WUFT News

New UF women’s basketball center stands tall in face of tragedy

By on October 3rd, 2012

UF Athletics

Vicky McIntyre, a player on the UF women's basketball team, makes her debut as a Gator near the anniversary of her former coach's death.

Vicky McIntyre’s debut as a center of the University of Florida women’s basketball team will be bittersweet.

The season opening game falls just a week prior to the first anniversary of a tragedy in the McIntyre’s life — the day when she lost her coaches.

The former Oklahoma State University player said her life was turned upside down after she heard about the plane crash Nov. 17, 2011, that killed the women’s basketball head coach Kurt Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna and two others.

The coaches were heading to a recruiting trip in Arkansas the day before when the plane went down in a wooded area. The plane’s pilot and his wife also died in the crash, according to GatorZone.com.

For the Oklahoma State team and McIntyre, it was only the beginning of a difficult road ahead.

McIntyre struggled her sophomore season as her emotions often got the best of her. Averaging 11 points and nearly 6 rebounds her freshman year, McIntyre’s numbers dropped tremendously in her second season.

She averaged just 4 points and 4 rebounds a game. She faced many personal challenges, including boarding a plane when the team traveled to a tournament in Reno, Nev.

After the season, McIntyre decided she needed a fresh start.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association passed a waiver for her to play immediately this year due to her unusual circumstances. Once she visited Gainesville, she knew she wanted to start the next chapter of her basketball career at UF.

Standing in at 6-foot-7, McIntyre will be the tallest women’s basketball player in Florida history.

McIntyre said UF head coach Amanda Butler and her teammates have welcomed her from the beginning. While McIntyre is excited for her start as a Gator, she still works hard every day to honor the memory of her late Oklahoma State coaches.

Vicky McIntyre will take the hardwood with her new team for the first time Nov. 9th in the O’Connell Center when the Florida Gators plays Fairfield University.

Wade Millward edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Sports, University of Florida and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Sports

Florida running back Matt Jones (24) carries the ball during the second half of the Florida vs. Kentucky game in Gainesville, Florida Saturday, September 13, 2014. Jones ran for 156 yards during the game.

Pictures: Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats

The Florida Gators won 36-30 in triple overtime in an NCAA football game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday, September 13, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida.


Florida wide receiver Andre Debose (4) makes a 29-yard punt return during the Florida v. Eastern Michigan game in Gainesville, Florida Saturday, September 6, 2014.

Pictures: Florida Gators vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles

The Florida Gators won 65-0 in an NCAA football game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday, September 6, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida.


Deonte Thompson

Baltimore Ravens, Former UF Football Player Accused of Possessing Marijuana

Update Feb. 23 12:48 a.m.: The other passenger arrested with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Deonte A. Thompson has had run ins with the law, including prison time for two attempted murder charges. In June 2007, Erskine J. McKinley, also known as [...]


The Gators run a blue versus white scrimmage toward the end of their practice. Florida only gets to practice on Wednesday nights due to a hectic academic schedule and about an hourlong commute from Gainesville to Jacksonville.

Despite No Local Home Rink, UF Hockey Team Battles On

Over the years, the University of Florida has accumulated 31 national championships in 12 sports, but there is one sports terrain it has yet to dominate – the ice.


Trenton Town Spirit at an All-Time High as Tigers Return to State Championship

For the second consecutive year, the Trenton Tigers clinched a birth in the Class 1-A football state championship game.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments