UK Celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day Sunday

Feb. 5, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky will help celebrate the 23rd annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day Sunday, Feb., 8 when the women's basketball team takes on No. 20/22 Vanderbilt in Memorial Coliseum.  Four special VIPs, Ukari Figgs, Jenny Dalton Hill, Passion Richardson, and Ashley Robinson will join student-athletes from each of UK's female varsity sports teams for a pregame autograph session beginning at noon. A special limited edition poster will be available for the first 1,000 fans. Game time is set for 1 p.m. EST.

Single-game general admission tickets are available for $5 adults/$2 senior citizens and children 6-18. Ages five and under are admitted free. UK students, faculty and staff also are admitted free with valid identification based on availability. For ticket information, log on to UKathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).

Sunday is one of more than 1,000 events taking place across the country for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Congress has proclaimed this national day each year since 1987. It recognizes the progress of girls and women in sports and the benefits that sports and fitness activities can bring the lives of all girls and women. The day is organized nationally by the Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Incorporated, National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, the National Women's Law Center and the Women's Sports Foundation.

“Sunday is going to be really exciting as we bring four very special former student-athletes to our campus to help us celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “All four of these women have set great examples of what young women can achieve in sports. They are true role models and we want our players to be people that young girls will look up to as well. We are fortunate they were able to join us Sunday and we hope everyone will come out to meet this elite group and cheer on the Wildcats against Vanderbilt.”

The special VIPs include:

Ukari Figgs , a Georgetown, Ky., native who led the Scott County girls' basketball team to a state title in 1995, and she was named Kentucky's Miss Basketball. She went on to earn All-America and Big Ten first team honors while leading Purdue to the 1999 NCAA Championship. She also was named the NCAA tournament's Most Outstanding Player. After receiving a degree in mechanical engineering , she was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks in the 1999 WNBA Draft , and played for the Sparks for three seasons. She helped the Sparks win back-to-back WNBA Championship titles in 2001 and 2002.

Jenny Dalton Hill was an All-American second baseman at Arizona and played on three national championship teams in 1993, 1994 and 1996. A three-time first-team All-American (1994, 1995 and 1996), and College World Series Most Valuable Player in 1996, she also was a two-time Academic All-American and won the Honda Softball Award her senior year as the top player in collegiate softball. Hill graduated from Arizona with a degree in elementary education.

Passion Richardson was a four-time All-American sprinter at Kentucky (1994, 1996, 1997). She won her first All-America honor for the 55 meters in 1994. Two years later, she added two more – another for the 55 meters, and one for the 4x100 relay. Her final honors came during her senior year in the 100 meters. After graduating with a degree in marketing, she continued her success on the track by winning a gold medal at the 1997 World University Games in the 4x100 relay. She then added a Pan-American Games silver medal to her collection for the 4x100 relay. In 2000, she captured second at the USA Indoor Championships in the 60 meters and went on to help the 4x100 relay team bring home a bronze medal from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Ashley Robinson was a two-time SEC Champion for legendary head coach Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee. The 6-4, center played in all 34 games as a freshman and earned nine starts, including starting in her very first collegiate game. She was a unanimous selection to the SEC All-Freshman Team and was an honorable mention choice for All-SEC by the Associated Press . She also was selected by the Women's Basketball Journal as a first team member of its Freshman All-America Team. Robinson overcame a torn ACL suffered following her freshman season to return to the starting lineup her final two seasons, both of which ended in the NCAA Championship Game. She currently ranks third on UT's career blocks list with 200. After graduating with a degree in public relations and a minor in business, she was a second-round pick by the Phoenix Mercury in 2004. She was then selected by Chicago in the WNBA Expansion Draft in 2005 and acquired by the Seattle Storm from the Sky in 2006. Overall, she has played five seasons in the WNBA and has helped the Storm advance to three consecutive post season tournaments.

Sunday also is Alumni Day. Women's Basketball alumni in attendance will be introduced at halftime, along with the current UK female student-athletes in attendance and the four VIP guests. Additionally, a special award will be introduced at halftime called the “Sue Feamster Leadership Award.” Presented by the Victory Club, UK Hoops' booster group, the award is aimed to recognize alumni or friends of the program who have helped grow the game of basketball through their actions. Former Wildcat coach Sue Feamster (1971-76) will be on hand to present the inaugural award to the first ever recipient, Gloria Singletary. Singletary was instrumental in regaining the varsity status of women's basketball in 1974. The wife of former UK President, the late Otis A. Singletary, Mrs. Singletary's efforts have been felt across the entire UK campus, from athletics to art and beyond.

“Alumni Day is always a special time for us,” Mitchell said. “We enjoy seeing our former coaches, players and support staff and this year we have another great group returning to Memorial Coliseum.”

Fans are encouraged to park in Parking Structure 5 located next to Kennedy's Bookstore on Limestone Avenue. Parking within Parking Structure 5 will be available free of charge. A shuttle bus service also will be provided and begins one hour prior to game time until one hour after the game. Additional game day parking is available in the E lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum including the Martin Luther King Parking Lot and the Student Center Parking Lot.