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Women Athletes: Where's Cappie?


The best female basketball player failed to make the Power 100 because of her own obscurity and the WNBA's low popularity

Oddly enough, the No. 1 female athlete in her sport is nowhere to be found in the Power 100. Cappie Pondexter, of the two-time WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury, comes in at the top of CSE's on-field women's professional basketball rankings, but her low profile in the marketing world and the relatively low popularity of the WNBA kept her off the broader list. Pondexter, a top shooting guard, helped turn the Rutgers women's basketball team into a national powerhouse. In the WNBA, wearing No. 23 to honor her idol Michael Jordan, Pondexter became an All-Star her rookie year and has since earned that honor twice more. She was on the gold medal-winning USA women's basketball team in Beijing. During the WNBA off-season, she now plays for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia after spending two seasons playing in Turkey. Like Jordan, Pondexter has her own basketball shoe deal, with Protégé Shoes. She landed a Wheaties cover in 2007 after the first of her two WNBA titles and does buckets of charity work. Her stellar basketball stats and growing international profile should lead to higher-level endorsement deals, which in turn should land Pondexter on a future Power 100. Click here to see the world's most powerful athletes in the 2010 Power 100.

Karla Swatek is vice-president of Horrow Sports Ventures and co-author of Beyond the Box Score: An Insider's Guide to the $750 Billion Business of Sports (February, 2010).

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