A Washington Coach Cheers For Washington
Byline: Kathy Orton Special to The Washington Post
PHILADELPHIA, March 31 --
H.D. Woodson girls basketball coach Bob Headen wasn't able to
go to the Final Four in 1995, when one of his former players, Jamelle
Elliott, helped Connecticut win it all.
But now that another of his
former players, Rutgers guard
Karlita Washington, is in the Final Four, Headen made sure to make the
drive to Philadelphia.
Headen, wearing the Scarlet
Knights' colors of red and black,
sat in the stands next to Washington's mother, Meriam, videotaping the
"I want to make a souvenir tape for Karlita," he said.
Headen has been to four Final
Fours and was honored by the WBCA
at the 1998 Final Four for his 500th win as a high school coach.
Washington "was talented
when I first met her," Headen said.
"She's gotten better every year."
Two rows up from the Washington
cheering section was Rutgers
sophomore forward Davalyn Cunningham's contingent, which included her
parents, Ronald and Searcy, and brother Dante. Ronald Cunningham
brought a sign for her daughter, who graduated from St. John's, that
read: "Faith and Destiny. Davalyn Cunningham. #44."
"I always tell her about
perseverance, working hard," he said.
"These are the benefits."
Now Dishing Words
Hillary Howard played in
the national championship game last
season as the point guard for Duke, which lost to Purdue. Howard was
back in the Final Four this year, covering the games as a reporter for
an Internet site.
"It's different. I'd rather
be out there playing," Howard said.
"I'm sure I'll be a little antsy."
Howard planned on continuing
her career playing overseas in
Germany or Italy, but a stress fracture in her left foot forced her
"to find a job." Though she majored in history, the transition to
sports writing wasn't difficult.
"It's a new experience, but
my sports background helps," she
The NCAA issued 669 credentials
for the women's Final Four,
most ever in the history of the tournament, officials said. The number
exceeds the credentials issued for the 1997 Stanley Cup finals and the
U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1998, said a spokesman for
Comcast-Spectacor, owner and operator of the First Union Center.
"We expected a lot of media,
and having Rutgers and Penn State
here just added to it," said Cathy Andruzzi, executive director of
Philadelphia Women's Basketball 2000, the host committee for the Final
Finally . . .
Spotted in the Penn State
cheering section were several
Immaculata nuns, including the woman who was the first-grade teacher
for Nittany Lions Coach Rene Portland. Portland played for and was an
assistant coach at long-ago women's power Immaculata College. . . .
Following a recent fashion
trend, the Rutgers players all wore
black headbands. They first wore the headbands when they beat Georgia
in the West Regional final in Portland, Ore. . . .
Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt
surpassed New Mexico men's coach
Lou Henson and moved into 14th place in career coaching victories. In
her 26th season, Summitt has a record of 728-149. The only woman ahead
of her is Texas Coach Jody Conradt at 746-235. . . .
George Washington's Elisa
Aguilar and Virginia's Rene Robinson
will participate in Saturday's WBCA all-star challenge. George
Washington Coach Joe McKeown will coach one of the teams.
Keywords: News National / Sports/Women's College Basketball
Kathy Orton Special to The Washington
Post, A Washington Coach Cheers For Washington. , The Washington Post,
04-01-2000, pp D06.