The women's basketball world suffered a heavy loss this past week with the death of Nikki McCray-Penson. The former WNBA player and college coach was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. While the cause of her death has not yet been confirmed, McCray-Penson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and was also believed to be suffering from pneumonia as per Cora Hall of The Tennesssean. She was only 51 years old. McCray-Penson was currently serving as an assistant coach at Rutgers under Coquese Washington. McCray-Penson touched many in the women's basketball world, including fellow Hall of Famer and current South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley who took to social media to express her feelings.

Dawn Staley played with Nikki McCray-Penson during their Olympic Days on the famed 1996 team that led to the inception of the WNBA. McCray-Penson ended up playing nine seasons in the WNBA including stints with the Washington Mystics, Indiana Fever, Phoenix Mercury, San Antonio Stars and Chicago Sky. She was a three-time All-Star and holds career averages of 10.1 points per game, 1.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists with splits of 41.4 percent shooting from the field, 29.1 percent shooting from the three-point line and 76.7 percent shooting from the free-throw line.

Post-playing career, McCray-Penson went into coaching at the college level. She began as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky before reuniting with Staley at South Carolina. She also was the head coach at Old Dominion and Mississippi State before ending up at Rutgers. Up until her death, Nikki McCray-Penson was around the game she loved.