DeLisha Milton-Jones Joins the Orange

WNBA legend and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist DeLisha Milton-Jones has joined the Syracuse women’s basketball program as an assistant coach. She will serve as the team’s recruiting coordinator beginning July 1.

“DeLisha is among the most decorated women’s basketball players to ever play the game,” said Hillsman. “She’s an amazing communicator and has head coaching experience at the division one level. She’s a homerun hire! We are very fortunate to have her join our staff.”

After a successful professional career, Milton-Jones began her collegiate coaching career in 2016 at Pepperdine University first as an assistant before her promotion to head coach in 2017. This year, she led the Waves to their first winning season since 2012 when they finished the season 22-12. Pepperdine reached the Sweet Sixteen of the WNIT, had the highest West Coast Conference finish since 2011 and the most wins since 2002.

In addition, Pepperdine tallied 12 more wins than the previous season, earned the No. 3 seed in the WCC Tournament and reached the semifinals for the first time since 2011.

“I am elated about pursing this new opportunity under a phenomenal coach and coaching staff at an outstanding institution of higher learning,” said Milton-Jones. “As a young coach, it is a dream to be in a situation to better yourself from learning from the best. I know it will serve me well. Syracuse has a pedigree of excellence in winning and competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Making the move to assistant coach under Coach Hillsman is one that serves me well immediately short term and long term. I know I am in for a large treat learning at a very rapid rate with some of the world’s best players. This situation has me biting at the bit to get started. I am appreciative of the opportunity and I look forward to making good on it.”

“It would be a huge disservice if I did not give proper honors to Pepperdine giving me my start and believing in me to lead the program. I have a tremendous amount of pride and I feel good that I am leaving the program better than I found it. At Pepperdine, I created relationships that will last a lifetime and the support I was given is one that I will always cherish. I couldn’t thank our Director of Athletics, Steve Potts, and University President, Andrew K. Benton, enough for giving me the greatest gift that anyone could ever get which is opportunity.”

Milton-Jones enjoyed a 17-year WNBA career, playing for five teams, including 11 seasons in Los Angeles. She helped the Sparks to back-to-back WNBA Championships in 2001 and 2002 and played in the postseason 10 times during her professional tenure.

The fourth overall pick in the 1999 WNBA Draft by Los Angeles, Milton-Jones spent the first six years of her career with the Sparks until 2004 when she was traded. She announced her retirement in 2016 and ended her career with the ninth-most points scored in WNBA history, compiling 5,581 points during nearly two decades in the league. She set the WNBA record for games played with 499 and left the WNBA ranked sixth in career rebounds (2,574), fifth in steals, (619) and 15th in blocks (339).

Milton-Jones is a three-time WNBA All-Star and averaged 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds during her 17-season career. Additionally, she had a decorated overseas career playing for teams in Russia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, Turkey and Korea.

As a member of the United States national team, she won gold medals in both the 2000 and 2008 Olympics. If not for knee injury, she would have been a part of the 2004 Olympic team as well. She helped the U.S. to a pair of FIBA World Championships in 1998 and 2002 and was part of the USA squad that claimed the 2007 Tournament of the Americas title.

Milton-Jones was a four-year letterwinner at Florida from 1993-1997 where she appeared in 125 games and averaged 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. She led the Gators to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances and was named an Associated Press (AP), Kodak and Basketball Times All-American as senior. That same year she was awarded both the Wade Trophy and Honda Sports Award, which recognize the best women’s basketball player in NCAA Division I.