Jen Smith on Basketball

Former Kentucky great Valerie Still has autobiography coming out soon

Valerie Still returned to UK for her jersey retirement ceremony in 2003. The former UK and professional standout has a new book that came out this spring.
Valerie Still returned to UK for her jersey retirement ceremony in 2003. The former UK and professional standout has a new book that came out this spring.

One of the top basketball players in University of Kentucky history is writing about her time in the blue and white as well as the many people — both past and present — that shaped her.

Valerie Still, the leading scorer and rebounder in UK history for both men and women, announced that her autobiography will be released at the end of March.

“Playing Black & Blue: Still I Rise” is a “personal narrative and in-depth reflections of her complex life,” according to a press release about the upcoming memoir.

“It is an extensive examination of the history of women’s basketball, University of Kentucky sports, race and gender in America, the history of an African-American legacy family and the intersection of race, class, gender and religion in America,” the release continued.

The memoir explores the lives of some of Still’s ancestors, including doctors, abolitionist William Still, known as the “father of the Underground Railroad” and several others.

“I hope that I have brought my family alive in these pages, and that it uplifts someone that may be struggling in life,” Still said in the release. “I also hope my story helps to empower and unite people.”

The book is expected to be released in time for the women’s Final Four this season in Columbus. A few book signings will be scheduled in Kentucky during the first week of April, Still said in an email.

Still played multiple seasons professionally and was a recent nominee to the Naismith Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Still was the first female letter winner in any UK sport to have her jersey retired and she is still the leader among all Wildcats —male or female — for career scoring (2,763 points) and rebounding (1,525).

The three-time consensus All-American led the Cats to their highest ranking in school history in 1983. She led the program in scoring four straight seasons with a career average of 23.2 points.

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