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(Photos by Saul Young)

Liza Graves, a Knoxville local, played for the Lady Vols basketball program as a guard under Pat Summitt from 1975-78. The News Sentinel went one-on-one with Graves about her love for the month of October, the official month of breast cancer awareness, and her story of overcoming cancer. 

Happy Birthday - Sept. 30

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Happy Birthday to former Vol Fred Weary of football and current Lady Vol Cierra Burdick of women's basketball!

Fred WearyCierra Burdick

Weary started in all 12 games of his senior year on the offensive line. He was a leader on the line helping former Vol Travis Stephens to set the single-season rushing record. Weary had an NFL career with the Texans and Browns, starting in 43 of 63 games played.

Burdick, a senior forward, was named to the 2014 SEC All-Tournament team and received conference academic honors. She started in 25 of 35 games played in her junior season. Burdick averages 7.1 points per game and 5.47 rebounds per game.

Happy Birthday - Sept. 29

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Join us in wishing a very Happy Birthday to two current Vols, Jasmine Jones of women's basketball and Owen Williams of football.

Jasmine JonesOwen Williams

Jones, a sophomore, has played in 69 games in her career, starting in eight. She averages 4.8 points per game and 3.71 rebounds per game. 

Williams, a redshirt junior, is a transfer from Butler C.C. and has played in all four games so far this season. He has 11 tackles on the season.

Former Lady Vol Candace Parker was named to the 2014 All-WNBA First Team. Parker was named the league's MVP in 2013. Finishing the season, Parker was averaging 19.4 points alongside 7.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.4 blocks. Parker led her team, the Los Angeles Sparks, in points, blocks and steals. Parker's average for the 2014 season was the second-best in her career. 

Happy Birthday - Sept. 11

Celebrate with us the birthdays of three special Vols, Katie King (rowing), Nia Moore (women's basketball) and Lemond Johnson (football)!

King, a junior, has continuously been a part of the varsity 8+ involved with top-finishes in events. She was also named to the 2014 Spring SEC Academic Honor Roll along with being the lone sophomore named to the 2014 C-USA All-Academic Team.

Moore, a junior with Lady Vol hoops, appeared in 21 games as a sophomore and averaged 2.3 points per game and 2.14 rebounds per game.

Sophomore defensive back Johnson, has appeared in both games so far this season. In his debut season, he saw action in 12 games and racked up three tackles. 

With the series tied at 1-1, former Lady Vol Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever will take on the Chicago Sky for game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Catchings is looking to lead the Fever to the WNBA Finals for the third time in six years. 

The final game of the series will being at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The game will be shown on NBA TV.  The Fever have won five straight home games against the Sky, including the first game of the series.

After winning the first game of the series, the Fever fell by just two points in the second game. In the 86-84 loss, Catchings earned a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds while also racking up three assists, three steals and a block. Catchings averaged 13 points on 9-of-34 shooting in the first two games, but is averaging 18.5 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game from a postseason standpoint.

If the Fever wins in tonight's match-up, Catchings and her team will face the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Finals.

Catchings Continues to Make History

With the Eastern Conference Finals coming to a start tonight against Chicago at 7:00 p.m., former Lady Vol and current Indiana Fever player Tamika Catchings has earned the attention and respect of the league through her superior performances.

With 13 years of WNBA experience, Catchings has inspired her own team, helping lead them to their second trip to the finals in just three years. She is seen as a relentless, tenacious legend of the sport and her numbers continue to prove her ability. 

No. 1 - Career Playoff Points - 914

In the second game against Washington in the semifinals, Catchings became the WNBA's all-time leader in Playoff scoring. She passed Lisa Leslie and the score came from a three point shot in overtime. Along with her No. 1 position in Playoff scoring, she also moved into third place all-time for regular season WNBA scoring history with 6,554. 

No. 1 - Career Playoff Rebounds - 487

Along with her earning the best Playoff scoring number and already leading in Playoff steals, she moved into the No. 1 spot of rebounds. In just the first game of the semifinals, she recorded 10 rebounds. 

In her career, she has played in 53 Playoff games, good for fourth all-time. With that record, she has won one WNBA title but has led the Fever to the Eastern Conference Finals for four straights. 

No. 4 - Player Efficiency Rating - 26.0  & Usage Percentage - 29.7

Catching finished fourth in the league in Player Efficiency Rating. It is a per-minuted rating to give a rating of a player's performance by summing up a player's positive on-court accomplishment and subtracting the negative ones. The NBA equivalent of her finish would be to Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins. 

Her Usage Percentage is representative of the estimate percentage of a team's plays that are used by a player while she is on the floor. The formula looks at the player's field goal and free throw attempts and turnovers and finds the percentage of team totals she uses in the same categories. The NBA equivalent for this Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge.

The Nashville Predators of the NHL will be the first team in it's league to host a We Back Pat night in support of Coach Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA Basketball history. The Predators will host the special game on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 7:00 p.m. CT at Bridgestone Arena.

The We Back Pat game will raise public awareness for The Pat Summitt Foundation, which is dedicated to advanced research for prevention and a cure for Alzheimer's disease. 

If bought online, a portion of the ticket sold will be donated to the foundation.

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Former Lady Vol Tamika Catchings was recently named the WNBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Month for August.

Catchings currently plays for the Indiana Fever and is in her 13th year in the league. This is her first player of the month honor for the season and the third of her career. No other Lady Vol in the WNBA has been awarded the honor this season.

In August, Catchings had an Eastern Conference high in scoring with 16.7 ppg. She ranked seventh in rebounding with 6.3 rpg and sixth in steals with 1.67 spg. Leading her team, Catchings has helped Indiana to the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year.

In all In all five games so far this month, Catchings has scored in double-digits including two games with 25 or more points. Catchings scored her season high of 29 points against the New York Liberty on Aug. 10. She has scored a collective 92 points and 59 rebounds in August.

Catchings will be back in action tomorrow night, Aug. 20, against Washington at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN 2.

Happy Birthday - August 4: Reynolds, Hembry and Bajakian

Celebrating their birthday today are sophomore guard Jordan Reynolds and freshman volleyball player Raina Hembry

JordanReynolds RainaHembry

Also celebrating his birthday today is offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian


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