Debbie Black rejoins Jim Foster's coaching staff after closing out a stellar 18-season professional career in 2005. Black, who played for Foster at St. Joseph's from 1985-88, is in her second stint as an assistant with her former mentor. She previously coached with Foster in 1999-2000 at Vanderbilt, where she helped the Lady Commodores to a 21-13 overall record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. In 2005, Black assumed the video coordinator role with Ohio State for the second half of the season.
In her first season with the Buckeyes, the former WNBA Defensive Player of the Year guided Ohio State guard Kim Wilburn to 2006 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors and helped the Buckeyes lead the league in assists.
Ohio State also led the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio for the second year in a row en route to 29 wins against just three losses. The Buckeyes put together a 20-game win streak to collect their second Big Ten title in as many seasons.
Black ended her professional career April 13, 2005, retiring from the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. She also played with Miami and Utah of the WNBA after All-Star seasons with the Colorado Xplosion of the American Basketball League. With the Xplosion, Black recorded a rare feat with a quadruple-double against the Atlanta Glory Dec. 8, 1996 when she scored 10 points, handed out 12 assists, pulled down 14 rebounds and recorded 10 steals.
Overseas, Black played eight seasons with the Tasmanian Islanders (1989-96) of the Women's National Basketball League in Australia. She helped the team win national titles in 1991 and 1995.
In the all-time WNBA records book, Black retired ranked No. 8 in career steals (315) and tied for 10th in assists (612). Black also is first all-time in career steal-to-turnover ratio and fourth in career steals per game (2.26). She was the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year with the Miami Sol in 2001. She finished her ABL career as the all-time leader in steals (330) and ranked second in assists (608) and was named 1997 ABL Defensive Player of the Year.
At St. Joseph's, Black joined current assistant coach Kelley (Devine) Meury to lead the Hawks to two Big 5 championships and an Atlantic 10 title. A native of Philadelphia, Black completed her collegiate career ranked as St. Joe's all-time career leader in assists (718) and steals (572). A multi-sport athlete, Black earned 12 varsity letters in basketball, field hockey and softball. She reaped many awards on the court, including 1988 All-District and All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team honors after being named second-team all-league in 1986 and to the All-Rookie team in 1985. She was inducted into the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame in 1995, the St. Joseph's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994 and the St. Joseph's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Courtside With Marty Bannister
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