Cooper, Kwan are athletes of the year

NEW YORK (AP) — Cynthia Cooper is eyeing a third WNBA title next summer. Michelle Kwan is dreaming of an Olympic gold medal in 2002.
Both those goals will take time. But on Monday, the basketball player and the figure skater were honored as Sportswomen of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Cooper, the two-time league MVP on the Houston Comets, was chosen in the team category. Kwan, the silver medalist at the Nagano Olympics, was chosen in the individual category.
Known for her “raise the roof” gesture, Cooper scored 23 points to lead Houston to its second consecutive WNBA title over Phoenix last month. She also earned her second scoring title, averaging 22.7 points a game.
After a 13-year professional basketball career in Spain and Italy, and dominating the WNBA, Cooper is looking ahead, on the court and beyond.
“I’d like to be a general manager, maybe the next president of the WNBA, maybe a broadcaster,” the 35-year-old guard said. “Maybe a three-peat. Hey, Michael Jordan won six championships, I want to be like Mike.”
Cooper became the first WNBA player to reach 1,000 career points in July. The Comets won 15 straight games, led the WNBA in scoring and defense, and finished the regular season 27-3.
Kwan had a strong performance at the Nagano Olympics, but the gold medal went to U.S. teammate Tara Lipinski, who has since turned pro. That has Kwan looking toward Salt Lake City.
“One of my dreams is to go to the Olympics in 2002, it’s in the States and my whole family will probably come,” Kwan said. “I’m just hoping that everything will go right and I’ll be ready for that competition.”
Kwan won her second world championship in March and a Goodwill Games gold medal in July. She added another U.S. title and received 15 perfect marks in her short and long programs, the most by any skater.
Kwan, who received a travel and education grant from the foundation at age 12, graduated from high school this summer with a near-perfect 3.6 grade-point average.
“I did it, even though I had to lug my books around the world,” she said.
Kwan, 18, is considering colleges for next year, and is interested in journalism and sports broadcasting.