Cynthia Cooper is a basketball coach and former player who has won championships in college, in the Olympics, and in the WNBA. Cooper was a four-year letter winner at guard for USC from 1982–1986. She led the Women of Troy to NCAA appearances in all four years, Final Four appearances in three of her four years, and back-to-back NCAA tournament titles in 1983 and 1984.
She is considered by many as one of the greatest women's basketball players ever. In 2011, Cynthia was voted by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. Upon the league's formation, she played for the Houston Comets from 1997–2000, being named the Most Valuable Player of the WNBA Finals in all four seasons and returned to play again in 2003. As of 2020, Cynthia still holds the record for most Finals MVPs with four. She has also coached at USC, UNC Wilmington, Prairie View A&M, and, professionally, for the Phoenix Mercury.
Cooper was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. On April 30, 2019, she was introduced as the head coach for the Texas Southern Lady Tigers basketball team, a position she held in the 2012–13 season. She was also announced as a member of the 2010 induction class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (the first WNBA player to be inducted), and was formally inducted on August 13 of that year