Three women with University of Kentucky basketball ties are 2018 finalists for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
UK All-American and the school’s all-time leading scorer, Valerie Still, joins former Cats head coach Mickie DeMoss and former player Ceal Barry as finalists.
Other finalists include Yelena Baranova (international player), Rose Marie Battaglia (veteran, contributor), Christine Dailey (contributor /assistant coach), Chamique Holdsclaw (player), Vickie Orr (player), Katie Smith (player) and Tina Thompson (player).
This year’s class will be selected from the 10 finalists and announced on ESPN2 on Feb. 12. The official induction will be in Knoxville on June 9.
Still became the first female letter winner in any UK sport to have her jersey retired and is still the leader among all Wildcats (male or female) for career scoring (2,763 points) and rebounding (1,525).
She led the Cats to their highest ranking in school history in 1983. At one point during the 1981-82 season, she led the nation in both scoring and rebounding before finishing second in both categories (24.8 ppg and 14.3 rpg).
Still was a three-time consensus All-American and led the program in scoring four straight seasons with a career average of 23.2 points.
After leaving UK, Still had a successful career in the Italian Professional League and was a two-time Most Valuable Player of the ABL Championship Series. Still later played for the Washington Mystics of the WNBA before retiring from basketball. She also was an assistant coach for the Orlando Miracle for two seasons.
DeMoss took over a struggling UK program in 2003 and started the rebuilding process. During her time at Kentucky, DeMoss took the Cats to three straight postseason trips (one NCAA Tournament and two WNIT trips). DeMoss was named 2006 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year for leading UK to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons.
Prior to coming to Kentucky, DeMoss spent 18 seasons as an assistant at Tennessee, helping the Lady Vols garner six national championships and 13 Final Four appearances. She also was the head coach four seasons at Florida (1979-83). In eight seasons as a head coach, DeMoss has a career record of 116-123, including a 26-65 mark in the SEC.
Since leaving UK, DeMoss has served as an assistant coach at Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana Tech and for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. She is currently an assistant coach at LSU.
Barry was a four-year letter winner at Kentucky from 1973-77. The former Assumption standout was part of the first class of female students to receive a scholarship for athletics.
After graduation, she spent four seasons as head coach at Cincinnati and 22 seasons at the helm of the Colorado women's basketball program before retiring in 2005. She now serves as a senior associate athletic director/senior women’s administrator at Colorado.
A few of her many accolades are: 1994 National Coach of the Year; 1995 Carol Eckman Award; 1996 Olympic gold medalist; two-time District V Coach of the Year; four-time Big Eight Coach of the Year; 510 career wins at Cincinnati and Colorado; 11 NCAA Tournaments.