it's hard not to call her the best female athlete ever from the WPIAL (photo to the left courtesy of WNBA).
You'd certainly have to put Olympics sprinter Lauryn Williams of Rochester in the conversation along with basketball great Suzie McConnell Serio (Seton-LaSalle). I would venture to guess most people would consider those two as Cash's competition for "greatest ever from the WPIAL."
But I think what happened last night might give Cash the edge because of what she has done individually and how she has been a big winner on every team at every level. Think of it: She has won championships in high school, college, the WNBA and the Olympics.
At McKeesport High School, she won a WPIAL championship and had one of the greatest championship game performances ever with 40 points, 21 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in the 1998 AAAA final.
At Connecticut, she won two national championships, earned All-American status in 2002 and was NCAA Final Four most outstanding player. She scored over 1,000 points in her Connecticut career and had close to 1,000 rebounds.
She was the second pick in the 2002 WNBA draft behind Connecticut teammate Sue Bird. Cash now has won three WNBA championships (she won two with Detroit). She has played nine seasons and has career averages of 12.8 points and 5.9 rebounds. She was key to the Storm's title run, averaging 16 points and 4 rebounds in the playoffs. She hit two big 3-pointers in the second half of Thursday's game against Atlanta. She also was MVP of the WNBA all-star game a year ago.
On top of all the above, she was a member of a U.S. Olympic gold medal team.
Oh yeah. Did I mention that as a senior at McKeesport, without ever running high school track, she won a WPIAL track championship in the hurdles?
When you think about it, you could call her the WPIAL female version of Joe Montana. In other words, an athlete who was excellent individually and who also won numerous titles at various levels.
Put it all together and Swintayla Cash now gets my vote as the best athlete ever from the WPIAL.
The other champion from the WPIAL
It should also be pointed out that Cash was one of two former WPIAL players on the Storm's championship team. The other was West Mifflin graduate Tanisha Wright. She averaged 9 points in the playoffs and had 13 in the title-clinching game Thursday.