You are entering your Senior year in High School and about to make a choice that will shape your life for the next four years and beyond.
Why should you choose Tennessee as Amber, Alicia, Shekinna, and Brianna have?
Here are 10 reasons to consider
1) Pat Summitt and her Fantastic Four - Winningest college basketball coach of all time with a 947-180 record + Holly Warlick, Nikki Caldwell, Dean Lockwood and Jenny Moshak
You have the honor of being a contributor to her 1000th win coming between the 15th and 20th game of the 2009 season. It's a guaranteed place in history since no coach has ever made the 1000 win mark and it's quite probable that no coach ever will again. But that's just some very impressive icing on the cake of playing for Coach Summitt. Women who play for coach Summitt not only learn how to win basketball games and championships - they graduate - ALL OF THEM GRADUATE - and even more important they learn to win at the game of life.
2) Incredible teammates With the number ONE recruiting class of 2007 already on campus and 3 of the top 10 prospects from the class of 2008 you already know that a team is being assembled that will challenge to expand and possibly surpass the amazing records amassed by the Lady Vols who preceded your arrival at Tennessee. Angie Bjorklund of Washington State, Victoria Baugh of California, Kelley Cain and Alicia Manning of Georgia, Sidney Smallbone and Brianna Bass of Indiana, Amber Gray of Ohio and Shekinna Stricklen of Arkansas already represent back to back recruiting classes unsurpassed in Tennessee recruiting history. They join Cait McMahan and Alex Fuller of Tennessee and possibly Candace Parker of Illinois in one of the most impressive collections of Women College basketball players ever assembled. This terriffic group of great young female athletes comes from across America providing a wonderful national perspective.
3) Excellent Education The point of being a student athlete is quite obviously a superior education. The University of Tennessee is ranked in the top 40 of public universities and is climbing in that regard every year. The educational facilities at Tennessee are second to none. The specific educational advantages for student athletes include the Thornton Academic Center created and designed to offer the student athlete at Tennessee a place to study with the assistance of a qualified staff. The Lady Vols consistently become Academic All Americans and every Lady Vol graduates.
4) The Finest Facilities You will play on average 16 games at home in Thompson Boling Arena undergoing a 15 million dollar renovation this Summer in time for the 2007 - 08 season
Home games will be on the floor named for your famous coach Pat Summitt and practice in the luxury of the brand new Pratt Pavilion Practice facility.
These are simply the finest basketball facilities anywhere built by donations from the greatest fans in the world
5) Unequaled NCAA success. There have been 26 NCAA tournaments in the history of Women's College Basketball and only one program has been to every one. That school is the University of Tennessee. There are no guarantees in life and especially in competitive sports but this amazing record of success is about as close as to a guarantee as possible.
Added to this 26 year history of 26 straight NCAA appearances is the more amazing feat of 26 consecutive Sweet 16's. That's right Tennessee has been in the top 16 teams every year the NCAA Tournament for WCBB has been held. In 18 of those 26 years Tennessee has made it to the Final Four and 12 times Tennessee has reached the National Championship game. 7 of those 12 trips has resulted in a National Championship.
6) The Toughest Conference in the USA is the SEC 31 teams from the SEC have made the final four in NCAA play. Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Auburn, and Alabama have all made trips to the Final Four. The SEC consistently has 4 teams ranked among the top 15 teams in the national polls. Women's College Basketball is taken seriously in the South and at Tennessee you play for the best team in the best conference.
7) A great place for year round sports. From the 107,000 seat Neyland Stadium where the 1998 National Champion Volunteer Football team plays, the new Jones Aquatic Center for the swimming teams, Tom Black Track, the Lindsay Nelson Baseball stadium, to the new facilities for Tennis, Golf, Soccer, and Women's softball and the best in physical fitness and weight training facilities anywhere Tennessee has the greatest infrastructure for students athletes anywhere in the county.
8) There is no better schedule One thing that particularly sets the Tennessee Women's basketball program apart from all others is the schedule played by the Lady Vols every year. No other team in the country plays a schedule that is close to the Lady Vols in degree of difficulty. 50% of the Lady Vol games are played against ranked teams. This great schedule means you will play in front of the best fans across the country since successful teams build strong fan support.
You will travel to California to play Stanford and UCLA and to Arizona to play Arizona State. UNC and Duke will take you to North Carolina and you'll see Austin, Texas, South Bend, Indiana, Piscataway, New Jersey, Norfolk, Virginia and Washington DC. You'll stay south in the winter for the most part with trips to Gainesville, Florida, Baton Rouge, LA., Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Oxford and Statesville, MS and Columbia South Carolina all reasonably warm places in January and February. Sorry but you won't get those hour long bus trips from Storrs to Hartford and back 12 times each winter in the snow and ice.
9) 450.000 screaming fans Nearly 240,000 people attended the 16 home games at the University of Tennessee last season - an average of over 14,000 fans per game. Add to that the attendance at 14 road games, 3 games in the SEC tournament and 6 NCAA tournament games that always command the largest crowds of the season and you get the maximum number of fans in the seats - more than any other team in WCBB.
Nobody else has the insanely creative MEANIE HEADS who will provide you with your own song and rabid vocal and visible support from the stands and the BOOST HER club - a slightly more conservative support group. You will appear on TV so often you may need a personal hair stylist and a SAG card. And of course you will receive the full support of The SummiTTeers on this most active WCBB message board in college sports. You will also get the full attention of our own Maria Cornelius the best writer in the game for Women's College Basketball on Rocky Top News.
And of course you will get to hear Rocky Top so often you'll be singing it in your sleep.
10) Beautiful East Tennessee From the summit of Clingman’s Dome at 6,643 feet in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park to the beautiful Valley of the Tennessee River which forms just over a mile upstream from Thompson Boling Arena where the French Broad and Holston rivers converge there is no more beautiful place on earth to spend your college career. Within and hours drive there are scenic wonderlands of woods and water that offer a peaceful distraction from the rigors of competitive sports and college courses. You may enjoy a quiet walk along a singing mountain stream or a boat ride on one of the 20 lakes nearby.
Knoxville is big enough to offer a wide variety of restaurants, shopping and entertainment opportunities while maintaining a college town appeal with the University as a dominant part of the cities life. Beautiful Springtimes with the Dogwood Arts Festival and colorful Falls in a botanical wonderland make the transition from mild winters with minimal snow and warm Summers great for water sports on the lake or sitting around the pool at Camp Summitt. Knoxville and East Tennessee is the perfect setting for an exceptional college career.
|CAMP SUMMIT with POOL|
We certainly don't wish to add to the pressure of your choice Elena, Glory, April and others that may be considering Tennessee as their home away from home for four years. This is meant to point out some things I'm sure you have considered and maybe something you might have overlooked. We love our Lady Vols here in Tennessee and we wouldn't want you to miss out on the best that WCBB has to offer because we failed to give you every reason we could think of to choose Tennessee. Despite my obvious bias in favor of Tennessee as a choice I want to wish you a great college career wherever you may choose to go.