Jr. Cyclone Girls League attends Women’s HOF, Lady Vols contest

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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The Jr. Cyclone girls’ league made their second consecutive trip to Knoxville over the weekend to visit the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and then attended the Lady Vols upset win over Vanderbilt at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Welcomed to Knoxville by eight inches of snow still on the ground and several icy spots, the cold weather did nothing to deter the excitement the opportunity provided to the girls and their families.

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The day began with the opportunity to tour through the Hall of Fame to witness the very beginnings of women’s basketball as it is known today.

Also, the girls enjoyed a time shooting basketball inside the Hall of Fame while getting photos made with their team and friends while on the visit.

As part of the day’s ticket, the group enjoyed pizza before having a group photo taken and heading to the game.

While at the game, the girls were invited to go to the floor to welcome the Lady Vols to the court prior to tipoff. They also were able to participate in the chicken dance on the court at the end of the third quarter of play.

It was only fitting that the outing happened on ‘We Back Pat Day’ – a day set aside to remember former Lady Vol head coach Pat Summitt, who lost her battle with dementia after establishing an unbelievable career at the helm of the Lady Vols winning 1,098 games while losing only 208.

Topping the day off was the opportunity to witness the Lady Vols take down Vanderbilt for only the third loss of the season for the Lady Commodores.

Players from the Lil’ Ballers, Jr. Cadet, and Cadet teams attended the event which was organized by Coach Rebecca Oliver along with assistance from Coach Zach Ensor.

The league was established two years ago to allow young ladies to be taught the game of basketball at a young age and to encourage the love of the sport.

It will also help to serve as a feeder program for T.A. Dugger in helping to prepare for play at that level and eventually on to the high school which has experienced success over the years with the girls program.

The teams participate in the Carter County Girls League which has teams from Hunter, Hampton, Happy Valley, and Cloudland that compete in each division with the Jr. Cyclone League.

Games are played on Friday and Saturday with the games swapping locations each week to allow for each participant to share in concession and admission fees for their respective program.