Basketball Wiki
Yolanda Griffith
Yolanda Griffith
Personal information
Born                           March 1, 1970 (1970-03-01) (age 54)
                                    Chicago, Illinois
Nationality                 U.S. Flag American
Listed height            6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight           188 lbs (85 kg)
Career information
High school             George Washington Carver High School                                   (Chicago, Illinois)
NBA Draft                 1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Selected by the Sacramento Monarchs
Pro career               1999-2009 (10 years)
Career history
1993-1997                  DJK Wildcats Aschaffenburg (Germany)
1999-2007                  Sacramento Monarchs
2000-2002                  Lavezzini Basket Parma (Italy)
2003-2004                  UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia)
2005-2006                  UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia)
2008                  Seattle Storm
2009                  Indiana Fever
Career highlights and awards
  • WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award (1999)
  • WNBA MVP (1999)
  • 8× WNBA All-Star (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • WNBA Champion (2005)
  • WNBA Finals MVP (2005)
  • WNBA's All-Decade Team profile [1]

Yolanda Evette Griffith is a retired American basketball who played in both the ABL, and WNBA. A Former WNBA MVP she is considered one of the greatest rebounders and defensive players in the history of Women's Basketball.[1] She last played in the WNBA as a member of the Indiana Fever. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. She is sometimes called by her nicknames: "Yo" and "Yo-Yo".

High School and College[]

She attended George Washington Carver High School in the Chicago area.[2] In her senior year (1988–1989), she was named in Parade Magazine's All-American basketball team, as well as first team All-America in softball.[2]

She was offered a scholarship to play for the women's basketball team at the University of Iowa, but had to cancel it after she gave birth to her daughter, Candace.

Afterward, she attended Palm Beach Junior College in Lake Worth, Florida, where she earned Junior College All-America honors in 1990-91.[2] She later transferred to Florida Atlantic University, which was then a Division II school, where she graduated in 1993., earning Kodak Division II Player of the Year honors.[2] While in school, she supported herself and her daughter by working for a car repossession company.[2]

American Basketball League[]

In 1997, she joined the American Basketball League (ABL) after playing pro basketball in Germany.[2] Griffith was selected by the Long Beach Stingrays as the number one pick overall in the ABL players draft.[2] In their only season, Griffith led the Stingrays to the brink of the ABL title, only to lose to the defending champions, the Columbus Quest. Griffith was named the 1997-1998 ABL Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-ABL first team.[2] She finished second in the ABL's 1998 Most Valuable Player voting to her future 2000 Summer Olympics teammate Natalie Williams.

When the Long Beach franchise folded after the end of the 1997-98 season, she was dealt to the expansion Chicago Condors, in her hometown. She played there only briefly, however, as the league folded on December 22, 1998. Prior to that, Griffith ranked fifth among league leaders in scoring (17.2 ppg), first in rebounding (12.3 rpg), 19th in assists (2.6 apg), second in steals (3.3 spg), and second in blocked shots (1.3 bpg).

WNBA career[]

The Sacramento Monarchs selected Griffith as the #2 overall draft pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft.[2] She is a seven-time WNBA All-Star, and won the WNBA's MVP and Defensive Player awards in 1999.

In 2005, the Monarchs won their first WNBA title over the Connecticut Sun, three games to one in a Best-of-five playoff series. Griffith was named series MVP.

On April 8, 2008 after nine seasons with the Sacramento Monarchs Griffith signed with the Seattle Storm.

On February 20, 2009 Griffith signed with the Indiana Fever after a one year stint with the Storm.

On June 9, 2009 Griffith tore her achilles tendon in a game against the Seattle Storm, her former team. She will be out for the season and since she retired at the end of the season, it will end her career.[3] In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in the fifteen year history of the WNBA. [4]

Yolanda Griffith has remained in Indiana as an Adjunct Assistant Coach. She is considered their Player Development Coach.

== Playing overseas ==

Shortly after graduating from college, Griffith began her professional basketball playing career in Germany, where she played from 1993 to 1997. In 1997, she finished as the top scorer and rebounder in the EuroLeague, averaging 24.7 points and 16.0 rebounds per game.

During the WNBA offseason, Griffith has played extensively overseas, usually on teams and leagues that feature other WNBA players. In 2003 and 2004, she played for a Russian professional team in Ekaterinburg.


  • 1993-1997 : Germany DJK Wildcats Aschaffenburg
  • 2000-2002 : Italy Lavezzini Basket Parma
  • 2003-2004 : Russia UMMC Ekaterinburg
  • 2005-2006 : Russia UMMC Ekaterinburg


Griffith has twice been a member of the U.S. National Women's Basketball team. She won Gold Medals at the Summer Olympics in both 2000 and 2004.[5][6]



  • Template:Cite book

See also[]

  • Photo Gallery - Photos featuring Yolanda Griffith
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