Sonja Henning

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Sonja Henning
Medal record
Women’s Basketball
Representing the  United States
U18 and U19
Gold medal – first place 1988 U18 Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Competition
FIBA World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1990 Malaysia Team Competition
Pan American Games
Bronze medal – third place 1991 Havana Team Competition

Sonja L. Henning (born October 4, 1969) is an American attorney and former collegiate and professional women's basketball player. Born in Jackson, Tennessee, she grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, where she attended Horlick High School.

Stanford University[edit]

She attended Stanford University and played for its women's basketball team from 1987 to 1991. She helped the Cardinal win the 1990 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship game, defeating Auburn University. The following year, Henning was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and a Kodak All-American in her senior season.

An economics major, Henning graduated from Stanford in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

After graduation, there were few opportunities for women to play professional basketball in the United States at the time, so Henning started her professional career playing in a women's professional basketball team in Uppsala, Sweden in 1992.

USA Basketball[edit]

Henning was a member of the USA Women's U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The event was known as the Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament at the time. The event was held in August 1988, when the USA team defeated the host team Brazil by a score of 70–68 to win the championship. Henning sank two free throws with under one second remaining in the game to win the final game and the gold medal.[1]

Henning represented the US at the World Championships held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July 1990. The team won all eight games, earning the gold medal. Henning scored 2.0 points per game.[2]

Henning again represented the USA at the 1990 Goodwill Games held in Seattle, WA during August 1990; the USA team won the gold medal. [3]

Henning also played with the USA team at the 1991 Pan American Games. The team finished with a record of 4–2, but managed to win the bronze medal. The USA team lost a three-point game to Brazil, then responded with wins over Argentina and Cuba, earning a spot in the medal round. The next game was a rematch against Cuba, and this time the team from Cuba won a five-point game. The USA beat Canada easily to win the bronze. Gordon averaged 3 points per game.[4]

Duke University[edit]

After playing one season in Sweden, she enrolled in Duke University Law School in 1992 where she obtained a Juris Doctor in 1995.

Shortly after graduating from Duke, Henning starting working as an attorney specializing in labor and employment law for the Littler Mendelson law firm in Los Angeles, California.

Resuming professional basketball[edit]

In 1996, the American Basketball League (ABL) was formed, and Henning tried out for a playing spot on a team in the new league. Henning was eventually drafted by the San Jose Lasers, a team which also featured former Stanford players Jennifer Azzi, Anita Kaplan, and Val Whiting.

She played for the Lasers for two seasons, then joined the Portland Power until financial difficulties led to the ABL's demise in 1998.

Henning joined the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) after being selected in the second round (24th overall pick) by the Houston Comets during its 1999 WNBA Draft and helped the Comets to its third straight WNBA championship season. During that same year, she also served as the president of the WNBA Players Union.

In 2000, the WNBA held an expansion draft for current players to join newly formed teams. Henning was selected by the Seattle Storm and played with the team from 2000 to part of the 2002 season until she was traded back to the Comets.

After the 2002 season ended, she became a free agent, and signed a contract with the Washington Mystics on May 5, 2003, but was waived by the team three weeks later. In June 2003, Henning signed a contract with the Indiana Fever and played for them during that season.

Henning served as president of the Women's National Basketball Players Association from 2001 to 2003.

She retired from the WNBA in 2004.

Life after basketball[edit]

After serving two years as general counsel for Lucy.com, a startup Internet company that sells women's sporting apparel, Henning joined the law firm Tonkon Torp LLP, in Portland, Oregon. She is currently[when?] an attorney specializing in labor and employment litigation matters.

Sonja left Tonkon Torp and took a position with Nike in Beaverton in a marketing role.

Henning[when?] currently serves on the board of directors for the Urban League of Portland.

In May 2005, Henning was elected to a seat on the Portland School Board with more than 70 percent of the vote.[citation needed]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high ° League leader

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
1999 Houston 32 32 24.9 .444 .317 .611 2.5 2.3 1.1 0.2 0.9 4.0
2000 Seattle 32 32 30.6 .351 .379 .607 2.7 2.5 1.9 0.1 1.7 5.3
2001 Seattle 32 28 28.2 .318 .182 .514 2.2 2.9 1.6 0.2 1.3 3.4
2002* Seattle 8 5 25.9 .364 .000 .500 3.3 1.9 1.1 0.1 0.9 2.3
2002* Houston 23 10 22.7 .346 .250 .455 2.5 2.2 1.0 0.3 1.6 1.9
2002 Total 31 15 23.5 .351 .188 .467 2.7 2.1 1.0 0.2 1.4 2.0
2003* Washington 1 0 5.0 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2003* Indiana 23 1 12.6 .262 .000 .250 1.1 1.3 0.6 0.0 0.6 1.0
2003 Total 24 1 12.3 .256 .000 .250 1.0 1.2 0.6 0.0 0.5 1.0
Career 5 years, 4 teams 151 108 24.5 .356 .278 .547 2.3 2.3 1.3 0.2 1.2 3.2

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
1999 Houston 6 6 22.7 .348 .111 .333 3.0 1.8 1.2 0.2 1.2 3.2
2002 Houston 3 3 16.0 .000 .000 .000 1.3 1.3 0.3 0.0 0.7 0.0
Career 2 years, 1 team 9 9 20.4 .250 .091 .333 2.4 1.7 0.9 0.1 1.0 2.1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "First Women's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team -- 1988". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Eleventh World Championship -- 1990". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on 20 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  3. ^ "SECOND WOMEN'S GOODWILL GAMES -- 1990". www.usab.com. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  4. ^ "Eleventh Pan American Games -- 1991". USA Basketball. Feb 20, 2014. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.

External links[edit]