The women’s basketball program from the University of Tennessee has created a legacy of exceptional sportswomen that has made Tennessee proud and has been the state on the map for the women’s league. Tennessee University currently holds a total of 8 NCAA titles, making the team runner up to its rival, UConn, with no other program that participates in NCAA college basketball ever securing more titles than Tennessee’s Lady Vols. Below are three of the female basketball personalities that serve as inspiration and role-models for aspiring basketball players in the state.
Pat Summitt (1974-2012)
Pat Summitt is considered to be the greatest woman in Tennessee’s Basketball history, despite being a non-player, who has served as the common denominator to the success of all of the players mentioned in this list. Summitt concluded her coaching career in March 2012 and went into retirement with the most NCAA victories in history, with an overall record of 1098-208. During Summittt’s coaching career, she led the University of Tennessee to eight NCAA titles. 31 NCAA tournaments, 18 Final Fours tournaments, and 16 regular and championship SEC titles. She also became an SEC Coach of the year eight times and received the John R. Wood Legends Coaching award in 2008. Summitt passed on June 28th, 2016, four years after her retirement, after a difficult battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Holly Warlick (1976-1980)
Holly Warlick was one of the first great guards to play under the now late coach, Pat Summittt, and was part of the team before the NCAA had even established a post-season tournament for the women’s basketball league. Holly played in a total of three AIAW Final Fours tournament and contributed greatly to the team’s first SEC title being awarded in 1980. It was in 1980 when Warlick became the first athlete from Tennessee to have their jersey lifted in the rafters at the Thompson-Boiling Arena. She then went on to join the US Olympic team. She later returned to Tennessee to serve as assistant coach to Summittt and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Tamika Catchings (1997-2001)
Tamika Catchings is a native of Duncanville, Texas, and became one of two Tennessee players to be dubbed an All-American a total of 4 times. Catchings was the 2000 AP Player of the year and assisted UT in rebounding and scoring in both her senior and junior campaigns. Catching is still the fourth all-time scoring in at UT with 2,113 points, sixth all-time for rebounds, and third all-time with steals. Her basketball jersey became the fifth to be retired by the University of Tennessee. She went on to win four gold Olympic medals and played in the WNBA where she became a 10-time all-star and an MVP. The Indiana Fever has also retired Catchings jersey.
While there are only three leading ladies in Basketball discussed in this article, there are tons of other great basketball players, both men and women, who offer the Tennessee state a wide variety of successes like casimba.com who offers games, that has made the state great. Basketball and casino games don’t go hand in hand, but both have the potential to bring in more revenue to the state.