Of the 11 banners hanging from the rafters of Assembly Hall, 10 belong to the accomplishments of men’s teams.
Members of the women’s basketball team said IU coach Felisha Legette-Jack does not let them forget that fact, but the current senior class might reverse that trend.
Legette-Jack said she wants the tradition and legacy to be about an all-around approach.
“It’s about the pursuit of championships – in the community, in the classroom and on the court,” she said. “We are taking those steps, and today was yet another step.”
The Hoosiers might have saved their goal of advancing to the NCAA tournament after erasing a 15-point deficit Sunday to beat Michigan, 67-61.
All four IU seniors scored in Sunday’s game.
After the game concluded, the spotlight turned to the foursome: Lydia Serfling, Amber Jackson, Kim Roberson and Whitney Thomas.
After the seniors exchanged hugs and stood by their jerseys, a video speech from each player played. Serfling came first.
Serfling, who joined the team in her junior year after starting her IU athletic career with the track and field team, said she would miss everything about being on the team.
She thanked everyone from her teammates and coaches to the security guards.
Jackson said she would miss secret handshakes, shopping and speaking Spanish with various teammates. Although Jackson will soon end her basketball career at IU, she said she will not forget the experience.
“This chapter of my life might be over, but these girls will remain in my heart forever,” she said.
The final two seniors, Roberson and Thomas, have played for three different coaches in their time at IU. Roberson said they have always stuck together – even if Thomas did push her in a swimming pool in seventh grade.
Roberson’s body is often heavily taped. Having frequently worked with athletic trainer Robert Black, she thought it fitting to thank him.
“I know it was a difficult task,” Roberson said of his helping her. “But I know you will have great case studies.”
Thomas said one of the things she will miss most is running into the locker room, giving high fives to kids and seeing their smiling faces.
But the seniors weren’t the only ones to reflect on the impact they made on the program.
Freshman Ashlee Mells said the upperclassmen have pushed her tremendously on the court and helped her off the court as well.
Fans who attended the final home game of the four Hoosier seniors gave them loud applause following their post-game introductions.
The attendance at the game excited Legette-Jack, who said she hopes the program will continue moving forward.
“We had 5,000 fans here today,” she said. “That was fantastic. Our goal is to average that and blast it forward – and it’s all on the backs of these seniors. They started it, and now we will continue it.”
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