Nikki McCray was a basketball star and Olympic gold medalist who died at age 51 on July 7, 2023. She had a successful career as a player and a coach, earning accolades and awards for her achievements. Nikki McCray’s net worth in 2023 was estimated to be around $5 million, according to various sources. She earned her wealth from her basketball contracts, endorsements, coaching salaries and other ventures.
Nikki McCray and her achievements
Nikki McCray was born on December 17, 1971 in Collierville, Tennessee. She started playing basketball at an early age and showed great talent and passion for the game. She attended the University of Tennessee, where she played under the legendary coach Pat Summitt. She helped the Lady Vols win three consecutive Southeastern Conference titles and reach two Final Fours. She graduated in 1995 with a degree in sociology.
McCray was a member of the USA women’s national basketball team that won two Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2000. She also won two gold medals at the FIBA World Championship in 1998 and 2002. She was named the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year in 1994 and 1998.
McCray played professionally in the American Basketball League (ABL) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was the MVP and champion of the ABL with the Columbus Quest in 1997. She played nine seasons in the WNBA with the Washington Mystics, Indiana Fever, San Antonio Silver Stars and Chicago Sky. She was a three-time All-Star and an All-WNBA First Team selection in 1998.
McCray was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. She was also honored as one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time in 2011.
An overview of Nikki McCray’s basketball career
Nikki McCray’s basketball career spanned over two decades, from her college days at Tennessee to her professional stints in the ABL and WNBA. She was known for her versatility, athleticism, leadership and competitiveness on the court. She played as a guard and a forward, averaging 10.1 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game in her WNBA career.
McCray’s most memorable moments as a player include:
- Leading the USA women’s national team to a historic gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where they went undefeated and won by an average margin of 28.6 points per game.
- Winning back-to-back ABL championships with the Columbus Quest in 1997 and 1998, where she averaged 20 points per game and was named the league MVP in 1997.
- Becoming the first player to score over 1,000 points in WNBA history with the Washington Mystics in 2000.
- Making three consecutive WNBA All-Star appearances from 1999 to 2001, where she scored a record-tying 24 points in the inaugural game in 1999.
- Helping the Indiana Fever reach their first WNBA Finals in 2005, where they lost to the Sacramento Monarchs in four games.
Nikki McCray’s coaching career and accomplishments
Nikki McCray transitioned from playing to coaching after retiring from the WNBA in 2006. She started as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky University for one season before joining Dawn Staley’s staff at Temple University in 2008. She followed Staley to South Carolina in 2012, where she helped build one of the best programs in women’s college basketball.
McCray was instrumental in recruiting and developing some of the top players in the country, such as A’ja Wilson, Tiffany Mitchell, Alaina Coates and Kaela Davis. She also helped South Carolina win four consecutive SEC regular season titles, three SEC tournament titles and their first NCAA national championship in 2017.
McCray became a head coach for the first time at Old Dominion University in 2017. She led the Lady Monarchs to a 53-40 record over three seasons, including a 24-6 mark and a share of the Conference USA regular season title in her final year. She was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year in 2020.
McCray moved to Mississippi State University in April 2020, replacing Vic Schaefer who left for Texas. She guided the Bulldogs to a 10-9 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament in her only season there. She stepped down in October 2021 due to health concerns.
McCray returned to coaching in June 2022, joining Coquese Washington’s staff at Rutgers University as an assistant coach. She was working there until her death in July 2023.
Insights into Nikki McCray’s net worth and sources of income
Nikki McCray’s net worth in 2023 was estimated to be around $5 million, according to various sources. She earned her wealth from her basketball contracts, endorsements, coaching salaries and other ventures.
McCray signed a three-year, $1.5 million contract with the Columbus Quest in 1997, making her one of the highest-paid players in the ABL. She also signed a four-year, $1.2 million contract with the Washington Mystics in 1999, making her one of the highest-paid players in the WNBA. She earned a total of $2.7 million from her ABL and WNBA contracts.
McCray also had endorsement deals with Nike, Reebok, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and other brands. She appeared in commercials, magazines and billboards promoting their products. She also had a signature shoe line with Nike called the Air McCray.
McCray garnered a significant income from her career in coaching. She pulled in $200,000 annually during her stint as an assistant coach at South Carolina, as reported by USA Today. In her tenure as the head coach at Old Dominion, she commanded $250,000 annually, The Virginian-Pilot noted. At Mississippi State, her earnings as head coach reached an impressive $750,000 per annum, as indicated by The Clarion Ledger. While serving as an assistant coach at Rutgers, she made $150,000 each year, as per NJ.com.
In addition to coaching, McCray found other revenue streams from her speaking engagements, camps, clinics, and philanthropic endeavors. An accomplished motivational speaker, she shared her tale of facing challenges and finding success. She orchestrated basketball camps and clinics aimed at young enthusiasts and mentors. Additionally, she engaged herself with several causes and institutions endorsing women’s sports, awareness of breast cancer, and education.
The impact of Nikki McCray’s death on her net worth
Nikki McCray’s death on July 7, 2023 was a tragic loss for the basketball community and her family. She left behind her husband Thomas Penson and their son Thomas Nikson Penson. She also left behind her parents Kesangane and Lucille McCray and her siblings Kesangane Jr., Kevin and Kim.
McCray’s financial standing at her passing tallied close to $5 million, as indicated by assorted reports. Yet, this number might not mirror the true worth of her estate or the division of her assets among inheritors. Taxes, debts, fees, and other costs may devalue her estate. Probate, a legal procedure confirming the legitimacy of her will and the distribution of her property, could also affect her assets.
McCray’s will may specify how she wanted her assets to be distributed among her beneficiaries. If she did not have a will or if it was invalid or contested, then her assets would be distributed according to the state laws where she resided or owned property. These laws may vary depending on the type of asset, the marital status of the deceased and the relationship of the heirs.
McCray’s death may also have an impact on her future income potential from her basketball contracts, endorsements, coaching salaries and other ventures. These income streams may cease or decrease after her death, depending on the terms and conditions of each agreement. Some agreements may have clauses that provide for continued payments or royalties to her estate or beneficiaries after her death. Others may have clauses that terminate or reduce payments or royalties upon her death.
Nikki McCray was a basketball star and Olympic gold medalist who died at age 51 on July 7, 2023. She had a successful career as a player and a coach, earning accolades and awards for her achievements. Nikki McCray’s net worth in 2023 was estimated to be around $5 million, according to various sources. She earned her wealth from her basketball contracts, endorsements, coaching salaries and other ventures. Her death may have an impact on her net worth and future income potential from these sources.
Nikki McCray was a beloved member of the basketball family who inspired many people with her talent, passion and courage. She will be remembered as one of the greatest players and coaches in women’s basketball history.