(W) Basketball

(W) Basketball Coaching Staff
Nykesha Sales
Assistant Coach
Coach Info:
Position: Assistant Coach
Phone: 2985

A former WNBA All-Star and one of the top players in UConn women’s basketball history, Nykesha Sales joined UCF’s coaching staff in June 2016, marking her first Division I coaching position.

In her three seasons at UCF, she has helped guide the Knights to three consecutive postseason appearances, including the program’s first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2018-19.

In her first season as a colleigate coach, Sales helped Aliyah Gregory become the first Knight to earn American Athletic Conference First Team accolades, while also assisting Zykira Lewis to all-conference honors.

In 2018-19, she helped Kayla Thigpen to The American’s Sixth Player of the Year honor - the first time that a Knight has earned an individual regular season award in The American. Thigpen was UCF’s second-leading scorer and tallied career-highs in points, field goals made, free throws made, assists, blocks and minutes played.

Sales played for the Orlando Miracle/Connecticut Sun from 1999-2007 and was selected as an eight-time WNBA All-Star. Sales led the Connecticut Sun to two WNBA Finals and still reigns as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer (3,955 points; 14.3 ppg), which ranks among the WNBA’s all-time top 30. In addition, she finished her career with 1,157 rebounds, 683 assists and 490 steals.

Sales, who has lived in Orlando for the past 14 years, played professionally in Europe during WNBA off seasons in the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Prague, Turkey and Bosnia.

She has also devoted her time as an ambassador and guest coach for NBA Basketball Without Borders and the U.S. Sports Envoy Program. Using basketball clinics and community outreach to create positive social change within these programs, she impacted more than 2,500 children in countries including Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Venezuela, South Korea and Haiti from 2009-15.

Sales graduated from UConn in 1998 with a degree in business management. She left as the Huskies’ all-time leading scorer and still ranks among their top five with 2,178 points. In addition, she owns the school record for career steals (447).

Her stellar career at UConn was highlighted by the 1995 NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship, a Final Four appearance in 1996 and two Elite 8 berths. She acquired numerous accolades including: 

  • 1995 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year
  • 1995, 1996 BIG EAST All-Tournament Team
  • 1997, 1998 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
  • 1997, 1998 BIG EAST All-Conference First Team
  • 1995, 1996 BIG EAST All-Tournament Team 
  • 1997 BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player
  • 1998 BIG EAST Player of the Year
  • 1997, 1998 WBCA and Associated Press All-American
  • 1994, 1995, 1996 Conference Academic All Star

In 1997, she earned a gold medal with Team USA at the Women’s World University Games in Sicily, Italy. Sales was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 18.3 points per game. Later in 2000, she was named an alternate on the 2000 USA Basketball Olympic Team.

Sales was a member of the inaugural class (2006) of inductees to the University of Connecticut women’s basketball “Huskies of Honor” recognition program.

From 2013-16, she worked with the Connecticut Sun as a community liaison.

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