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Featured Speaker
Edna Campbell
California
 
Edna Campbell

Edna Campbell is a retired women's basketball player who played in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The 5'8" guard was a star player for the Sacramento Monarchs and has also played for three other teams, but is best known for continuing to play despite suffering breast cancer.

Campbell's college career began at the University of Maryland, College Park, but achieved her most notable success at the University of Texas' women's team, known as the Lady Longhorns, where she was named the Southwest Conference's Newcomer of the Year in 1990. She graduated in 1991 after the Lady Longhorns compiled a 48-14 won/loss record while she was there.

Edna played for the Colorado Xplosion in the American Basketball League (ABL). She was the 10th overall draft pick, selected by the Phoenix Mercury during the 1999 WNBA Draft. She was left unprotected in the expansion draft the following year, and was chosen by the Seattle Storm. She became the new franchise's go-to option, but the team finished with a cellar-dwelling 6-26 record.

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The next year, the Storm drafted its first superstar, Lauren Jackson, and Campbell was traded to the Sacramento Monarchs for Katy Steding and a draft pick. During the second of her four seasons in Sacramento, Campbell was diagnosed with breast cancer. "I was shocked and numb, to say the least," Edna has said. "This was a situation that had me stomped." Yet, her faith, career and experiences gave her a beautiful life to fight for.

Amazingly, she continued to live a normal life throughout her treatment. She played basketball when she could, and rested when she needed it. She received treatment and was welcomed back before the fans of her two most recent teams in the Monarchs' final game against Seattle during the 2002 season.

Campbell continued to play in spite of the cancer, becoming an inspiring symbol to many survivors. She became the WNBA's national spokesman in its anti-cancer efforts with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, receiving the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award for 2003. After playing as a free agent for the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2005, she announced her retirement from the WNBA on February 28, 2006.

During the 2006 WNBA season, its ninth, fans nominated Campbell's victory over breast cancer as "most inspirational and one of the top four WNBA Decade Anniversary moments". Shortly after her retirement the Silver Spurs hired her as a television commentator for the 2006 season.

Since then, Edna has completed her nursing degree and now continues to inspire women with the story of her life during and after breast cancer.

  • WOW!!!!! Edna was incredible. She tells her story with such passion and courage. Everyone in the room jumped to their feet to give her huge applause at the end. After the event, they couldn't wait to meet her. We gave away a few pink basketballs as door prizes and they had her signing them or the program or a napkin, whatever they could find. She was easy to work with and very accommodating. Thank you for helping us bring her to Tyler. -- ETMC Public Relations Manager

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