Angel Lajuane McCoughtry (born September 10, 1986) is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She completed her college career at the University of Louisville in 2009. She was selected first overall by the Atlanta Dream in the 2009 WNBA Draft and is considered its franchise player. She also plays for the Turkish team Mersin BŞB in the Turkish Women’s Basketball League.
McCoughtry led the Big East Conference in scoring, rebounding, and steals, while breaking school records for most steals in a season, most points in a season, and most points in a game. She was named Big East Player of the Year during her sophomore year in 2006-2007. In the summer of 2007, McCoughtry represented the United States on the Pan American Games women’s basketball team. During her junior year at Louisville, McCoughtry broke her own records for points and steals on the season, and tied her own single-game scoring record. She played a key role in Louisville’s upset of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the 2008 Big East conference tournament. In addition, McCoughtry was named an All-American by several organizations as a junior.
McCoughtry broke the record for career scoring by a Louisville women’s basketball player during the first game of her senior year. She recorded her second triple-double (points, rebounds, steals) in a December 2008 game against the University of Hartford. She was selected 1st overall by the Atlanta Dream in the 2009 WNBA Draft.
Upon joining the Atlanta Dream, McCoughtry soon made a name for herself as an outstanding scorer with excellent penetration and a penchant for drawing the foul. After grabbing Rookie of the Year honors in 2009, she went on to finish third and second in points per game for 2010 and 2011 respectively. She also led the league in free throw attempts twice. On September 8, 2010, McCoughtry set an WNBA playoff record with 42 points in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Liberty. In Game 1 of the 2011 WNBA Finals against the Minnesota Lynx, she set Finals records for most points in a quarter (19) and most points in a game (38).
McCoughtry is also heralded as a fine defensive player, not only placing near the top for steals, but also in the top ten for most blocks per game. She has been voted as a member of the league’s All Defensive Teams in every year since her rookie season.
In 2012, McCoughtry was suspended by the Dream indefinitely for unspecified reasons.
USA National Team
McCoughtry was invited to the USA Basketball Women’s National Team training camp in the fall of 2009. The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics is usually chosen from these participants. At the conclusion of the training camp, the team travelled to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they competed in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational. McCoughtry earned most valuable player honors at the Ekaterinburg International Invitational Tournament, as she helped the USA Basketball team win the competition.
McCoughtry was one of twenty players named to the national team pool. Twelve of this group will be chosen to represent the USA in the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.
McCoughtry was selected to be a member of the National team representing the USA at the World Championships held in September and October 2010. The team was coached by Geno Auriemma. Because many team members were still playing in the WNBA until just prior to the event, the team had only one day of practice with the entire team before leaving for Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Even with limited practice, the team managed to win its first games against Greece by 26 points. The team continued to dominate with victory margins exceeding 20 points in the first five games. Several players shared scoring honors, with Swin Cash, McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and Sylvia Fowles all ending as high scorer in the first few games. The sixth game was against undefeated Australia — the USA jumped out to a 24-point lead and the USA prevailed 83–75. The USA won its next two games by over 30 points, then faced the host team, the Czech Republic, in the championship game. The USA team had only a five-point lead at halftime, which was cut to three points, but the Czechs never got closer. Team USA went on to win the championship and gold medal. McCoughtry was the second leading scorer with 11.3 points per game. She also led the team in steals with a total of 24.
McCoughtry was named as one of the National team members to represent the USA Basketball team in the WNBA versus USA Basketball. This game replaces the normal WNBA All-Star game with WNBA All-Stars versus USA Basketball, as part of the preparation for the FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in the Czech Republic during September and October 2010.
McCoughtry was one of 21 finalists for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team Roster. The 20 professional women’s basketball players, plus one collegiate player (Brittney Griner), were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster which will represent the USA at the 2012 Olympics in London. She was selected and was part of the US team that won the gold medal.
McCoughtry grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from St. Frances Academy, then spent one year at The Patterson School in North Carolina while working to attain NCAA Division I academic eligibility. She is listed at 6’1″ tall and wears jersey number 35. In 2015, she posted a photo of herself with her fiancée on Instagram, and wrote this message, “Yes we been discriminated against! We lost friends! Family members are upset! They said I disgraced my religion! One thing I do know is that LOVE is a great feeling! My last overseas team threatened my job if i didn’t write a fake letter on social media saying my relationship was a lie. But all i know, Love is a great feeling! I understand we all judge and its in human nature, but the more i speak to God i never feel judgement front he man upstairs, even tho he has all the power too! He tells me to fall, learn, and grow because thats life. But to always keep my heart pure and believe totally in him. All i know love is a great feeling and GOD is Love.”
|No. 35 – Atlanta Dream|
|Born||September 10, 1986
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||160 lb (73 kg)|
|High school||Saint Frances Academy
The Patterson School
(Lenoir, North Carolina)
|WNBA draft||2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Atlanta Dream|
|2009–2010||Good Angels Košice|
|Career highlights and awards|