Price, Chancellor make news for UM this week

The same week Van Chancellor was named to basketball's most prestigious Hall of Fame located at the origin of the sport in Springfield, Mass., Armintie Price was invited to Cleveland, Ohio, to be a part of the WNBA draft.

Only 22 players world wide were asked to attend Wednesday's draft in person. So Ole Miss women's basketball makes news again.

It was always a winning sport at Ole Miss. Chuck will tell you when he started the Spirit in 1982 that one of the sports he hung his hat on for several years was women's basketball with Chancellor as its leader. You could always count on Ole Miss women's basketball to be a big winner every year.

After a handful of substandard seasons, it's become that way again led by Chancellor's former players - Carol Ross, Peggie Gillom Granderson and Renee Rutland Ladner, along with Jocelyn McGilberry. The former three were players from early in Chancellor's storied career. Although he had already won state titles and had success in the Mississippi high school ranks, it wasn't until the NCAA began its tournament in 1982 that Chancellor rose to national prominence.

After leaving Ole Miss with 19 seasons in Oxford, he added four WNBA titles at Houston and a gold medal with the 2004 Olympic team. A hall of fame career for sure.

Price continues the legacy of greatness for Ole Miss women's basketball. Wednesday afternoon she will likely be a high draft choice to continue her playing career in the WNBA.

At least one national sports figure said Price should go very early. Doris Burke of said the former Rebel player and Kodak All-American would be the first player she would take in the draft - if she were doing the drafting.

So we wait and see as another Rebel figures prominently in the national sports scene. To be completely fair, it has been Ross and company who coached her for four years. But former UM head coach Ron Aldy and his staff signed Price and actually all three seniors from this year - Ashley Awkward and Jada Mincy, in addition to Price.

I wouldn't be that surprised to see Awkward drafted as well after the career, especially the senior season, she had.

Ross was visibly emotional after the Rebels lost to Tennessee a week ago in Dayton, Ohio, to end their season in the Elite Eight.

"We all came in together," she said after the game of her staff and the three seniors. "We've gone through a lot together. That makes it tough at a time like this."

The sudden ending of it all has likely passed now, and the realization of what the 2006-07 version of Ole Miss women's basketball accomplished has become even larger. One step away from the Final four? Indeed it was a huge step to get that far, but a Volunteer road block ended the dream.

Still the Rebels brought the program back to national prominence and made a run reminiscent of the days when Van Chancellor coached - on the way to the Hall of Fame.

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