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Jan. 27, 2003

by Cathy Bongiovi

When Anna Prillaman was a little girl, she had a big dream. Growing up in Midlothian, Va., a short drive to Charlottesville, Prillaman always knew she wanted to go to the University of Virginia.

“Ever since I started playing basketball, I’ve wanted to play basketball here,” the 5-10 guard said. “That’s been a goal of mine ever since as long as I can remember. So it’s really neat to have that dream come true.”

Since taking the court at age eight, Prillaman’s played against some tough competition, including current teammate Karen Jaeger, who attended rival Clover Hill High School.

“It’s not that hard,” Jaeger said of changing from Prillaman’s opponent to her teammate. “AP’s a good player. She’s really easy to get along with on and off the court. In high school despite that we were opponents, we were always friendly off the court. We played in the same AAU program, so I knew Anna pretty well.”

As AAU teammates, the duo led the James River Blaze to Nationals five times and qualified for five consecutive championship rounds. Now as Cavaliers, Prillaman and Jaeger are hoping to pace UVa to an ACC championship and 20th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

But Prillaman has had to show her versatility during her college days. At Midlothian High School, she played point guard while leading the squad to the Virginia state championship as a senior. She finished as the school’s all-time scoring and assist leader.

During her first two seasons at UVa, Prillaman started 47 games at shooting guard. Moving up the career charts in three-point shooting, the junior went scoreless in four consecutive contests this season to prompt a change in the Cavalier line-up last week.

“I was in quite a bit of a shooting slump, and Debbie decided it would be best to move me to point guard,” Prillaman shared of her new position. “That way I won’t think so much about my shot. More of my focus will be on my teammates and getting them the ball and setting up the offenses. In turn, that has made my shot better, because I haven’t thought about it. I’ve just shot it.”

Since the switch to the point, Prillaman is back in the scoring column, helping the Hoos to two consecutive ACC wins.

“Anna brings not only great shooting, but a lot of leadership and a lot of energy to the court,” Jaeger added. “She’s a vocal leader and shows the younger players where to go and how to run a play.”

Prillaman was rewarded by her teammates for her leadership, loyalty and dedication as they elected her as a team co-captain this season. Off the court, Prillaman is lauded and supported by her family.

“My parents have been so supportive throughout my basketball career and have not pressured me to do anything,” the junior said. “They’ve just been supportive through every single game and every single practice.”

With another year yet to study and play at Virginia, Prillaman is unsure of her path following graduation.

“That is pretty much undecided,” the American Politics major said. “I’m definitely not going to continue with basketball. But hopefully I’ll do something in the sports field.”

With Anna Prillaman, any dream she chooses to pursue will most certainly come to fruition.

Off the Court with Anna


Food: PQ’s barbecue

Color: blue

Animal: yellow lab

Movie: Clueless, Ace Ventura

Actor: John Travolta

Actress: Julia Roberts

TV Show: Guiding Light

Book: The Notebook

Children’s Book: Goodnight Moon

Song: Satellite by Dave Matthews

Music Group: Dave Matthews Band

WNBA Team: Miami Sol

Pro Team: Atlanta Braves

Athlete: Jennifer Capriati

Spot on Grounds: The Corner

Class at UVa: American Politics

UVa Tradition: Good Old Song

If I had to play another sport at Virginia, I would try to play tennis.

No one knows how much I love America.

A bumper sticker that best describes me says This land is my land.

If I could do anything, I would rid the world of jealousy.

The best advice I’ve ever given is to be yourself and love unconditionally.

I wish people would stop yelling at me to shoot.

The people I admire most are my parents.

The best thing about being a Cavalier is the relationships with my teammates and coaches.

I chose Virginia, because I have wanted to go here forever. It just fits me.

My goals for the season are to be the ACC regular-season and tournament champions.

I admire Debbie Ryan, because she is so dedicated to making this program successful.

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