Nikki McCray Age, Death Cause, Family, Bio, Wiki, Facts

Nikki McCray, an American Basketball Coach & Player, was born on 17-12-1971 in Collierville in the state of Tennessee, United States as Nikki Kesangane McCray. She played basketball as a Point guard for the WNBA’s teams from 1998 to 2006 before becoming the coach. She died at the age of 51 on 07-07-2023.

Nikki McCray
Nikki McCray, Image Source: Getty Images

Quick Info

NameNikki McCray
Other NamesNikki Kesangane McCray, Nikki Kesangane McCray-Penson, Nikki McCray-Penson
ProfessionBasketball Player, Basketball Coach
Birthday17-12-1971 (Friday)
Birth PlaceCollierville, Tennessee, United States
Age51 Years Old (at the time of death on 07-07-2023)
DebutAs a Player – ABL’s team Columbus Quest in 1996
As a Player – WNBA’s team Washington Mystics in 1998
As a Coach – Western Kentucky Lady Toppers Basketball team in 2006
Best Known asMost Valuable Player of the 1996–97 Season
Jersey Number#15
Playing PositionPoint Guard

She made her debut in the 1996-1997 season for ABL’s team Columbus Quest and became the most valuable player for the season after winning the gold medal. She joined WNBA in 1998. She was s associated with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights women’s Basketball team since 2022 as an assistant coach. Before that, she served as an assistant coach for Western Kentucky & South Carolina. She also served as a head coach for Old Dominion, and Mississippi State.

Basketball star Nikki McCray-Penson dies at 51

Educational Qualification

She did her studies at Collierville High School in Collierville, TN. She received a graduate degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. She also played for the university’s team “Tennessee Lady Volunteers Basketball” from 1991 to 1995 as a Point guard.

SchoolCollierville High School, Collierville, TN
CollegeUniversity of Tennessee, Knoxville

Body Measurement/Physical Appearance

Heightin Feet Inches: 5’ 11”
in centimeters: 180 cm
in meters: 1.80 m
Weight72 Kgs (158 lbs)
Body Figure34-28-36
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack


  • She played basketball for her college team “Tennessee Lady Volunteers Basketball” at the University of Tennessee as a point guard from 1991 to 1995.
  • She was one of the American basketball players who played for ABL and WNBA from 1996 to 2006.
  • She won the gold medal in her national debut for ABL’s team Columbus Quest in the 1996-1997 season and was declared the Most Valuable Player by ABL.
Nikki McCray with basketball coach Pat Summitt; at the time of receiving Gold Medal in 1996
Nikki McCray with basketball coach Pat Summitt; at the time of receiving Gold Medal in 1996, Image Resource: Instagram @nikkimccray15
  • She made her international debut for WNBA’s team Washington Mystics in 1998.
  • She held 2550 career points in WNBA and was selected for the Washington Mystics All-Star games for regular three seasons in 1999, 2000 & 2001.
  • She retired from basketball as a player in 2006 and joined the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers basketball team in the same year as an assistant coach.
  • In 2012, She was honored with the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame for her contribution to the sport of women’s basketball.
  • She also served as a head coach from 2017 to 2021.
  • She was a member of the WNBA’s teams ChicagoSky, SanAntonioSilverStars, PhoenixMercury, IndianaFever, and WashingtonMystics.
  • She was also a member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (PCSFN).
  • She suffered from breast cancer since 2013 and died due to the disease’s complications on 07-07-2023 during her serving period at the Rutgers Scarlet Knights as an assistant coach.
  • She was born on 17-12-1971 on the day of FRIDAY and it was also FRIDAY when she died on 07-07-2023.


Death Date07-07-2023 (Friday)
Death PlacePiscataway, New Jersey, United States
Death CauseBreast Cancer

She died at the age of 51 on 07-07-2023 in Piscataway in the state of New Jersey, United States. She was suffering from breast cancer and died due to the complications of the disease. At the time of death, she was serving as an assistant coach of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Women’s Basketball team.


FatherName Not Known
MotherSally Coleman (Died on 15-07-2018)
SiblingsNot Known
AffairThomas Penson
HusbandThomas Penson
Marriage Date30-03-2002 (Saturday)
SonThomas Nikson Penson

She was born to her parents on 17-12-1971 in Collierville, TN. Her mother’s name is Sally Coleman. She married Thomas Penson on 30-03-2002 and together they had a son named Thomas Nikson Penson. She never revealed more about her family, so we are unable to provide information like her father’s name & her siblings. Her mother passed away on 15-07-2018.

Nikki McCray with husband Thomas Penson and son Thomas Nikson Penson
Nikki McCray with husband Thomas Penson and son Thomas Nikson Penson, Image Source: Her Facebook Account
Nikki McCray with her mother Sally Coleman
Nikki McCray with her mother Sally Coleman, Image Source: Instagram @nikkimccray15


She dated Thomas Penson before marriage with him.

Personal Info & Favorite Things

Home TownCollierville, Tennessee, U.S.
ResidencePiscataway, New Jersey, United States
HobbiesSpending Time with Family

Nikki McCray’s Social Media Accounts

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An accountant doing Blogging, SEO, and Digital Marketing. He collects all the information about famous people and shares it with all through his blog posts and Google web stories. He founded an IT firm called Inbred Innovators in 2016.

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