Virginia Women's Basketball: Retired Numbers
The numbers of four outstanding Cavalier players- Cathy Grimes (25), Donna Holt (11), Dawn Staley (24), and Wendy Palmer (31)- have been officially retired by the University of Virginia in recognition of their contributions to the University and to women’s basketball.
Cathy Grimes was a two-time Academic All-American, a Kodak District III All-American and an All-ACC selection during her four-year career. She held the Virginia career record for rebounding with 932 until Heather Burge eclipsed her mark in 1993. On the Cavaliers’ top-10 lists, Grimes ranks sixth in scoring (1,745 points) and second in scoring average (15.3). She was the record holder in both categories until Dawn Staley rewrote the Virginia record book. Grimes’ totals are even more impressive when you note that she did not play in as many games as the other career leaders. After graduating in 1985 with degrees in Spanish and English, Grimes went on to earn a law degree at UVa in 1988.
Donna Holt earned Kodak All-America honors in 1987 and 1988. In addition, she was named the 1988 ACC Player of the Year, was a three-time All-ACC selection and was the MVP of the 1987 ACC Tournament. Holt is the Virginia and ACC all-time steals leader (529) and ended her career fourth on the ACC career assists (561) list. She currently ranks in the top-10 in other career categories at UVa- second in assists (561), third in free throws (347), seventh in points (1,634), and eighth in scoring average (13.5). In 1988, Holt earned her degree in sports management. She received her master’s degree in labor and industrial relations in 1990 from the University of Illinois.
Dawn Staley is the only player in ACC history (male or female) to tally over 2,000 points, 700 rebounds, 700 assists and 400 steals. She holds the Virginia career records for points (2,135), scoring average (16.3 ppg), free throws (505) and assists (729). As a junior and senior, Staley was named the Champion and United States Basketball Writers’ Association Player of the Year, Naismith Player of the Year, Honda Award winner and the ACC Player of the Year. She received the Honda-Broderick Cup as the most outstanding female collegiate athlete in 1991 and graduated from UVa in 1992 with a degree in rhetoric and communication studies.
Wendy Palmer was a two-time Kodak All-American and became the fourth Cavalier to have her number retired. She became the first women’s player in Virginia history to record over 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Palmer was a three-time first-team All-ACC selection. The two-time ACC Player of the Year ended her career at Virginia ranked first in rebounds (1221), second in career field goals (780), and third in scoring (1918). Palmer set a UVa single game scoring record (which now stands second) when she recorded 39 points in only 26 minutes of play at Maryland on Jan. 25, 1995. Palmer graduated in 1996 with a degree in history.