Flashback- Do you remember this team?
OMG, where did you find this? Have you been going through my closet? Happier times indeed. 1998 I believe, Flan's first NCAA tournament squad. After a tough reboot that saw a disastrous 4 seasons under Coach Mo's Gotta Go, three short years later the Lady Lobos had become a WAC contender and attendance/ interest in the program was skyrocketing.
At the end is possibly my favorite Lady Lobo ever, Abby Garchek.
If you only knew the power of Darkside.
I don't think this is a pic of the first NCAA tourney team, looks like the year before. Anita is in there. Nikki, Miranda, and I think maybe Jennifer Williams were freshman on the first NCAA team, don't see them in the pic. This one must be from 23 or 24 years ago?? I might somewhere have a media guide that have to find and look up. NCAA year Jennifer came in and started along side Katie Kern inside. Sonya would start at the three. Think I can remember all these players but two, recall the faces but not the names of those two. A very fun part of those early Flan years were the coaches shows. Henry T started broadcasting the games on his little station and held a show at the old Four Season on Carlisle near the freeway. Never knew how many or which players and coaches would show up. Very informal and somewhat more off the cuff than the KOB shows. Hired as assistants were Hazel and Ed and they really worked and became good recruiters to help build the program. Shannon Brown was another assistant.
I think that is Stella Candelaria next to Jody Cory; kind of an odd transfer in that Stella transferred from here to NMSU. Saw her at a game a couple years after she graduated and she said she did not know(or would not say maybe)why she transferred, but seemed to kinda regret the transfer; I think maybe because UNM went to NCAA's after she left.
Interesting tidbit for those who may have known or did not know: Aiyana Nash, next to Tamika Stukes in top row, married Kevin Henry who played for the men's team. Kevin transferred to Baylor when Bliss took the job in Waco. Did a quick google before I put this, but looks like they are working at Oklahoma, Kevin an adjunct professor and color analyst. Aiyana, at the time of this article about 4 years ago, a professor and childrens' education coordinator.
Another memory from this team in 97. The first Pack the Pit dollar ticket promo. Game was against Utah. 17,213 attendance and the game went overtime, Utah winning 53-49. Jody Cory, the blonde in the top row, told me one time about the atmosphere on the floor for that game. With the big crowd and the buzz in that place that night, Jody said before the tip off it was so electric on the floor the players on both teams were on the floor screaming. A very good Utah guard who, if I recall correctly, hit a long shot almost at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. That guards was Julie Krommenhoek, who we see fairly often in the Pit as an official. I think it could be a good interview if 2x or Fred Hultberg could get an interview with her.From playing in the Pit to officiating in there. Wo, just saw a pic with Julie being guarded by Jody. Not sure what she is doing now, but at a few years ago was coaching youths.
Tamika Stukes and Katie Kern perfecting the "Katie pick". When teams pressed and Tamika brought the ball up court, Katie would set a screen and Tamika would use that screen to full effect. She would run the defender right into Katie and often times would brush her own shoulder against Katie. Saw many guards get up a little woozy. Some of us that have been around that long see a similar screen and still call it a Katie pick. Tamika ran Beky Hammond into one of those screens and Beky got up chewing her team mates for not letting her know the screen was coming. Tamika had some good battles with the future WNBA star. During those years CSU was in the top ten; Lobos gave them a few good games. CSU had a little more overall talent and depth; using them as a bar could see UNM's improvement.
Abby Garchek. Had the UNM all time scoring record until Dionne Marsh topped it. 6' guard, versatile player. Some credit her for some of the attendance jump, very attractive player who was also very good on the court. Strong competitor who hated to lose. Got to know her a little with Henry's shows. Had a health scare picking up meningitis playing overseas after her collegiate career was finished. Emailed with her just a little then, was putting her on various churches' prayer lists and kept in touch a little while that was going on. They probably would not remember me now, but Abby and Tamika were always friendly when I saw them a couple times at alumni nights. The year the Lobos went to NCAA's for the first ime, Nike sponsored a game with a lot of give aways. Attendance was starting to grow and averaged over 5,000 that year but did have two crowds over 11,000. The Nike game had over 13,000 and was a game they were doing autographs after. I had met Abby's parents and after this particular game talked with them for several minutes as the players were getting ready to do autographs. I left and heard later the players were there about 5 or 6 hours signing. After that is when they started doing a few shorter autograph sessions a few times a year.