Commissioner's alma mater honors basketball career
The No. 33 worn as a basketball student-athlete by Rita Wiggs, now commissioner of the USA South Athletic Conference, was hung in the rafters of the North Carolina-Greensboro's Fleming Gym Saturday as the school honored her sterling playing career.
The recognition came during the university's Women's Weekend gathering, a reunion of former UNCG women student-athletes. Her "honored jersey" joins the numbers of six 1995-96 seniors who led the Spartan men's basketball team to its first appearance in the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
"Given the magnitude of her accomplishments at a time when women's athletics didn't receive its due recognition on many campuses, it is fitting that during this very special weekend, we recognize the sustained accomplishments of Rita," said Nelson Bobb, North Carolina-Greensboro director of athletics.
"She led the Spartans for four years when there was little if any recognition for the quality of her performances. Honoring her No. 33 in the rafters of Fleming says thanks."
Wiggs was part of victories during the early 1970s against in-state rivals North Carolina State; North Carolina; Duke; and Wake Forest, and the 1971-72 state championship team she started for advanced to the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women regional tournament. The teams she played on also collected victories over Tennessee, and South Carolina.
Her career scoring average of 18.45 points per game is still tops at the school for any basketball player, male or female.
Since those days, she has been a successful coach and athletics administrator, assuming her current role as a conference commissioner eight years ago. Wiggs also recently was elected to the Division III Management Council.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association