MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Where are they now? Watson looks at the UofL Womens' Basketball runner up team from 2009.
( David takes on the task of tracking down the players on the 2009 National Runner-Up UofL women's basketball team. As far as we know, no laws were broken or animals injured in his attempts..)
I was rummaging the other day. You do that from time to time when you reach my age. This search was for a box of drill bits that I remember purchasing a few years ago at a yard sale and had "stored" somewhere. The search led from my garage to my basement. While looking, I came across a DVD marked UL v.Okla Final Four 2009.
Yes, I recorded that game. Any accounts of it or rebroadcast are expressly forbidden by -- whatever. Come get me, officer. Put the cuffs on me. Louisville won the game.
You probably knew that.
What it did was get me thinking about the players on that Louisville team. Later that night I started thinking about where they were these days.
I thought it might make a good column for my Monday writings. I called Paul and asked if he had pictures somewhere of those players and he said he'd be glad to add them to my article.
So, where are they now? Some of these are chip shots, gimmies -- easy to track. Some weren't so easy. Some I had to ask Paul about.
-- Angel McCoughtry
OK, this is an easy one for 99% of you. She's currently in Washington, practicing and preparing to play in the Summer Olympics for the United States women's basketball team. She's in the WNBA, playing for Atlanta. She's pretty good, huh?
To the 1%...Welcome out of your coma. Barack Obama's our president and they took House off the air. West Virginia's in the BIG 12 and Pittsburgh headed to the ACC. Traitors.
-- Candyce Bingham
Candyce is now the head women's basketball coach at (Louisville) Fern Creek High School. She started there last year after spending a few years playing international basketball and working assorted jobs at UofL. It's rumored she still works out with some of the former and current UofL players.
I wonder if she's still got that power move to the hoop that always seemed to produce a basket or a trip to the line? And if she's teaching it to any of her players.
-- Deseree Byrd
Dez's whereabouts were a mystery to me, so I asked Paul about her. He told me that he had asked Coach Walz about her a few weeks back and that Dez was doing well and working. Coach talks to her from time to time.
She was one that I figured might have had a good shot at overseas or professional ball if she hadn't got injured.
Paul told me a story about her. The women's basketball team had made an impromptu visit to the Parrish House during a Saturday afternoon of football tailgaiting. There were troops there from Fort Knox visiting as well. Dez challenged one of them to a push-up contest and won. The winner got a cold bottle of water from Paul.
Monty Hall he isn't.
-- Keisha Hines
You'll probably remember that Keisha came on strong at center for the team near the end of the year, inspired by her sick grandmother. I never heard how the grandma turned out but I hope she, and Keisha are OK. Keisha returned the next year and played in the post for two more seasons at UofL. She's graduated and working.
I asked Paul if he knew anymore about her. He said he thought either he or Sonja were friends with her on Facebook. Maybe she'll read this and catch us up with her.
-- Gwen Rucker
When Keisha wasn't in the paint, Gwen usually was. She was a freshman on that team and played one more season while also playing volleyball for UofL. She's a red-shirt senior on the UofL Volleyball team now and was competing for a spot on the A2 National Red team earlier this month.
Who could ever forget "the staredown" with Kia Vaughn?
Here's hoping she's 100% healed from the injury that had her sidelined for part of the 2011 season and she can help lead the Volleyball Cards to BIG EAST supremacy again.
-- Brandie Radde
Brandie played part of that season before taking some time off to concentrate on academics. Not that she was doing poorly, she was focused on getting into medical school. She did return for the last part of the following season when the depth roster on the team dropped to dangerous levels.
She now part of the labratory personnel in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Louisville.
I'm guessing the academic thing turned out pretty well for her. She looks pretty happy (she's the one on the right) in the picture Paul found of her.
-- Laura Terry
The last I heard about Laura was that she was a Spring 2012 graduate from UofL and had been a student assistant on the basketball team the last couple of years. She's probably taking a little time to enjoy her graduation. CARDINAL COUPLE reader Mike D. says she going to join up with Michelle Clark-Heard's staff at WKU.
I'm glad she's staying in basketball. I don't know if she reads CARDINAL COUPLE or not, but it'd be great to get an update from her from time-to-time.
She was a tough-as-nails post player that had some bad breaks with her knees. She also had a pretty good three, if I remember right.
-- Monique Reid
Sonja did a pretty good write-up on her in the Sunday edition of Cardinal Couple. In case you missed it, she'll be a red-shirt senior on the 2012-13 team and will hopefully be fully recovered from the knee injury that kept her out of most of the 2011-12 season.
Who else thinks that if Mo and Tia would have been available last year that the Cards would have reached another Final Four?
-- Janae Howard
She played for NAIA St. Catherine last season after leaving Louisville after her freshman year and transferring to Western Kentucky. A good spot-up three point shooter, I'll always wonder how her career would have turned out if she had stayed at Louisville. She's got one season remaining for St. Catherine College. I hope she scores a lot.
-- Tiera Stephen
Another reserve that transferred after her freshman year, Stephen went to Wisconsin and joined the basketball team there. A reserve guard for the Badgers, she'll be a senior for them this fall.
With the rash of guard injuries that UofL had in the 2009-10 season, I wonder if she would have seen considerable time for Louisville?
-- Mary Jackson
Left Louisville after her freshman year and went back to Memphis, where she played her high school ball. She was a member of the Tigers basketball team before leaving to play for NAIA Lee University last year.
I couldn't determine whether she still has another year of eligibility left or not.
Lee University is in Cleveland, TN.
-- Becky Burke
I saved my favorite player for last. Becky completed her senior season in the spring and also graduated. She's on her way to play over in Poland in the Euro-Leagues this summer.
She also played for the US Women's All-Stars during their recent tour of China. Is she the best "three" shooter in Cardinal history? I know Paul will argue for Kristin Mattox. He's been in love with her since the early nineties. Give me "Big Shot" Becky on the square-up and release anyday.
I hope this helps get you caught up on the girls that were part of that special season in Louisville women's basketball history. Thanks to Paul for adding the pictures.
I'm going to have to take some time in the near future and watch that DVD again. I remember it was an exciting game. I think Candyce hit a free throw to put UofL up 61-59 with a few seconds left and Oklahoma missed a three at the buzzer that could have won it for them. Take that, Courtney Paris.
( Editor's note : We have attached the promo clip for this game. )
Courtney guarantees title shot for OU
Guaranteeing a victory is risky business. I know. It was me who bravely predicted that I'd beat my son in bean bag toss at a 4th of July picnic. I have grass-cutting duties for the rest of July because of that inept wager. I'm glad it's been dry lately.
Maybe I'll do a report like this in 3-4 years on where the ladies are now that were part of the 2012-13 Louisville Cardinals NCAA Women's Basketball Championship team are. If you dream it, you can achieve it. Who else besides me would love to go to New Orleans next spring and watch Louisville's ladies in another Final Four?
I still haven't found the drill bits yet.
( Thanks for all the hard work on today's column, David. And the phone calls. I wasn't really trying to take a Sunday afternoon nap all that seriously. The phone kept waking me up.)