Basketball

Mount Rushmore: Gators Women’s Basketball

Photo by Filippo Monteforte / Getty Images

The women’s basketball program at Florida debuted as a varsity sport in 1975. Although they haven’t experienced the same successes of SEC mates, Tennessee, Georgia, or more recently South Carolina and Mississippi State, Florida fans have had the pleasure of watching some of the best athletes in the country over the years.

The following is my opinion on the Mount Rushmore of Florida women’s basketball (in no particular order).

Merlakia Jones, 1991-95: Merlakia Jones still holds the program record for most points scored in a career at 2,001. Jones averaged 16.9 points per game over the course of her four years at UF and led the team in scoring all four years that she played. Jones wasn’t a one-trick pony, however. She recorded 830 rebounds in four years and averaged a double-double (18.6 points and 10.1 boards) during 1993-94 season. Jones was the 13th pick in the WNBA Draft in 1997.

Muriel Page, 1994-98: Muriel Page averaged 15.0 points per game over four years as a Gator. Like Jones, Page also did the dirty work and collected 1,251 rebounds to go along with her 1,915 career points scored. Page averaged a double-double in both her junior (15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds) and senior (19.1 points and 12.6 boards) seasons. Page was a first team All-SEC selection in both 1997 and 1998 and was a finalist for the basketball Honda Award. Page received votes for the 1998 National Player of the Year Award before being selected with the third overall pick in the 1998 WNBA Draft.

DeLisha Milton, 1993-97: You can’t have a Mount Rushmore of Florida women’s basketball without the inclusion of DeLisha Milton. Milton was a three-time captain while at UF and became the first Gator named first team All-American. Milton was a do-it-all kind of player that recorded 1,858 points, 1,109 rebounds, and 281 steals. The final tally is good for tops in program history. Milton averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game over her four years in the Orange and Blue. Milton was drafted #2 overall in the 1997 American Basketball League and #4 overall in the 1999 WNBA Draft. Milton also represented the United States internationally, earning two gold medals (2000, 2008)

Quientella Bonner, 1976-81: A 6’0 forward from Pensacola, Quientella Bonner basically wrote the record books during the infancy of the Florida women’s basketball program. In the days before a three-pointer, she scored 1,789 points and grabbed 1,321 boards. She also blocked 230 shots, which ranks second in program history. Bonner scored a program record 45 points and grabbed 31 rebounds in separate contests, both are still the high-water marks for a single game.

Honorable Mention:

Tammy Jackson, 1981-85

  • 6’3 Center from Buccholz High in Gainesville
  • 1,895 career points, 1,141 career rebounds
  • First Gator to represent the USA in the 1992 Olympics
  • 3-time All-SEC selection

Sha Brooks, 2005-09

  • 5’7 guard from Jackson, Tennessee.
  • Started all but one game over her four years in the Orange and Blue (125 games)
  • 1,820 career points, 365 assists, 589 made 3’s in career, all among top in program history
  • Three time All-SEC selection

*I know many people who read this will probably disagree with my inclusion of Bonner over Jackson. My explanation for this is that Bonner helped set the foundation for the program, and in my opinion, that merits inclusion on this type of list.

Inspired by Steve Russell’s radio show, Sports Scene, we have opted to determine the Mount Rushmore of each UF program that we cover. Let us know if you agree or if there are any omissions.
Also, we chose to omit coaches intentionally and will do a totally separate post on the top coaches at UF.

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1 reply »

  1. Thank you for including a deserving Quien Bonner. She was the first GREAT Lady Gator- great skills and character. How awesome that she still holds most points scored and most rebounds in separate games for the program’s history!

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