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On July 27, we celebrate the birthdays of three former Tennessee athletes. Happy birthday to women's basketball great and current member of the WNBA's Tulsa Shock Glory Johnson, former Vol wideout and current Tennessee Sports Radio host Jayson Swain and former Vol hoops player Anthony Richardson.




Lady Vol Hoops Update



It's been an active news week in Lady Vol Land.

Holly Warlick talked about raised expectations for her 2013-14 Tennessee team.

UT Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart talked about the upward trajectory of the Tennessee Athletics Department as it has worked its way through a transitional time.

Two newcomers, Mercedes Russell and Jordan Reynolds, are focusing on summer school and off-season conditioning.

There was news, both happy and sad about former UT players.

Lady Vol all-time greats Tamika Catchings, Glory Johnson and Candace Parker were named to the upcoming WNBA All-Star Game on July 27.

Tennessee legend Mary Ostrowski lost her battle with multiple myeloma last Friday. Her celebration of life will be held on July 27 in her hometown of Parkersburg, W.Va.

All-time Tennessee leading scorer and rebounder Chamique Holdsclaws talks about getting her life back on the right track and dealing honestly with some mental health issues.

Below is a collection of stories that cover those topics.

--ASSOCIATED PRESS: Tennessee Lady Vols raise expectations in Holly Warlick's second season

--ASSOCIATED PRESS: Tennessee Vols AD says program on verge of rebound

--INSIDE TENNESSEE ($): Getting to know a new Lady Vol (Mercedes Russell)

--INSIDE TENNESSEE ($): Getting to know a new Lady Vol (Jordan Reynolds)

--SB NATION/ROCKY TOP TALK: 
Offseason Lady Vols news roundup extravaganza

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KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL: UT Lady Vols Hall of Famer Mary Ostrowski, 51, dies


Happy Birthday - July 21: Antonio Carter, Tamika Catchings

On July 21, we wish Happy Birthday to current Vol middle distance runner Antonio Carter. Also celebrating is legendary women's basketball player and current member of the Indiana Fever Tamika Catchings. A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Catchings captured her first WNBA Championship in 2012. 

Antonio Carter


Restless Simmons Has Past On Her Mind, Eyes On The Future

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Tennessee has one senior on the 2013-14 women's basketball roster, but 2013 SEC Co-Player of the Year Meighan Simmons brings plenty of scoring punch and unbelievable quickness to the equation for Holly's Warlick's second edition.

Steve Megargee of Associated Press talked to Simmons last week about her goals for the upcoming campaign and the disappointing memory of an Elite Eight loss to Louisville that left the Lady Vols just short of a trip to the Final Four in a season where UT advanced beyond the expectations of nearly everyone.

Read what Simmons had to say below:

-- Associated Press: Loss in NCAA tourney motivates Lady Vols' Simmons

So Much Love For "Pat XO"



"Pat XO," a documentary produced by ESPN Films made its worldwide television debut on July 9. More than 6,700 people "liked" the film on the Tennessee Women's Basketball facebook page and others expressed their love for "Pat XO" via Twitter and other social media outlets.

If you haven't yet seen "Pat XO" or would like to watch it again, there are several more opportunities coming up on the ESPN family of networks.

On Thursday, July 11, the film comes on at 11 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2, right after the telecast of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks and Tulsa Shock, featuring former Lady Vols Candace Parker and Glory Johnson doing battle.

On Friday, July 12, "Pat XO" will be shown at midnight ET on ESPN Classic.

On Saturday, July 13, it will be available on three ESPN channels. ESPN2 is slated to carry it at 11 a.m. ET  ESPN is scheduled to show it at 4 p.m.  ESPN Classic is slated to air it at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight ET.

On Sunday, July 14, ESPN2's schedule shows a 6 a.m. ET telecast of "Pat XO."  ESPN Classic has it listed three times on its itinerary, including 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight ET.

On Tuesday, July 16, catch it at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN, following the back-to-back showings of the newest Nine for IX film, "Let Them Wear Towels."

Below are links to a sampling of print and electronic media coverage pertaining to "Pat XO."

-- Forbes: Pat XO ESPN's Love Letter To Pat Summitt
-- Knoxville News Sentinel: Risky Approached Led to Personal Feel for Pat
-- Knoxville News Sentinel: Pat Summitt Excited About Pat XO Documentary
-- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Pat XO Wonderful Love Letter
-- Inside Tennessee: Pat XO Film Debuts in Knoxville
-- Bleacher Report: Spotlight on Pat Summitt is Well Deserved
-- Murfreesboro Post: New ESPN Documentary Reaches For Summitt
-- The Daily Beast: Pat Summitt's Rise to the Top of College Basketball
-- TV Guide: ESPN at the Summitt
-- Slam: Pat Summitt Summing it Up
-- Tennessean: Summitt Documentary Airs July 9









Russell, Reynolds At Home On Rocky Top

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Highly-touted Lady Vol basketball newcomers Mercedes Russell and Jordan Reynolds attended their first day of classes at the University of Tennessee on Monday.

Both players hail from Oregon, with Russell, a 6-5 post, coming from Springfield (Springfield H.S.) and the 5-8 Reynolds joining the program from Portland (Central Catholic).

Russell and Reynolds participated in the 2013 McDonald's High School All-American Game in Chicago in April, registering double-doubles in helping the West to a 92-64 win.  Russell was named the MVP after tallying 16 points and 12 rebounds. Reynolds, meanwhile, scored 10 points and collected 11 boards.

Russell is the subject of two recent articles in USA Today High School Sports:

-- Mercedes Russell Talks Rocky Top
-- Introducing ... Mercedes Russell


Russian Winter Paved Way For Johnson's WNBA Success

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Former Lady Vol Glory Johnson enjoyed a strong rookie campaign with the WNBA's Tulsa Shock in 2012. A winter of basketball in Russia, however, has paved the way for an even more impressive second year for the product of Knoxville's Webb School. Read Dan Fleser's story on Johnson's chilly route to professional success.

-- Knoxville News Sentinel: From Russia with Game: Bitter cold helped former Lady Vol Glory Johnson improve skills





Parker's Balancing Act

Candace Parker does it all. She has two NCAA titles and two Olympic gold medals, and most recently, her UMMC Ekaterinburg team won the 2013 EuroLeague title, where she was named the playoffs' MVP. As arguably the best player in the league, the only thing left on her plate is a WNBA title.

Along with her dedication to the sport, Parker finds a way to balance being a mother, wife and WNBA All-Star. Louisa Thomas of Grantland.com gives an in-depth look at how the 27-year-old and former Lady Vol standout balances her roles.

Grantland.com - Candace Parker Knows What She Wants


On June 14, we send Happy Birthday to many members of the Tennessee Athletics family. 

Women's basketball legend Pat Summitt celebrates her birthday on June 14. 

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Tennessee volleyball head coach Rob Patrick also celebrates his birthday on June 14.


Also celebrating on Flag Day are former Vols football lineman Anthony Herrera, who played for the Minnesota Vikings from 2004-11. 

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Former women's track standout 
Elizabeth Altizer also turns 23. 

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On June 11 - a popular day for birthdays on Rocky Top - we wish Happy Birthday to head Lady Vol basketball coach Holly Warlick, Vol swimmer Sam Petersen, Vol baseball star Will Maddox, and former Vol football wide receiver Cory Eichholtz.

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