Virginia Alumnae to Return for Last Ball in U-Hall on Sunday
Feb. 24, 2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Many Virginia alumnae will return to say goodbye to beloved University Hall on Sunday, Feb. 26 as the Cavalier women’s basketball team plays its final regular-season home game in the arena against Clemson. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
A special halftime celebration is planned for Sunday. All fans will receive a commemorative ticket. For Smithfield Family Fun Days, fans will receive 4 game tickets, 4 hotdogs, 4 Pepsi, and 4 popcorns for just $20 while supplies last. Virginia has pre-sold more than 6,000 tickets for Sunday’s game.
Among the many alumnae returning for the last game are Val Ackerman (1978-81), Cathy Grimes-Miller (1982-85), Wendy Palmer (1993-96), and Brandi Teamer (2001-05).
Ackerman was a two-time Academic All-American and ACC Scholar Athlete. In 1999, she was inducted into the GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame. Also a two-time All-ACC honoree and four-year starter, Ackerman was UVa’s first three-time team captain. The 1981 Raven Society Award recipient, Ackerman received the Jettie Hill Award recipient as a senior for the highest GPA among all UVa female athletes. A 1981 graduate with a degree in Political and Social Thought, she was appointed the first-ever president of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 1996 where she served for eight seasons until Feb. 2005. She is currently the president of USA Basketball. Ackerman was honored by the NCAA with the Silver Anniversary Award in January.
Grimes-Miller was a two-time Kodak All-American and Kodak District III All-American selection. She ended her Cavalier career as the school’s all-time leading scorer, rebounder, and field goal percentage leader. A National Player of the Year finalist as well as NCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year selection, Grimes-Miller was an All-ACC honoree and named to ACC Honor Roll. She became the first women’s basketball player at Virginia to have her number retired by the school. After graduating in 1985 with degrees in Spanish and English, Grimes-Miller went on to earn a law degree from UVa in 1988. Since 1993, Grimes-Miller has worked as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the General Counsel in Washington, D.C. She will be honored as UVa’s selection for the 2006 class of ACC Women’s Basketball Legends presentation at the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament next week.
Palmer was a two-time Kodak All-American at UVA. She became the first player in Cavalier women’s basketball history to record over 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. She was a three-time All-ACC first-team selection and she became only the third player in league history to receive two-straight ACC Player of the Year nods. Palmer ended her career at Virginia ranked among the program’s all-time leaders in several statistical categories. One of the few original players left in the WNBA, Palmer was selected by the Utah Starzz in the second round (ninth overall) of the WNBA Elite Draft on February 27, 1997. Since being drafted, Palmer has also played for the Detroit Shock, Orlando Miracle, and Connecticut Sun, along with her current squad the San Antonio Silver Stars. She currently serves as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth.
Teamer was a two-time All-ACC selection. She finished her collegiate career ranked No. 11 in all-time scoring with 1,520 points and No. 7 in rebounding with 805 boards. In 2002, Teamer garnered ACC Rookie of the Year honors and was named Gballmag.com’s National Freshman of the Year. She participated in three NCAA tournaments and was named to numerous all-tourney teams. Teamer graduated from UVa in 2005 with a degree in anthropology. After playing professional basketball in Greece and China this past year, Teamer signed a contract with the WNBA L.A. Sparks last week.
In its 33rd season of women’s basketball, University Hall continues to come to life everytime the Cavaliers take the court. UVa’s all-time record at U-Hall speaks for itself. The `Hoos stand 369-81 (.821) overall and 7-5 at home this season.
The Cavaliers have also recorded five perfect seasons at home- 1987 (14-0), 1988 (14-0), 1993 (15-0), 1994 (16-0), and 1995 (14-0). In 1984, Virginia established a new school record for most consecutive home wins, amassing 61 straight victories- the fourth longest home court win streak in the history of women’s basketball.
Beginning next season, the Cavaliers will play in the state-of-the-art John Paul Jones Arena.
Virginia Women’s Basketball Alumnae
Planning to Attend Sunday’s Game:
Val Ackerman `81Cindy Barksdale Frentz `78Charleata Beale `95Cecelia Bean Payne `79Leslie Berens `75Jenny Boucek `97Sonya Chavis (manager) `94Keysha Council (manager) `98Jeffra Gausepohl Leo `97Safiya Grant-Fairley `04Daphne Hawkins `88Jackie Glessner Hoover `95Martha Greer Averso `81Cathy Grimes-Miller `85Tracey Harmon (manager) `90Karen Jaeger `02Shari Johnson-Ploutz (trainer) `91Paulette Jones Morant (manager) `74Jackie LaBerge Gunn `81Robin Lake (manager) `88Maria Lewis (manager) `92Lynne Olson Rowson `83Wendy Palmer `96Anna Prillaman `04Telisha Quarles `02Christina Reese Kasuda `83Karen Ryan Miller `78Debby Stroman `82Cheryl Taylor `95Brandi Teamer `05Wendy Toussaint-McNare `94
“Who will ever forget Joe Gieck’s training room,
getting the daily roll from BG,
seeing Doyle Smith courtside on game day,
the occasional practice at the Cage- and,
of course, Coach Ryan tirelessly putting us
through our paces. Thank you, U-Hall- a generation
of Cavalier women called you `home,’
and under your roof we came of age.”– Val AckermanPolitical & Social Thought `81President, USA Basketball
“If I had to pick one memory that stands
out more than any other, it would be beating
#3 Old Dominion my first year when our team was unranked.
Old Dominion had 6’7″ Ann Donovan, who was one
of the most dominant players in the country at the time,
and was a favorite to win the national championship.
After the game, I remember Debbie Ryan asking me why I wasn’t celebrating
with my teammates. I responded at that time that I was excited
about the win, but that I was trying to savor the moment.
Thankfully, that win turned out to be the first of many
major milestones for UVa women’s basketball at University Hall
during my career.”– Cathy Grimes-MillerEnglish & Spanish `85, Law `88Attorney, U.S. Dept. of Education
“Having played in U-Hall for four years,
I’ve been a part of the growth of women’s basketball at UVa.
The atmosphere the fans provided will always be embedded in my heart.
I’m truly sorry to see U-Hall go, but my memories
of the people and the winning that took place will be lasting.”– Dawn StaleyRhetoric & Communication Studies `92Head coach, Temple University
“I’ve had so many special moments in University Hall.
Those moments not only include basketball games but practices as well.
One of the best moments that sticks out in my mind is the 1992 Eastern
Regional in which we won and advanced to our third consecutive Final Four.
University Hall will forever be a special place to me.
I feel blessed and extremely fortunate to have had the honor to
play and coach in University Hall.”- Audra SmithSociology `92UVa assistant coach, 1995-2004Head coach, Alabama-Birmingham
“U-Hall was my ‘home away from home’ during school
and even when I return to the grounds today. The athletic family
located there is connected by seasons of sweat and tears and faithful
support by staff and volunteers. I will never forget my orange slices,
`roll’ (i.e. a bundle of practice shorts and shirt), and
the time spent in Joe Gieck’s training room. The new arena promises
much comfort and technological gadgetry. I only hope that the warm
spirit of tradition and loyalty can be packaged as well.”– Debby StromanHistory & Social Studies Eduation `82Owner, Stroman Athletic & Asset Management