North Carolina transfer Stephanie Mavunga apparently was in Knoxville Wednesday and her day lasted until early Thursday morning.
Tennessee women’s basketball freshman Meme Jackson posted several entries on her Twitter account that chronicled an overnight “hooping” session involving Mavunga, fellow Tennessee freshman Te’a Cooper and sophomore Kortney Dunbar.
Mavunga, an all-Atlantic Coast Conference forward, was granted a release last week by North Carolina to pursue a transfer. In a statement posted on the school’s website, the 6-foot-3 Mavunga said she had “a heavy heart” in asking for the release.
Her visit to Knoxville coincided with Lady Vols head coach Holly Warlick’s stint as an assistant coach with the U.S. World University Games team. Warlick currently is in Guangju, South Korea.
Mavunga, who is from Brownsville, Ind., is believed to have visited Ohio State as well. She is the final player to transfer from North Carolina’s four-player 2012 signing class, which was ranked No. 1 nationally. One member of that class, Diamond DeShields, already has transferred to Tennessee. She’s with Warlick in South Korea, playing for the World University team.
In May, Mavunga was chosen to the U.S. Pan American Games team. Training will begin soon for the competition, which is July 16-20 in Toronto.
The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees didn’t consider the Lady Vols name and logo issue last week during its annual meeting in Knoxville and state senator Becky Massey wasn’t happy about it.
Massey, who represents the sixth district (Knoxville), wrote a letter to the board of trustees last week, disagreeing strongly with the board’s position to refrain from considering the athletic department’s decision that, effective July 1, all women’s athletic teams except basketball became known as “Volunteers” and will wear a Power T logo.
Massey was one of 45 legislators who signed state representative Roger Kane’s letter to board members. He asking them to consider the issue based on “constituent-driven concerns.”
In her letter, Massey wrote: “I believe that, when a decision of the administration causes as much problems and outcry by the citizens of Tennessee….it is the Board of Trustees responsibility and duty to address this in their meeting.”
Massey wrote about the petition with “approximately 25,000 signatures”, the “countless letters to the editor” published in the News Sentinel and former UT athletes all expressing “disappointment and total disagreement” with the decision.
“I have had many discussions with some major donors and they feel the same way too,” Massey wrote.
Massey believes the outcry was sufficient for the board to take up the matter.
The Board of Trustees are representatives of the people of the state of Tennessee,” Massey wrote. “I feel it is their responsibility to have a discussion of this issue at their meeting and take into consideration the overwhelming views of the fans and constituents on keeping the brand. Frankly, I have never seen anything like this.”