Jennifer Gillom, one of the Mercury’s all-time greatest players, who won an Olympic gold medal in 1988 and played in the WNBA’s first All-Star Game in 1999, is returning as head girls basketball coach at Phoenix Xavier Prep.
Gillom, an assistant at Xavier last season, led Xavier to a 130-25 record from 2004-09, before she became coach of the WNBA Minnesota Lynx.
Gillom also won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 as an assistant coach for the USA women’s basketball team. A post player during her career, Gillom averaged 20.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in 1998, leading the Mercury to the WNBA Finals. She averaged 15 points during her Mercury career, from 1997-2002.
She also was head coach of the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks and served as an assistant with the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun. She is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and later this month will be honored with the 2017 Legacy Award from her alma mater, Mississippi, for her outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the school.
“I’ve always loved this place,” Gillom said of Xavier. “It has a great administrative staff. I had a lot of success here. There’s some great athletes here. It’s something I love to do. I love helping develop players.”
Gillom, a physical-education teacher at Xavier, takes over the Xavier post from Stephen Moss, who is joining Arizona Christian University’s women’s basketball coaching staff as an assistant. Moss was head coach at Xavier the past three season.
Xavier Athletic Director Sister Lynn Winsor calls Gillom “an outstanding role model” for the Xavier girls.
“I feel like I can make an impact on kids,” Gillom said. “Not just as an athlete but as human beings. I just love to see their progress.”
Suggest human interest stories to Richard Obert at [email protected] or 602-316-8827. Follow him at azc_obert