Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Special Saturday Set for Wittenberg Women's Basketball

UPDATE: To see video clips from the dedication ceremony, click here.

Saturday will be emotional and uplifting for Wittenberg women's basketball. The school will be officially dedicating the Pam Smith Arena to memorialize Pam's remarkable gift of self to her students, her athletes, her colleagues and to the community at-large. The ceremony begins at 12:00 p.m.

Pam, the coach with the most wins and highest winning percentage in NCAC women's basketball history, passed away in June 2007 following a long battle with cancer. During its October 2007 meeting, the University Board of Directors unanimously resolved to name the site of so many of the beloved coach's wins Pam Evans Smith Arena.

The dedication event will include comments from Director of Athletics and Recreation Garnett Purnell, President Mark H. Erickson, Assistant Director of Athletics/Head Softball Coach Becky Hall, Chair of the Department of Health, Fitness and Sport/Head Men's Soccer Coach Steve Dawson and Smith's husband, Roger, in Pam Evans Smith Arena. Roger and Smith's parents, Richard and Roslyn Evans, will then unveil a commemorative wall display that will hang next to the arena doors in Legends Lobby. A reception will follow immediately afterward.

Fittingly, the women's basketball team, along with all Tiger women's varsity sports teams, and some club teams, will host a sports expo in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Saturday. Even more so than the dedication, this event is a tribute to Pam, and her long history of coaching and teaching. Pam understood how athletics can be a positive force in women's lives.

Team members provide the hundreds of invited Springfield area children with camp information, slideshows and sports demonstrations. Additionally, professional female football player Andrea Judy, a local sports nutritionist and a certified athletic trainer will all be on hand to share their experiences working in athletics-related careers.

The expo will begin around 1:00 and will continue during halftime of the 2:00 women's basketball game against Wooster. Admission to the game is free and a meet and greet/autograph session with Wittenberg women's basketball team members will take place immediately after the game.

For more information on the dedication ceremony, or the sports expo, visit Wittenberg's athletics site.

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