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Former WNBA veteran and Kentucky Miss Basketball, Ukari Figgs, enters her first year as the assistant athletics director for women's basketball at the University of Kentucky.
Figgs, a native of Georgetown, Ky., comes to UK after spending the last two seasons as an assistant women's basketball coach under Sharon Versyp at Purdue.
"I'm very excited to return to Kentucky and be a part of the very successful UK women's basketball program that Coach Mitchell and his staff have established," Figgs said. "Being from Kentucky, I grew up a Wildcat fan and to have the opportunity to come back home and help this program continue its goal of winning a national championship is very exciting to me. I've kept up with the UK Hoops team for a long time and I've seen how Coach Mitchell has built UK into one of the best women's basketball programs in the country. I'm really looking forward to being a part of this staff and I'm ready to get to work."Figg's primary responsibilities at UK will include team travel, scheduling, supervising all non-coaching personnel, management of the budget, facility coordinator, overseeing the student managers, supervising the team's NIKE account and special event management.
"I am extremely pleased to add Ukari Figgs to our basketball staff," Mitchell said. "Her experiences in the game of basketball will be a tremendous resource for our players and staff. I can't imagine hiring someone with better credentials than Ukari Figgs. I fully expect her to play a vital role in our future success."
Figgs played point guard for the Boilermakers from 1995 to 1999, and led Purdue to an NCAA National Championship in her senior season. The 5-foot-9 co-captain was named the 1999 Final Four Most Outstanding Player after recording game-highs of 24 points in the semifinal win over Louisiana Tech and 18 points against Duke in the championship game. As a senior, Figgs averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists and was named first team All-Big Ten as well as Associated Press and Kodak honorable mention All-American.
Figgs, who was inducted into the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007, graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1999, and prior to taking an assistant coaching position at her alma mater, spent over five years as a production engineer for Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, Ky.
Drafted in the third round as the 28th overall pick by the Los Angeles Sparks, Figgs also played five seasons in the WNBA. She was with the Sparks for three seasons, including one culminating in a WNBA Championship in 2001. Figgs played one season for the Portland Fire before they disbanded and was picked up by the Houston Comets in the 2003 Dispersal Draft. She played one season in Houston before retiring from basketball. For her five-year WNBA career, Figgs averaged 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
Figgs should be no stranger to basketball fans in the Commonwealth as she led the Scott County High School girls' basketball team to a state title in 1995. She was named Kentucky Miss Basketball as a senior after averaging 18.6 points, 7.1 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 4.3 steals per game for the Cardinals.
She later went on to serve two seasons (2003-05) as an assistant coach with the boys' varsity basketball team at Scott County.
Figgs is married to Dale Morgan and the couple will reside in Lexington.