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Jan. 28, 2005

by Cathy Bongiovi Stewart

When Lynette O’Reggio was 11-years old, she accompanied her father to the local Boys’ & Girls’ Club to sign her brothers up for rec basketball. Standing nearly six-feet tall as a preteen, O’Reggio had no idea that her path to the University of Virginia would begin that day.

“A lady coach was there. She was starting the first girls’ team for our area,” O’Reggio recalled. “He went over to talk to her and said, `my daughter’s 11 and she’s 5-11.’ She said, `yeah, bring her in.’ So I went into practice.”

O’Reggio has certainly blossomed since that day. The 6-4 center from Bowie, Md., has contributed to the Cavaliers’ success during her four seasons on Grounds. Having played in 88 games with five starts in her career, O’Reggio is averaging 1.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game this season.

“Lynette worked hard last summer and was here all summer long,” head coach Debbie Ryan said. “She dedicated herself to being in better condition. She’s ready to take off.”

But O’Reggio’s positive attitude and energy have helped her teammates from inside the paint and from the bench.

“I contribute any way I can, whether it be vocally or when the players need someone to talk to. I can provide that for them,” O’Reggio said.

Last week, O’Reggio played her final game in a UVa uniform in front of her home state crowd.

Receiving a starting nod against the Terrapins, O’Reggio grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist in the opening minutes. Once again, she provided solid support in the post for the Cavaliers.

“It might be the last time a lot of people in my area get to see me play,” the senior said. “I was just hoping to go out there and do the best I could.”

Making O’Reggio’s collegiate journey easier has been the chemistry with her teammates. With so many wonderful experiences at UVa, O’Reggio treasures last year’s trip to Hawaii as a highlight.

“It was a fun trip. Everybody had a really good time,” O’Reggio said. “I had never been to Hawaii before. I’m not one to call a place beautiful, but that’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. My family’s from Jamaica, and Jamaica’s beautiful, but Hawaii’s absolutely gorgeous. My breath was taken away when we went down snorkeling at the (Hanauma Bay) beach.”

This year, the senior is hoping to pack her bags for a return trip to the NCAA Tournament. For O’Reggio, and the four other Virginia seniors, this season is winding down. Granted, there is plenty of ACC action left to determine this year’s conference champion and NCAA tournament berths, but the Cavaliers are focused on winning.

“It would be nice to win an ACC championship and get as far as we can in the NCAA (Tournament),” O’Reggio shared. “We have NCAA championship aspirations just like everybody else.”

The first step towards a national championship begins on March 19. One of the eight predetermined NCAA first/second round sites is the Comcast Center in College Park, Md. Perhaps O’Reggio has not played her last game in her home state.

When it’s all over, O’Reggio will miss one thing the most.

“My teammates,” she said.

The sociology major, who is slated to graduate this spring, plans to attend graduate school.

Get to Know Lynette O’Reggio


Food:  riceIce cream:  chocolateMovie:  Color PurpleActor:  Mos DefBook:  The Coldest Winter

My favorite place to play on the road is …
Maryland, because my family and friends all come to that game.

Three words that best describe me are …
loyal, opinionated, honest.

One thing I always pack for road trips is …
CD player.

My goals for the season are …
to win and make it to the NCAA Tournament.

My personal goal is …
to graduate.

I admire Debbie Ryan, because …
she helped me out in a lot of ways.

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