Boise State Tribute to Lady Techsters

As NCAA women's basketball teams go, the program at Louisiana Tech ranks right up there with the best of them. In the continuing series saluting members of the WAC, we pay tribute to the famous Lady Techsters.

Sonja Hogg was a 28-year old P.E. teacher when she was hired as Louisiana Tech's first women's basketball coach.  Little may she have known at the time, but Hogg was to pave the way for a legendary women's basketball program.  In eleven seasons at the helm, Hogg guided Tech to a 307-55 (84.8%)  record and two national championships.  Hogg led Tech to a perfect 34-0 season and the National Championship in 1981 and another title the following season with a 35-1 record.  

In 1981, Tech blew away Jackson State 97-50, UCLA 87-54, USC 66-50 and Tennessee 79-59 to win the championship.  They scored 100 or more points 7 times in the season and won by 20 or more points 27 times!  The following season, Tech repeated with a 76-62 win over Cheyney State in the NCAA Final.

Leon Barmore joined Hogg for her final three seasons and then coached the Lady Techsters for 17 seasons on his own, producing a 576-87 (86.9%) record and a third national title.  Barmore was National Coach of the Year in 1988 and 1996 and Conference Coach of the Year in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999  

Louisiana Tech has won over 20 or more games in 33 of 36 seasons, with 30 or more victories in 18 of those seasons and a 40-5 season in 1979-1980.  The brilliant program from Ruston has won three national championships, reached the NCAA Finals six times, appeared in 10 Final Fours and has reached 16 Elite Eights and 20 Sweet Sixteens.  The Lady Techsters have qualified for the NCAA National Tournament in 33 of those 36 seasons.

Tech plays their home games at Thomas Assembly Center (capacity 8,000)  Louisiana Tech has drawn 23 crowds over 7,000 and are a sizzling 390-39 at home (90.9%).  That home record is third in the nation to Tennessee 's 94.2% and Connecticut 's 93.7%.  Three players have been awarded the Wade Trophy, given annually to the nation's top collegiate women's basketball player.  Pam Kelly won the award in 1982, Janice Lawrence-Braxton was honored in 1984 and Teresa Weatherspoon (the current coach of Louisiana Tech) won the Wade Trophy in 1988.  Only UConn sports more Wade Trophy winners.  Kelly, Lawrence-Braxton, Kim Mulkey and Weatherspoon are all in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Twelve Lady Techsters have been named to 17 All-America teams, led by Kelly, who was honored in each of her last three seasons.  Lawrence-Braxton (1983-84), Weatherspoon (1987-88) and Vickie Johnson (1995-96) also were named to multiple All-America teams.  Other Tech All-Americans include Angela Turner (1982), Pam Gant (1985), Nora Lewis (1989), Venus Lacy (1990), Betty Lennox (2000), Debra Williams (1998), Amanda Wilson (1999) and Tamicha Jackson (2000).  Four players went on to win Gold medals at the Olympic Games:  Mulkey and Lawrence-Braxton in 1984, Lacy in 1996 and Weatherspoon in 1988.  No less than 20 Tech stars have gone on to play in the Women's National Basketball Association.

Eight assistants under Barmore went on to become head coaches—Gary Blair (Stephen F. Austin, Arkansas and Texas A&M), Kurt Budke (Louisiana Tech and Oklahoma State), Kristy Curry (Purdue and Texas Tech), Neil Fortner (Purdue, Team USA, Indiana Fever, Auburn), Stacy Johnson-Klein (Fresno State), Chris Long (Louisiana Tech), Kim Mulkey (Baylor) and Jennifer White (St. Edward's).  Six former Tech players have become NCAA head coaches—Amy Brown (Tennessee Tech), Mickie DeMoss ( Florida and Kentucky ), Angela Lawson (Incarnate Word), Mulkey, Weatherspoon, and Jennifer White (St. Edward's).  

Both Hogg and Barmore are now members of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.   

A rundown of some of Tech's great players over the years should give the reader an idea of the tremendous talent that has come to Ruston .

 

 

Center La'Shawn Brown

Brown signed with the Washington Mystics of the WNBA in 1998.  She was 9th in the league in blocks per game her only season in the league.

 


Center Alisa Burras

Burras led Westark Community College to the 1995 JUCO National Championship and left the school as the top scorer (1,481) rebounder (534) and shot-blocker (121) in their history.  Burras played with Louisiana Tech from 1996-1998.  She led the team with 18.2 points and 9.5 rebounds as a junior.   

Burras led LA Tech to the NCAA Championship Game in 1998 before a loss to Tennessee .  In that NCAA Final, Burras had 19 points and 10 rebounds.  The Lady Techsters were 62-8 during Burras's two seasons.  Alisa was named to the Associated Press All-America Second Team as a senior.  

Burras was drafted in the First Round (fifth overall) by the Colorado Xplosion in the 1998 American Basketball League Draft.  When the ABL folded, Burras was allocated to the Cleveland Rockers in 1999.  She was selected in the first round of the 1999 WNBA Expansion Draft by the Portland Fire.  Burras played three seasons for Portland until the franchise folded and then played with the Seattle Storm for a season.  Alisa led the WNBA in 2002 with a 62.8% shooting percentage.  

In five WNBA seasons, Burras averaged 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds.

 


Center Amisha Carter

Carter swished the nets for 16.9 points a game and grabbed 10.8 rebounds per contest in 2003-4.  She was drafted in the Second Round of the 2004 WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty and played one season in the league.

 

 

Forward Shanavia Dowdell  

Shanavia was named to the WAC all-Freshman team with 3.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in just 8.7 minutes per game.  Dowdell averaged 12.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals as a sophomore in Ruston .  She led the Lady Techsters with 40 blocks and was second with 38 steals. 

 

In her junior year, Dowdell was WAC Player of the Year, averaging 16.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.  She had eight games of 20 or more points, including a career-high 30 against Western Kentucky .  She had 29 points and 17 rebounds in a win over New Mexico State . 

 

Dowdell scored 26 points and had seven rebounds and three blocks against Top 25 LSU and scored 28 points (11 of 14 shooting) and grabbed 12 rebounds vs. #10 Florida State in the NCAA Tournament. 

 

Dowdell averaged 18.0 points, 12.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.2 blocks and .9 steals per game in 2009-10 and shot 53% from the field and 66% from the line.  She was third in the nation in rebounds, 29th in field goal percentage and 36th in scoring.  Dowdell led the nation in double doubles with 22, fifth most in Tech history.  She was one of only seven players in the country to lead their league in both scoring and rebounding.  Dowdell's 12.4 rebounding average was second-best in WAC history, behind only Cheryl Ford.  Dowdell had 31 points and 20 rebounds in a win over Nevada and registered 10 games with 16 or more rebounds 

 

Dowdell finished her outstanding college career 15th in career scoring (1,599 points), 10th in rebounding (1,025) and ninth in blocks (398).  Shanavia set a WAC record with 1,025 career boards. 

 

Dowdell was selected in the Second Round of the 2010 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics.

 

 

Forward Cheryl Ford

Ford is the daughter of NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone.  She was a high school All-American at Summerfield High School in Louisiana prior to coming to Ruston .  Ford was Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2002 and 2003, Tournament MVP and was an Honorable Mention All-American her senior season. Cheryl averaged 15.7 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in 2003.  She scored a career-high 28 against Tulsa and pulled down 10 or more rebounds 26 times.  She set a WAC record with 25 rebounds in the WAC Tournament championship win over Fresno State .  She broke the conference rebounding record with 423, shattering the previous mark of 311.   

Ford ranks #2 all-time with 423 rebounds in that 2002-03 season, trailing only Pam Kelly (1979-80) who had 491.  She finished her fabulous Tech career #20 in scoring (1,380 points), 7th in free throws (334), seventh in double-doubles (36), sixth in career blocks (173) and seventh in career rebounds (1,056).

Ford was the third player selected in the 2003 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock.  In her rookie season, Ford led the Shock from a worst to first record and the WNBA Championship.  She is the only player to win the WNBA Rookie of the Year and a WNBA championship in the same year, as she was second in the league in rebounding and ninth in field goal percentage.  In her second season, Ford was second in the league in rebounding and led her team in rebounding, ranked second in free throw attempts (158), and third in free throws (93), steals (41) and blocked shots (25). 

Cheryl was a starter on the U.S. National team in 2004.  Ford was fifth in the WNBA in blocked shots with 46 in 2005.  In 2006, Cheryl was 12th in the league in scoring (13.8 ppg), ninth in field goal percentage (49.8% on 153-315 shooting) and tied for 15th in blocks per game (.78).  Ford set a WNBA post-season record with 23 rebounds in the 2006 playoffs and was named to the league All-Defensive Second Team. 

Ford was named MVP of the 2007 WNBA All-Star Game.  Ford grabbed her 500th offensive rebound, 1,000th defensive rebound and 1,500th total rebound against Minnesota in 2008.  She moved into second place on the Shock all-time steals list and #7 on the all-time assists list that season as well.

In 2009, Ford averaged 8.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.  Last year, Cheryl signed with Polish team CCC Aquapark Pokowice and is currently playing there.  In 196 career WNBA games, Ford averaged 10.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists.  She was a four-time All-Star from 2004-2007, helping the Shock win WNBA Championships in 2003, 2006 and 2008.

 

 

Forward Trina Frierson

Frierson was chosen in the Second Round of the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm and immediately helped the team win the WNBA Championship in her rookie season.  However, she suffered a devastating knee injury that ended her career.

 

 

Guard Pam Gant

Gant graced the courts from 1982-1985.  She averaged 23.6 points a game in 1984-85.  In Gant's career, Tech made the Final Four three times.  Pam is #12 all-time in points with 1,714 and #8 in steals with 253.

 

 

Guard Tamicha Jackson

Jackson helped the United States team win the Junior World Championship in 1997.   In 2000, she hit a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining as Louisiana Tech tipped Western Kentucky 97-94 to win the 2000 Sun Belt Conference Championship.  Jackson finished with 21 points in the game that earned Tech an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.  She earned All- America honors her senior year.  Jackson finished her career as the all-time Sun Belt Conference steals leader with 361.  She ranked #9 in points with 1,822, #9 in field goals with 753, #1 in three-pointers with 187, #7 in assists with 474 and #2 in career steals.  

Jackson was selected in the First Round (8th player chosen) of the 2000 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock.   In seven seasons, Jackson averaged 6.8 points and 1.3 assists per game.

 

Guard Vickie Johnson  

Johnson led Louisiana Tech with 13.5 points a game in the 1992-93 season.  The following year, she averaged 14.8 points and 7 rebounds.  Tech was one second away from winning their fourth national championship when North Carolina hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 60-59 win.  Johnson finished out her career with a 16.4 scoring average as a senior.  In her four years in Ruston , Tech was 116-17.  Johnson ranks #5 in career points with 1,960 and #6 in field goals with 793.  She was an All-Conference performer all four years.

 

Johnson was selected as the 12th overall draft pick of the inaugural 1997 WNBA Elite Draft.  She was a two-time WNBA All-Star and was the first New York Liberty player to record 2,000 career points. In 1999, she averaged a career-high 13.3 points per game.  Johnson ended an eight-year career with the Liberty by signing with the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2006.  At the start of the 2009 WNBA season, Johnson announced that she would retire from play at the end of the season. 

 

Johnson averaged 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 410 career WNBA games.  In 13 seasons, Johnson scored more than 4,000 points and had over 1,500 rebounds and 1,000 career assists.  Johnson finished her career in the league's top ten in field goals (1,545) and was sixth in assists (1,130), eighth in points (4,039) and 16th in career rebound (1,641).    Johnson also ended her career with an 82.1% free-throw percentage.  She was a two-time WNBA all-Star (1999 and 2001).  In addition, Vickie played professionally in Israel , France , Hungary and Turkey . 

 

 

Center Pam Kelly

Kelly led Louisiana Tech to a 24-3 record as a freshman in 1978-79; the three losses were by a combined four points.  Tech destroyed Kansas 100-61 and beat Northwestern and Tennessee to reach the NCAA championship game before losing to Old Dominion.  Kelly averaged 19.0 points per game as Tech finished the year #2 in the nation.  

The following season, Kelly paced Tech with 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds a game and a record 932 points.  She helped her team beat Kansas and Long Beach State to reach the Final Four.  Kelly averaged 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds as a junior as Tech downed Jackson State 97-50, UCLA 87-54, USC 66-50 and Tennessee 79-59 to win the National Championship.  In her senior year, Kelly helped Tech set a then-NCAA record of 54 straight wins as the team was ranked #1 every week of the season for the second consecutive year.  Pam averaged 20.3 points and 9.1 rebounds to lead the team.  They topped Cheyney State 76-62 to win their second straight national title.  

Kelly finished her amazing career with 2,979 points and 1,511 rebounds, both school records.  Pam also holds records for career field goals (1,193), free throws (593) and career average (19.5) and is #7 in steals with 274.  Louisiana Tech was 143-10 in her four years as a starter.  Kelly's #41 is retired at the school. 

 

 

Venus Lacy

Lacy was a muscular 6-4 center in Ruston .  She is a local sports heroine in her native Chattanooga , where a city parkway is named after her.  She helped Louisiana Tech win the NCAA Championship in 1988 as a sophomore and the Techsters reached the 1989 Final Four.  As a freshman, she led the team with 14.5 points and 9.2 rebounds.  Tech beat Texas in a dramatic overtime game, then knocked off Tennessee and Auburn to take home the national title.  The following season, she averaged 21.3 points and 11.9 rebounds and led Tech with 24.2 points and 12.7 rebounds a game her senior year.  In Lacy's senior season, Louisiana Tech was undefeated in the regular season and ranked #1.  Tech remained perfect all the way until the Final Four, when they were upset by Auburn . 

Lacy was a consensus All-American and was named NCAA Women's Player of the Year.  Venus finished her outstanding college career with 266 points in the NCAA Tournament, which put her among the all-time top 10 women at the time.  Lacy was named to the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, which went 52-0 prior to the Olympics, then swept all opponents on the way to the 1996 gold medal. 

Lacy finished #4 at Louisiana Tech in career points with 2,004, a record scoring average of 20.0, #6 in field goals with 793, #4 in rebounds with 1,125 and #7 in blocked shots with 164.

At the time of her graduation, the United States did not have a women's professional league, so Lacy began her career overseas.  She played in Greece , Italy and Japan and led Greece to a European championship in 1996.  Lacy was the #1 player selected by the Seattle Reign in the ABL Draft in 1996.  However, she suffered a serious car accident in February of 1997 and did not play that season.  Lacy was chosen by the Long Beach StingRays in the ABL expansion draft and led the first-year team to the ABL Finals.  Venus also played with the Nashville Noise prior to the end of the ABL . 

Although Lacy was not drafted when the WNBA began, she was picked up by the New York Liberty after Rebecca Lobo was injured.  Lacy played in 19 games with the Liberty .  Venus' jersey of #43 is retired at Louisiana Tech.

 

 

Center Janice Lawrence-Braxton  

Lawrence-Braxton helped Louisiana Tech win back-to-back national championships in 1981 and 1982, earning Final Four Most Valuable Player honors as a sophomore in 1982.  Lawrence-Braxton averaged 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in her freshman season and 14.7 points and 7 rebounds as a sophomore.  Together with Pam Kelly, they were an unstoppable inside force.  In 1982-83, she exploded for 20.7 points a game.  Tech finished 31-2, with their only two losses to USC.  In her senior year, Janice averaged 21.3 as Tech finished 30-3 and once again reached the Final Four.  Lawrence-Braxton was an All-American in each of her final two seasons.   

Lawrence-Braxton paced Tech to a 136-6 mark, four Final Four appearances and two national championships.  She finished her career #2 in points (2,403), #3 in scoring average (17.8 ppg), #5 in rebounds (1,097), #4 in blocked shots (189) and #5 in steals (291).  

Janice helped the United States Pan-American team win the gold medal in 1983 and was the third-leading scorer on the USA 's Olympic gold medal team of 1984.  Lawrence Braxton averaged 9.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in the Olympics.  

She spent 13 seasons in European basketball, helping Vicenza win four Italian League championships and averaging 23 points per game.  When the WNBA was founded, Lawrence Braxton was drafted by the Cleveland Rockers, where she played two seasons.  In 2003, she became an assistant coach with the Rockers.  

Lawrence-Braxton was elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

 

 

Forward Betty Lennox

Lennox helped Trinity Valley Community College win the 1997 NJCAA Women's Basketball Championship prior to coming to Louisiana Tech.  Lennox , the Tournament MVP, scored 27 points and 20 rebounds to lead her team to victory.

In Ruston , Lennox was Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in both 1999 and 2000 an All-American her senior season.  As a senior, Betty averaged 17.3 points and 3.4 assists to lead the team.  She scored 25 points and was named Tournament MVP in a 97-94 win over Western Kentucky in the 2000 Sun Belt Conference championship game.

Lennox was the sixth player chosen in the 2000 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx.  She had an outstanding rookie season in which she was the Rookie of the Year and the first rookie to ever play in the WNBA All-Star Game.  Betty was named to the All-WNBA 2nd Team at the end of the season after averaging a league-leading 16.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game.  Although a doctor told her in 2001 that her basketball career would be over following a broken hip in 2001, she persevered. 

Lennox went to the Miami Sol in 2002, where she hit 46 three-pointers and averaged 11.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists.  From there, she moved to the Cleveland Rockers in 2003.  After Cleveland folded, Lennox was chosen by the Seattle Storm in the Dispersal Draft and helped lead her new team to the WNBA Championship.  Lennox averaged 11.2 points, 5 rebounds and 1.1 steals during the regular season and was chosen MVP after averaging 22.3 points in the playoffs.  The Storm made the quarterfinals the next two seasons and in 2005, Lennox nailed her 200th career three-pointer and averaged 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.25 steals a game. 

Lennox reached the 2,000-point milestone in 2006 and grabbed her 200th career steal as well.  She was 15th in the league with 13.7 points per game and averaged 4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals a game.  In 2007, Betty was 14th with 13.4 points a game, third in free-throw shooting (90.9%) and averaged 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals a contest.

In 2008, Lennox was selected by the Atlanta Dream in the expansion draft, and averaged 17.5 points (#1 in the Eastern Conference), 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals  a game.  She scored a career-high 44 points against Connecticut and Lennox went over 3,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds that season as well.  Betty was then acquired by the Los Angeles Sparks and helped L.A. to the Western Conference finals in her tenth WNBA season.  The veteran, nicknamed "Betty Buckets" for her clutch shots in crucial moments, averaged 10.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Sparks and provided sharpshooting and an unequaled energy off the bench. 

In 311 career WNBA games, Lennox has averaged 12.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists.  She is 14th in WNBA history with 1,488 career field goals, 16th in free-throw percentage (83.9%), 13th with 355 career three-pointers, 27th in rebounds (1,269) and 27th in points (3,785).

Lennox has also played internationally during the off season of the WNBA, playing for many teams throughout the world. She played in Turkey in 2010 for Tarsus Belediyes. She played for Nadezhda in Russia in 2008 & 2009 WNBA off-seasons. Earlier teams include K. V. Imperial EKA AEL Limassol in Greece during 2007-2008 (leading her team to the regular season and tournament championships), Poland with Lotos Gdynia in 2006-2007 (helping her team win the regular season title and reach the tournament finals) and Coconuda Maddaloni in Italy for 2004-2005.   

Lennox started the Lennox Foundation 22 in 2005 to support children that were victims of neglect and abuse. The organization's mission is to give these children better experiences and the chance to succeed with support, education, and love. They learn self-motivation through playing basketball. She was presented with the WNBA's Community Assist Award in June 2006 for her charitable work.

She comes from a deeply religious background, and has a bible verse inscribed on the toes of her shoes (Philippians 4:13 ) ("I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ") which she says is the scripture that tells all that she has become today.   

 

 

Forward Takeisha Lewis

Lewis scored 13.6 points and led Tech with 9.8 rebounds in 1987-88 as they went all the way and captured their third national championship.  Lewis finished her career #10 in all-time points (1,760), #6 in free throws with 377 and #7 in rebounds with 1,071.  Lewis was taken in the Third Round of the 2002 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm.  Takeisha had 18 points and 24 rebounds in her only season in the league.  Takeisha's #40 is retired at Louisiana Tech.

 

 

Center Shaka Massey

Massey was chosen in the Fourth Round of the 2000 WNBA Draft by the Charlotte Sting.

 

 

Forward Monica Maxwell

Maxwell was a finalist for the Naismith Award recognizing the top prep player in the nation in 1995.  She played for Louisiana Tech from 1995-1999, ending her career #4 all-time for career three-pointers.  She helped the Lady Techsters reach two NCAA Final Fours.

Maxwell played her rookie season with the Washington Mystics of the WNBA before going to the Indiana Fever.  In 2000, Maxwell led the Eastern Conference with 62 three-pointers and set a then-franchise record with 29 points.  The following season, Monica averaged a career-high 10.4 points,  5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. 

Maxwell was the assistant coach at Pike High School in Indianapolis , Indiana from 2002-2005 and was an assistant coach at Tulane in the 2005-06 season.

 

 

Center Racquel Spurlock  

Racquel led Tech with 8.4 rebounds per game in the 1994-95 season and 7.5 rebounds a game as a senior.  Spurlock was the 17th player selected in the initial 1997 WNBA Draft by the Houston Comets.  

 

Guard Erica Taylor

Taylor averaged 7.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists as a freshman for the Lady Techsters.  The following season, she scored 11. 4 points a game while pulling down 4 rebounds and averaging 3.1 assists.  Taylor averaged 13.8 points and 6.3 rebounds as a junior and 11.2 points and 4.1 rebounds her senior season.  

Erica was a co-Freshman of the Year in 2002 and was on the league's All-Newcomer Team.  She was on the All-WAC Second Team and was an all-defensive player in both 2003 and 2004.  Taylor was chosen in the Second Round  of the 2005 WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics.  

 

Guard Angela Turner

From 1978-82, Turner led Tech to four consecutive Final Fours.  She averaged 16.0 points and 6.5 rebounds as a freshman.  Angela finished her career #3 in points with 2,262, #6 in rebounds (1,073), #8 in assists with 466 and #3 in steals with 358.  Her number 5 was retired. 

 

Forward Ayana Walker

Walker played for Louisiana Tech from 1998-2002.  Ayana made a big impact as a sophomore with 10.0 points and 7.1 rebounds a game.  As a junior, she averaged a career-high 16.0 points per game and grabbed 8.5 boards a game.  Walker was named 2001 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and was an all-league performer.  She was named to the 2002 All-WAC Team as well as the conference's All-Defensive squad after averaging 13.5 points and 9.2 rebounds.  Walker was selected as WAC Tournament MVP.   

After graduating, Walker played on the gold-medal USA team of 2001 and set a USA single-game record with 19 rebounds in the gold medal game.  For her play on the squad, Ayana was named USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.  

Walker was drafted in the Second Round of the 2002 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock.  She averaged 5.1 points and 3.7 rebounds and led Detroit with 34 blocked shots as a rookie.  Walker helped the Shock win the WNBA championship in her second season when she averaged 1.6 points and 2.1 rebounds.  Ayana played with Israel in the 2004-05 off-season. In 2005, Walker signed with the Charlotte Sting.  After that franchise folded, she moved to the Los Angeles Sparks in 2007 and returned to Detroit for her final season in 2007.

 Guard Teresa Weatherspoon  

Weatherspoon enjoyed a great career from 1984-1988.  She paced the team in assists each season with 7.2 a game her freshman year, 7.9 as a sophomore, 8.2 as a junior and 6.0 per game her senior season.  In 1986-87, Tech was 26-2 with regular season wins over Tennessee , Georgia and Old Dominion.  Weatherspoon helped Louisiana Tech win the National Championship in 1988, defeating Auburn 56-54.  Teresa captured the Wade Trophy as the nation's top women's collegiate basketball player.  Teresa helped Tech to a 118-14 record in her career.  A member of the 1,000-point club (1,087) at LA Tech, she still ranks No. 1 in career assists (958) and career steals (411).  

She was a gold medalist with Team USA in the 1986 World Championships, a gold medalist in the 1986 Goodwill Games, a gold medalist at the 1987 World University Games, a gold medalist for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team, and a bronze medalist at the 1988 Olympic Games.

Her professional playing experience started in 1988 when she went overseas to play. Weatherspoon spent six years in Italy -- where she was named a six-time all-star -- and two years in Russia .

Weatherspoon was another of the charter members of the WNBA, drafted by the New York Liberty.  She played with the Liberty until 2003, then played a season with the Los Angeles Sparks.  Teresa won WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in both 1997 and 1998 and helped the Liberty reach the WNBA Finals in the inaugural season.  She started in the first four WNBA All-Star Games (1999-2002) and was named to the WNBA Second Team from 1997-2000.  Weatherspoon hit a 60-foot shot to tie the WNBA Finals Series with Houston in 1999. 

During her time in the WNBA, Weatherspoon started 220 straight games and led the Liberty to three WNBA championship appearances (1997, 1999 and 2000).  She was a five-time WNBA All-Star, a four-time all-WNBA second teamer and the two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.  Teresa ranks No. 3 in career assists (1,338) and No. 8 in career steals (465) in the history of the WNBA.

Weatherspoon joined the staff of Louisiana Tech in 2008 and was named head coach the following season.  She led her team to a 9-2 mark and the Western Athletic Conference regular season championship in the latter half of 2009 and helped Tech reach the second round of the NIT.  Weatherspoon was 23-9 last season with a WAC Tournament championship and berth in the second round of the NCAA Championships.  She was honored as the Rookie Coach of the Year in 2010.  Teresa was inducted into both the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame last year.   

Weatherspoon -- whose No. 11 jersey is retired at LA Tech -- was named to the NCAA Women's Basketball Team of the Decade for the 1980's.  

 

Center Debra Williams

Williams played from 1993-1996.  She paced the Lady Techsters with 17.7 points a game in 1995-96.  Debra ranks #11 in career points with 1,749, #3 in three-pointers with 136 and #10 in three-point percentage with 34.0%.  She was chosen in the Third Round of the initial 1997 WNBA Draft by the Charlotte Sting.  She had 27 points and 13 rebounds in her only season in the league.  

 

Forward Amanda Wilson

Wilson starred at Tech from 1996-99.  Amanda led Tech in both scoring and rebounding with 18.9 points and 8.8 boards as a junior and 16.6 points and 7.9 rebounds her senior year.  She shot a sizzling 62% as a senior and helped the team win 30 or more games every season she was at Ruston .  Wilson ranks #8 in career points with 1,832, #4 in field goals with 815 and #4 with 303 steals.   

Wilson was selected in the Fourth Round of the 1999 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury.  One of the all-time premier teams that the WAC has been blessed to feature (if not #1), the storied Louisiana Tech women's basketball team will forever live on in memory.  Boise State fans and fans throughout the conference have been blessed to be able to watch this great team in action.  Congratulations for the many historic successes and best of luck in the future!


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