If “ultimate athlete” was defined in the dictionary, Tanya undoubtedly would be cited as an example. Performing almost to perfection, this Evergreen High School and University of Tennessee star excelled in two sports while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
In her final season of prep basketball, Tanya sparked the Cougars
to third-place at State and set four state-tournament scoring records. Included in her output was a “perfect 100” single game free throw percentage. With season averages of 26.8 points, 5.1 assists and 13 rebounds per game, she topped the all-state and all-state tournament teams for the third year in a row and was “Player of the Year” for the second straight time.
Not surprisingly, she made the high school All-America lists of Parade Magazine and the National High School Coaches Association and also was selected for the 1980 All-America Prep Girls and All-America Academic teams.
Tanya got off to an equally fast collegiate start. In her freshman season of AIAW volleyball, she eclipsed the Tennessee school spiking record with 38 spikes in one match, had the best serving efficiency rating on the varsity squad, led all the statistical categories and made the All-Southeast Conference and All-Region 11 teams. She still holds the UT records for kills and kill attempts.
With a full-ride scholarship for basketball, she zeroed in on it. A three-year starter and team co-captain in her senior year, the productive 6-2 forward propelled the Lady Vols to three Final Fours and two title games, graduating as UT’s all-time career scoring leader and “Player of the Game” for 1984’s NCAA title match.
Punctuating her undergraduate years were berths on a gold medal National Sports Festival Team, Junior National Team and National Jones Cup Team. The 1983 Sportswomen Hall of Fame inductee also was a Pan Am finalist and Olympic Trials selectee.
Since 1985, Tanya has been playing professional basketball in Italy and France, where she is a six-time All-Star and two-time scoring champion. She’s currently coaching in Sweden.