SHE-LOGY: Women who ball

Females who changed the game of basketball.

(Thank you, Lisa, for this fantastic and unique contribution to this blog project, first ever She-logy featuring women in sports. Check out Lisa’s blog at Rebirth of Lisa.)


My contribution for the “She-logy” series hosted by Silver Lining Mama is from the wide world of sports! Well guys, its March and in the world of sports that means college basketball. March Madness is no longer reserved just for the guys. Women are taking the court in full force. As the ladies suit up for the NCAA tournament all around the league this week, I thought it great timing when Jan approached me about writing a sports related post for her series.

My post will focus on the contributions to women’s basketball by three former Lady Vols. The University of Tennessee Lady Vols Program is known as the blueprint for Women’s Basketball Programs, and I must say I am a huge fan. Joan, Pat and Tamika are arguably, the three greatest ladies to be associated with this program. As I type, the administration of UT is systematically dismantling the legendary Lady Vols Program these women built, and I can’t stand by and let it go without having my say. I am not alone. There is a very active campaign to “Save the Lady Vols” that you can read about here.

Joan Cronan: A woman who found her calling at the age of 12 when she was not allowed to play Little League baseball with her peers, simply because she was a girl. She has spent her career as a Women’s Collegiate Athletic Director, trying to even the playing field for little girls across the world. Her mantra is “There is a special place in Hell for women who don’t help women.” Read more about her here. Listed below are a few of her accolades:

• University of Tennessee Volleyball Practice Facility named after her
• 2 Women’s Indoor Track NCAA National Championships
• 8 Women’s Basketball NCAA National Championships
• University of Tennessee Women’s Athletic Director from 1983-2012
• Developed the “Blueprint” of Women’s Athletic Departments
• 24 SEC Tournament Championships
• 29 SEC Regular Season Championships
• 2008 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
• 2005 NACWAA Athletic Director of the Year
• 2004 NACDA Southeast Region Athletic Director of the Year
• 1990 College of Charleston Hall of Fame Inductee

Pat Summitt: This living legend stands alone at the “Summitt” of not just Women’s Basketball, but all of college basketball. She boasts the best winning stats for any collegiate coach in the game of basketball with 1098 wins in a 38 year career, all at the University of Tennessee. Known for her blue-eyed stare that would strike fear in the strongest man, Summitt was also a great friend and confidant to her players. She made the name Lady Vols a household name and her legion of loyal fans can be found around the world. Forced into retirement in 2012 due to being diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia- Alzheimer’s Type, Coach Summitt established the Pat Summitt Foundation for Alzheimer’s research. Click here for more information on this cause. Listed below are just a handful of her accomplishments:

• Career record 1098-208
• Head Coach from 1074-2012 Head Coach Emeritus 2012- Present
• 100% Graduation Rate for the 122 players who played 4 years for her
• 8 NCAA Women’s Collegiate Basketball National Championships
• 16 SEC Regular Season Championships
• 16 SEC Tournament Championships
• 31 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances (UT is currently the only program to make the tourney every year in Women’s College Basketball)
• 18 Final Four Appearances
• 8 Time SEC Coach of the Year
• 7 Time NCAA Coach of the Year
• 12 Olympians, 34 WNBA draft picks, 39 All-SEC Players and 21 All-Americans
• 2000 Naismith Coach of the Century
• 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom

Tamika Catchings: One of the greatest players to ever lace up sneakers and run game on the hard court is a female, and her name is Catchings. Wearing the number 24, she is a relentless competitor who does not know the meaning of the word quit. As a Lady Vol at the University of Tennessee, she won a national championship, and captured the hearts of women’s basketball fans across the country. As the leader of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, she has garnered respect internationally. She announced recently her intention to retire, from the game she loves so much, after the 2016 season. You have two more seasons to watch this brilliant woman play ball, so you should take advantage of this opportunity. Not only does she play basketball at the highest level, she also gives back to her community through her foundation, Catch the Stars. Read more about her philanthropy here. Some of her accomplishments are listed below:

• Member of the 1998 NCAA Women’s College Basketball National Championship Team
• 4 Time Collegiate All-American
• College stats – 2113 points, 1004 rebounds, 311 steals and 140 blocked shots
• College Jersey retired at University of Tennessee (one of only 6 players)
• 3 Time Olympic Gold Medalist
• 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year
• 5 Time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year
• 9 Time WNBA All-Star
• 2005 became the fastest player to reach 2000 points, 1000 rebounds, 400 assists and 300 steals
• 2011 WNBA MVP
• 2012 WNBA Championship and Finals MVP
• WNBA All-Decade Team
• WNBA Top 15 Team
• 2010 & 2013 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award
• WNBA Player’s Association President

These three women, Joan, Pat and Tamika, are all legendary standing on their own, but the Lady Vol connection makes them an even greater force standing together. After reading this article I hope you have just a little insight on the impact women make in sports. I also hope you have more of a reason to join the campaign to “Save the Lady Vols” This article was about three inspiring women, but there are countless others out there in several different sports doing amazing things in the world. Happy International Women’s Month!

By Lisa W. Tetting of Rebirthoflisa


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