April 20, 2012
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech's annual postseason women's basketball banquet was a mix of the past and the present Friday night.
Sue Donohoe, who started her impressive career as a graduate assistant with the Lady Techsters in the early 1980's, was the guest speaker for the event while current head coach Teresa Weatherspoon recognized members of this year's team while handing out annual awards.
Donohoe recently became the executive director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund in December following her surprise resignation from the NCAA in October. Donohoe took over for Marsha Sharp, who stepped down in September at the nonprofit named for the former North Carolina State women's basketball coach, who died in 2009 after a long battle with breast cancer.
Donohoe joined the NCAA in 1999 after serving as associate commissioner of the Southland Conference. During her NCAA tenure, she was a director of both the men's and women's basketball championships. But as vice president of women's basketball, she watched the sport grow in ways she could only have imagined when she was starting her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Louisiana Tech.
Following Donohoe's presentation in which she spoke about the tradition of the Lady Techster program and the life lessons she learned during her time involved with it, Weatherspoon recognized the members of this year's Lady Techster team, which finished 17-15 while advancing to the championship game of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
Weatherspoon also announced award winners, which included:
Jasmine Bendolph (Miss Defense) - the senior guard earned the team's defensive award after leading the team in steals with 47, which also ranked among the WAC leaders. Bendolph, who was named second team all-conference for the second straight season, also averaged 10.6 points, 5.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Whitney Jones (Lady Techster Award) - the senior guard earned this coveted award which annually goes to the player that best exemplifies the character and leadership of a Lady Techster player - on and off the court. Jones also finished her career ranking in the top 10 in Tech history in games started (132) and three-pointers made (165) while ranking 22nd all-time in scoring (1,452 points).
Jelena Vucinic (Academic Award) - the sophomore guard earned this award after recording a 3.54 cumulative grade point average in kinesiology and health promotions. Vucinic was named Academic all-WAC this week.
Dr. Sylvia Stroops and Mrs. Cliffo Crump were also presented plaques in recognition for their longtime support of the Lady Techster basketball program. Both were instrumental in the early years of the Lady Techster program. Former head coach Sonja Hogg leaned heavily upon them for numerous tasks ranging from ticket sales to halftime entertainment to promotion of the program to helping choose the colors for the uniforms.