Feb. 26, 2010
SEATTLE - The alumni are descending on Bank of America Arena.
On Saturday - hours before the Huskies tip off against rival Washington State - the women's basketball alum will play in their biennial showcase event on the main floor at 11 a.m. Some of the very best from all corners of the Husky program will be represented, many of whom are based locally in the Pacific Northwest. Fans that have tickets to the WSU game are welcome to attend. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m.
Dozens of players are set to participate, including the program's all-time leading scorer in Jamie Redd. Also in the mix is Kayla Burt, Shannon Kelly (now an Associate Athletic Director for Marketing at UW), current assistant coach Loree Payne, Rhonda Smith, Tara Davis, current KJR radio host Elise (Niemela) Woodward and Megan Franza, just to name a few. Seattle Storm CEO Karen Bryant will serve as a coach for one of the teams.
"It's a lot of fun coming back and getting to see everyone you played with back in the day," said Payne, shortly before the Huskies practiced on Friday afternoon. "It's great to see what everyone is doing with their lives now."
While the importance of the game centers on the alumni reconnecting with each other, there is still a competitive atmosphere. Payne said most of the Seattle-based alums play local pickup basketball and in leagues, and there's a little pride on the line when the groups meet at this event.
"We're all competitive people. It's all fun and games, but the pride starts to come out a little bit," Payne said.
On Friday night, the alumni plan to meet at Jabu's Pub in Queen Anne for the event "Alums for ALS," which will help raise money for former letterwinner Melissa Erickson, who is battling the disease. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Melissa Erickson foundation.
Fans who attend the alumni game are invited to peruse the silent auction items on the concourse near the Husky Hall of Fame. Bidding starts at 10:30 a.m. and proceeds will benefit the Husky hoops program.