espnW: Rebecca Lobo

Beginning of an Era

April, 2, 2014
Apr 2
UConn BasketballBob Stowell/Getty ImagesThe 1995 UConn team attracted an estimated crowd of 100,000 fans to a victory parade in Hartford to celebrate the program's first NCAA title.

On this day in 1995, Geno Auriemma and Connecticut won their first women's basketball national championship with a 70-64 win over Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols. Led by Naismith Player of the Year Rebecca Lobo and All-American Jennifer Rizzotti, the Huskies (35-0) became just the second women's basketball team in NCAA history to complete a perfect season. The title game was a rematch of UConn's 77-66 regular-season victory over then-top ranked Tennessee. After that win, UConn took over the No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history. In Minneapolis for the championship game, the Huskies rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to capture the title. The team -- which is widely credited for increasing the popularity of women's basketball -- was celebrated with a parade through the streets of Hartford that was attended by more than 100,000 fans. Rizzotti's image was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated shortly after the victory and various team members hit the talk-show circuit. UConn has since won seven more national championships and completed three additional undefeated seasons. The current Huskies are two wins away from their fourth perfect season and their ninth NCAA title. Their pursuit of perfection continues on Sunday in the Final Four in Nashville against Stanford, the team Connecticut beat in the national semifinals back in 1995.

Happy Birthday, Girl Scouts!

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
Girl Scout CookiesPaul Morigi/Getty ImagesIn 2013, the Girl Scouts sold more than 200 million boxes of cookies across the country.

On this day in 1912, Juliette Gordon Low gathered a group of girls in Savannah, Ga., and formed the first troop of what is today known as the Girl Scouts. Low, an avid swimmer, rower and tennis player, and her troop went on hiking and camping trips, played basketball, learned first aid and participated in community-service activities. The allure was immediate, and by 1920, the Girl Scouts had more than 70,000 members all over the country. In 2013, there were more than 3.2 million Girl Scouts in the United States, organized troops in 92 countries and more than 59 million American women could be counted as alumni. Some notable former Girl Scouts include Rebecca Lobo, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Nancy Lopez, Janet Evans, Bonnie Blair and Venus Williams. Perhaps known best and most adoringly for their annual sale of cookies, that tradition dates back to 1917 when a troop in Oklahoma began selling homemade goodies in their school cafeteria to raise money for the troop. In 2013, 200 million boxes of cookies were sold nationwide.

Tracing roots of world's most famous arena

May, 31, 2013
Rebecca LoboAP Photo/Bill KostrounTeresa Weatherspoon and Rebecca Lobo waited until Aug. 15, 1999, to play before their first sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden.
“The world’s most famous arena” received its official name on this date in 1879, when owner William Kissam Vanderbilt dubbed his roofless building Madison Square Garden. At the time, the property, which hosted dog shows and boxing matches, was located at 6th Street and Madison Square in New York. Since then, it has moved to its current location at 31st Street and 8th Avenue and has been home to some historic sports moments. Many of them featuring the world’s most famous female athletes. On March 28, 1976, Nadia Comaneci scored two perfect 10s on the vault, over two days, to highlight the first American Cup Gymnastics event. On March 27, 1977, Chris Evert beat Sue Barker in the final of the first Virginia Slims tournament at the Garden. Barker had defeated Martina Navratilova in the semifinals. On June 29, 1997, the WNBA’s New York Liberty, featuring Teresa Weatherspoon and Rebecca Lobo, played their first home game, beating the Mercury before a crowd of 17,780 fans. On March 2, 2009, Serena Williams, in her first Garden appearance, beat her sister Venus Williams at the inaugural Billie Jean King Cup.

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