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Diana Taurasi - Biography - American professional basketball player (WNBA) and Olympian

August 31, 2016
First published on:August 31, 2016
by John

Diana Lorena Taurasi is an American basketball player who plays for ‘Phoenix Mercury’ of Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) andsu UMMC Ekaterinburg from Russia. 

Source: a.fssta


Diana Lorena Taurasi was brought up in Chino, California. Her mother and father emigrated from Argentina to the States before Taurasi was born. Diana attended Don Antonio Lugo High School and University of Connecticut (UConn). Her professional career started after she was selected by the ‘Phoenix Mercury’ and her international career began in 2005 when she played for ‘Dynamo Moscow’. Diana was an associate of the USA Women’s U18 which won the Gold at the FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina. Apart from basketball, she featured in the movie called ‘Believe In Me’.

Early Life

Diana was born on June 11th, 1982; in Glendale, California and she was brought up in Chino. Before her professional career headed through; she was an awkward and gangly as a kid until she realized that her length and size gave her a discrete edge on Basketball. She comes from a family who isn’t really Americans; her mother was from Argentina and her father came from the Italian town of ‘Taurasi’. From the very beginning of her life, she was brought up to be ashamed of nothing and that is what she applied in life being the tallest in her group which was a bit hard for her at some times.

High School and College

She attended Don Antonia Lugo High School and she was a local star as soon as she stepped in. Diana was the one who received the ‘2000 Cheryl Miller Award’ presented by LA Times to the greatest player in the whole Southern California. Nonetheless, she was also titled with ‘Parade Magazine National High School Player of the Year’ and 1999 and 2000 ‘Miss Basketball Player of the Year’. Later, she participated in the 2000 ‘WBCA High School All-American Game’ where she managed to score 12 points for her team and received MVP Honors. 

Diana Taurasi during her high school period.

Diana Taurasi during her high school period.

Source: instagram

Speaking of her college, she went to University of Connecticut (UConn) and played for the Women’s Basketball Team in 2000 and 2001 season over there. Diana led her team to 3 consecutive NCAA Championship finals; and with that, she received 2003 and 2004 ‘Naismith College Player of the Year’, the 2003 ‘Associated Press Player of the Year’ and 2003 ‘Wade Trophy’. During her times at the college, her team made a record with just 8 losses and overall 139 wins.


Her career turned on when she was first selected by the ‘Phoenix Mercury’. She made her position to the forward line due to the fact that there were shorter players in the starting 5. In her debut game, Diana led her team to victory by setting 84-76 over the ‘Seattle Storm’. Even with wins, they had to suffer from losses as well and they didn’t qualify for the playoffs. However, she managed to win the WNBA ‘Rookie of the Year Award’ and made her way to the ‘Western Conference All-Star Team’.  Diana Taurasi trying her layup shoot during a play.

Diana Taurasi trying her layup shoot during a play.

Source: newsmax

In 2005; Diana was an ‘All-Star’ for the 2nd straight year, but the ‘Phoenix’ failed to hold the trophy that year as well. In 2006, she averaged a record of 4.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 25.3 points, the Mercury finished 18-16. But yet; they had to suffer a loss at the tie-breaker with Seattle and Houston, and missing the playoffs. In 2007, they finally made to the playoffs and it was her first WNBA Finals and first WNBA title win. With the title, Taurasi became the 7th player to win a NCAA title and an Olympic Gold Medal. During the 2009 season, she led her team to their 2nd WNBA Championship in 3 years by beating ‘Indiana Fever’ 3 games to 2. As she was named the ‘WNBA Finals MVP’, Diana became one of only 2 players to win the season scoring title alongside Cynthia Cooper-Dyke (The Season MVP Award). In 2011, she was chosen as one of the ‘Top 15 Players’ by WNBA fans.

During her 2014 season, the ‘Phoenix’ finished 29-5 and advancing to the WNBA Finals making their way by beating the ‘Chicago Sky’. With that, she earned her ‘WNBA Finals MVP’ for the 2nd time in her career. On February 3rd, 2015; Diana announced that she would not play the 2015 WNBA season as per the Russian Team, UMMC Ekaterinburg’s request. The Russian team offered her more than WNBA salary to sit out the 2015 season. However, she returned to the ‘Phoenix’ for the 2016 WNBA season.

International Career

Her international career took off when she joined ‘Dynamo Moscow’ who had been leading the Russian league until the late 90s. During 2006, Diana played for the Russian team ‘Spartak Moscow’ alongside Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird. The team won 4 successive Euroleague Championship from 2007 to 2010. In 2010, she joined Turkish Champion Fenerhance and helping the team to win the national league. On December 2010, she was suspended from the Turkish team of using some kind of drug named ‘Modafinil’.

During 2011-2012, Diana played for ‘Galatasaray’ which was the other major team from Istanbul and Fenerbahce’s longtime competitor and rival. However, the team failed to win against Fenerbahce at the finals for 2 straight years. On May 16th, 2012; Diana signed a contract with UMMC and joined with WNBA greatest star Candace Parker. The team managed to win the national and international tournaments, and 2012-2013 Euroleague making it the 2nd with for the club.

During the 2014 season, Diana broke her hand and she skipped her 2015 WNBA season. In 2016, she returned back to UMMC and leading her team to its 3rd Euroleague title (her 6th personal) with earning MVP honors as well. And in 2016 Olympic in Rio, her team managed to bring home their 4th Gold Medal. 

4 times Gold Medalist Diana Taurasi.

4 times Gold Medalist Diana Taurasi.

Source: nbcolympics

Personal Life

Diana was born to an Italian father, Mario; and Argentinian mother, Liliana. She has a sibling named Jessika and she is her older sister. Reports believe that she is a lesbian since she hasn’t dated anyone recently.  However, she hasn’t publicly announced her sexual matter and she likes to keep it a mystery. But in an interview, she confirmed that she doesn’t have any time to think about this sort of matter and her primary concern is always Basketball; and concluding it by saying that she is still single. 

On July 2nd; 2009, she had been pulled over by a cop for allegedly speeding and that her alcohol blood level was 0.17 whilst a blood sample test. With that action, she was suspended for 2 games later that month and was put behind bars for a day. Due to the event, Diana had to go through a lot of consequences and had a profound effect on her. Apart from her basketball career, she had a cameo role in the movie called ‘Believe In Me’ which was released in 2006. As per her net worth, it has reached more than $3 million as of 2015. 

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