Committed To Community Service
A powerhouse off the court as well, McCray is noted as much for her community service and excellent singing voice as well as phenomenal basketball playing. She helps in her community by donating time to Boys and Girls Clubs where she talks to kids about sports and nutrition. She has even worked at the Abe's Table soup kitchen sponsored by Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin. McCray is spokesperson for the Wizards and Mystics Pick & Roll reading incentive program that enrolls 3,500 area students.
As captain of the WNBA Mystics, McCray delivered the 1999 Women's History Month keynote address at the Library of Congress. At the presentation, she was lauded as a "wonderful role model for young people" by the Federal Women's Program manager. In 2000, McCray was also named to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which advises the President and Secretary of Health and Human Services on improving American's participation in sports and physical activity. The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame named McCray Female Professional Athlete of the Year in 2001.
Possessing a fine singing voice, McCray sang the national anthem at an NBA game. Wowing them in her hometown of Collierville, Tennessee, as well, a park was recently named for her. McCray is married to Thomas Penson, who proposed to her in the middle of the basketball court after a game.
Ever since playing basketball with her cousins when she was in grade school, Nikki McCray has proven that girls can be as good as boys. Helping the Washington Mystics host a Girl Power! night on the Web, McCray said, "This is a great time to be a girl. Just look around at all the things that you can achieve—from playing in the WNBA to being an astronaut to being President. Find something that you like to do, whether it is a sport, school, music, or something else, give it your best effort, and you will succeed—that's Girl Power!"