BEVO BEAT Women's Basketball

The active 2018 Texas Exes power rankings: No. 20 Imani McGee-Stafford, basketball

Posted April 25th, 2018

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We’re counting down the 25 best former Texas athletes still competing in their sport. Each day we’ll reveal a new athlete. 

UT’s Imani McGee-Stafford was the Big 12 co-defensive player of the year in 2016. (Jay Janner/American-Statesman)

 No. 20 Imani McGee-Stafford, basketball

McGee-Stafford arrived at Texas as one of the top recruits in the nation looking to help Texas coach Karen Aston establish a new era on the 40 Acres. She left Austin as one of the most decorated Longhorn women’s basketball players in decades. McGee-Stafford was the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and was Big 12 Freshman of the Year in in 2013, when she was also on the conference All-Defensive team. The former McDonald’s All-American from Los Angeles started all 36 games for the Longhorns during her senior season, when she led the Longhorns to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2003.

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PHOTOS: Imani McGee-Stafford through the years

Pro career: McGee-Stafford followed in her brother’s footsteps, JaVale McGree, and became a professional basketball player when the Chicago Sky selected her 10th overall in the first round of the 2016 WNBA Draft. She was named to the WNBA All-Rookie team in 2016. She was traded in 2017 to the Atlanta Dream. When she’s not playing in the WNBA, McGee-Stafford, like most WNBA players, plays overseas. In 2016-2017 she played in the Israeli Female Basketball Premier League and this past year signed a contract with the Beijing Great Wall of the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association.

Why she’s here: Only 23, McGee-Stafford could have a long and successful career ahead of her both in the WNBA and overseas. McGee-Stafford, along with Ariel Atkins (who was drafted earlier this month in the WNBA) will become standard barriers for Longhorns programs at the next level. But McGee-Stafford could also become a powerful voice off the court, where she has already published a book about her life, Notes in the Key of Heartbreak, as well as a nonprofit that combines sports and mental health called Hoops and Hope Foundation.

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