LADY VOLS IN THE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., is certainly the stuff that dreams are made of. It wasn't so very long ago that even the most ardent women's basketball aficionados could not have envisioned, even in their wildest dreams, a place such as the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, a place that would honor the past, celebrate the present, and promote the future of women's basketball.
But in June 1999, the dream became a reality as the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame opened its doors in Knoxville, Tenn. In addition to the grand opening of a showplace facility which houses numerous artifacts and interactive exhibits, the Hall of Fame welcomed its first class of inductees. Enshrinement in the Hall of Fame was truly a dream come true for the 25 individuals who comprised the inaugural class as they were honored for a lifetime of achievements as coaches, players, and contributors. The roll call of the Class of 1999 literally read like a women's basketball "Who's Who." The University of Tennessee's own Pat Head Summitt headlined a list of the premier names in the sport, which included the likes of Olympians Cheryl Miller, Anne Donovan, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Nancy Lieberman-Cline, and Uljana Semjonova and coaching greats Jody Conradt, John Head, Harley Redin, Billie Moore, and Jim Smiddy.
Two former Tennessee Lady Vol Olympians and All-Americans-Patricia "Trish" Roberts and Cindy Noble Hauserman-followed Summitt into the Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2000. Roberts and Noble Hauserman joined 22 other basketball luminaries in the Class of 2000 ceremonies.
The Lady Vols were also represented when the third group of inductees was selected for the Class of 2001. Knoxville's-own Holly Warlick, a former Lady Vol Olympian and All-American, was tabbed for inclusion in the Hall with the smallest group of inductees to date as 10 more individuals took their rightful place among the Hall's elite. When the Class of 2002 is inducted in a gala event in April, they too will achieve a dream of reaching the pinnacle of being recognized among the best in the sport of women's basketball.
In June 2007, UT Olympians and All-Americans Bridgette Gordon and Daedra Charles-Furlow were among six individuals enshrined in the ninth class of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. They were joined by the first media member to be inducted - Mel Greenberg. Jill Rankin Schneider followed Gordon and Charles-Furlow as she was inducted the summer of 2008.
To date, 103 individuals have been inducted into the Hall including a total of eight from the University of Tennessee.