Storm All-Star Tina Thompson and Seattle U coach Joan Bonvicini are among the city’s six women nominated for Female Sports Star of the Year by the Seattle Sports Commission. Winners will be announced Jan. 22, 2014 during the 79th annual Sports Star of the Year banquet at Benaroya Hall downtown.
Created by Royal Brougham and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1936, the event celebrates achievements of those in the local sports community and industry. Anyone can vote once every 24 hours for the winners on the commission’s website.
Voting began earlier in December and runs through Jan. 15, 2014. The total vote is based 50 percent by the public and 50 percent by the Sports Star Committee.
Storm All-Stars Sue Bird (2002), Lauren Jackson (2003) and former coach Anne Donovan, who led the franchise to its first WNBA championship in 2004, were past winners from the pro basketball team. Former Stanford All-American, Kate Starbird, won in 1997.
Thompson, who won the inaugural four WNBA championships with the defunct Houston Comets, retired after a 17-year career in the league. Playing her final two seasons for the Storm, she finished as the all-time leading WNBA scorer with 7,488 points and is second on the all-time rebounding list with 3,070.
Thompson, 38, played in a WNBA-record ninth All-Star game in July then led the Storm to its league-record 10th playoff appearance in September. Seattle lost in the opening round to the eventual champion Minnesota Lynx.
The WNBA’s inaugural No. 1 overall draft pick in 1997, Thompson didn’t miss a game her final season. She averaged a team-leading 14.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in the 34 matchups. The Storm finished 17-17 overall and will have the seventh pick in the WNBA draft in April 2014.
Thompson is currently playing in South Korea but there are reports she missed her past game due to a calf injury. Her team, Guri KDB Life Winnus, is 6-6 in the six-team league.
Bonvicini is nominated after leading Seattle U to its first Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship last year in its first season of NCAA tournament eligibility. The Redhawks finished the regular season at 20-11 overall and 15-3 in conference play.
SU missed its chance to advance to the tournament, however, losing the automatic bid in the WAC tournament’s championship game in March. The Redhawks were awarded a bid to play in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament and lost, 68-51, to Saint Mary’s in the opening round.
The reigning WAC coach of the year, Bonvicini’s team is currently off to a 5-7 start in her fifth season.
Thompson and Bonvicini join Washington volleyball star Krista Vansant, Marti Malloy (USA Judo), Melissa Arnot (Record-holding Mountaineer) and Micaela Castain (WSU Soccer) as the Female Sports Star of the Year nominees.
Here’s a complete list of the 2013 nominees:
Female Sports Star of the Year
· Joan Bonvicini — Seattle University women’s basketball head coach
· Krista Vansant — UW volleyball
· Marti Malloy — USA Olympic judo
· Melissa Arnot — record-holding mountaineer
· Micaela Castain — WSU soccer
· Tina Thompson — now-retired Storm forward
Male Sports Star of the Year
· Bishop Sankey — UW running back
· DeAndre Yedlin — Sounders FC defender
· Hisashi Iwakuma — Mariners starting pitcher
· Jon Lester — Red Sox starting pitcher (from Tacoma)
· Russell Wilson — Seahawks quarterback
· UW men’s soccer — 11-9-4 record
Sports Story of the Year
· Eastlake Little League — reached Little League World Series
· Husky Stadium — completion of two-year renovation
· UW volleyball — 30-3 record and Final Four appearance
· UW crew — third-straight national championship
· Seahawks’ successful run — 12-3 record through Thursday
· Seattle University men’s and women’s soccer — WAC champions