University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Houston Comets Memorabilia Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator Houston Comets (Basketball team)Shuart, Carey Chenoweth
Collection Title Houston Comets Memorabilia Collection
Dates 1997-2003
Identification 2001-010
Physical Description 12.00 Linear Feet
Repository University of Houston Libraries M.D. Anderson Library 4333 University Drive Houston, TX, 77204-2000 URL: Email: Phone: 713-743-9229

Historical Note:

The Houston Comets was a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Houston, Texas. They were formed in 1997, which was the inaugural season of the WNBA and were one of the original eight WNBA teams. The Comets were the first dynasty of the WNBA and they won more championships than any other team in the WNBA under the reigns of Head Coach Van Chancellor. They began as the sister team of the Houston Rockets under the ownership of Alexander Leslie from 1997 to 2006.

From 1997 to 2000, the Comets dominated the WNBA as they won all four championships in the first four years of the league's existence with the leadership of Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson who were referred to as the “Big Three.” The Comets were known for courting great women's basketball stars in addition to the “Big Three” such as Kim Perrot, who succumbed to cancer in 1999 and college star Michelle Snow.

Unfortunately, the Comets failed to make another WNBA Finals appearance after their 2000 Championship season. Changes in the roster, coaching staff, ownership and playing arena prompted the demise of the Comet’s Franchise. In 2001, 2-time league MVP Cynthia Cooper retired, and in 2007, Chancellor resigned as Head Coach and Alexander sold the Franchise to Hilton Koch. Chancellor was replaced by Assistant Coach, Karleen Thompson; and shortly thereafter, the team moved from playing its home games at the Toyota Center to Reliant Arena. Given these changes over the span of seven years, the Comets struggled greatly as they only moved past the First Round of the playoffs once, which was in their 2005 season, and they failed to make the playoffs 3 out of their last eight seasons. Due to this hardship, Koch put the team up from sale in 2008, but didn’t receive any offers from investors. Consequently, the team fell under the management of the WNBA and was disbanded in the same year.

Scope and Contents

This collection is housed in 9 boxes and organized into 5 series. The content of the collection consists of Houston Comet’s memorabilia documenting their four WNBA championship wins from years 1997 to 2000. In addition, general Houston Comet’s novelty items can be found in this collection dating from the year 1997 to 2003.


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Even though the University of Houston Libraries owns the physical items in this collection, copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs, and the researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate curator.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Corporate Name:
Houston Comets (Basketball team)
Women's National Basketball Association
Genre/Form of Material:
Fliers (printed matter)
Topical Term:
Basketball teams -- United States -- History

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Houston Comet’s Memorabilia Collection, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Detailed List of Contents

Yearbooks and Miscellaneous Items

Box Folder
1 1 Commemorative Program and Yearbooks 1998-2000
2 Season Ticket Stubs, Booklets, and Schedules 2000-2003


Box Folder
1 3 Sports Illustrated for Women May/June 2001
4 Comets Tales 1998, 1999
5 Articles 2001
OVS_Box OVS_Folder
2 1 Houston Chronicle clippings 1997-2000
2 New York Times clippings 1999

Printed Promotional Material

Box Folder
1 6 Flyers
7 Signs
8 Collector’s Card Sheets 2000
9 Collector’s Card Sheets 2001
10 Collector’s Card Sheets 2002
11 Collector's Card Sheets 2003

Photographic Material

Box Folder
1 12 2000 Championship Game
13 2002 Regular Season Game

Novelty Items

Posters and Banners
OVS_Box Item
2 3 2000 “Girl Power” team Poster
4 “Van’s Angels” Houston Comets Poster
5 “Haley,” the Houston Comet’s Mascot, Poster
6 WNBA 3-peat Champions Banner
Clothing and Accessories
OVS_Box Item
3 1 Houston Comet’s T-shirt
2 1997 Inaugural Season WNBA Champions T-shirt
3 1997-1998 Back-to-Back WNBA Champions T-shirt
4 1997-1998 Cynthia Cooper MVP T-shirt
5 ’97, ’98, ’99 3-peat WNBA Champions T-shirt
6 1999 Western Conference Playoff T-shirt
7 2000 WNBA Champions T-shirt
8 Cynthia Cooper Basketball Jersey
9 Houston Comet’s Towels and Handkerchief
10 Houston Comet’s Hats
OVS_Box Item
4 1 #22 Sheryl Swoopes Signed Basketball
OVS_Box Item
5 1 #40 Monica Lamb Signed Basketball
OVS_Box Item
6 1 MVP Cynthia Cooper Signed Basketball
OVS_Box Item
7 1 Plexiglas Enclosed Official Game Ball
Novelty Dolls and Toys
OVS_Box Item
8 1 “Haley in the Box”
2 Nesting Dolls
3 Cheryl Swoopes “Celebriduck”
4 Miniature Cynthia Cooper Basketball
5 Miniature Tina Thompson Basketball
6 Bobble Heads: Cynthia Cooper
7 Bobble Heads: Tina Thompson
8 Bobble Heads: Sheryl Swoopes
9 Bobble Heads: Van Chancellor
Souvenir Water Bottles
OVS_Box Item
8 10 Cynthia Cooper
11 Tina Thompson
12 Sheryl Swoopes
Lapel Pins and Button
OVS_Box Item
8 13 Cynthia Cooper #14 Jersey Pin
14 Sheryl Swoopes #22 Jersey Pin
15 Kim Perrot #10 Jersey Pin
16 WNBA Breast Health Awareness Pin
17 “Fans First” Button
Miscellaneous Items
OVS_Box Item
8 18 Heart of Champions 1999 WNBA Championship Videotape
19 Houston Comet's Souvenir Photo Album
20 Houston Comet’s Souvenir Lunchbox
21 Houston Comet’s Souvenir Maraca
22 2000 WNBA Souvenir Championship Ring
23 Comets/Rockets Gift Box