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

NCAA Released Infractions Report On Florida Football Program

UF will not receive any penalties because of steps the institution took once the claim was brought to its attention.


Florida's Chris Walker (23) celebrates with his teammate Michael Frazier II (20). Frazier is the Gator's leading scorer, averaging 13 points per game, but did not play against the Commodores due to a ankle injury.

Florida Hangs On Against Vanderbilt To Earn Much Needed Win

It was another close game at home for the Gators, who managed to squeeze past Vanderbilt 50-47 on Wednesday night. This win stops the team’s four game losing streak.


Florida's Kasey Hill (0) fights his way toward the basket, going up strong against 
Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns (12) and Devin Booker (1).

Gators Can’t Hold On To Take Down Top Ranked Wildcats

The Florida Gators lost to the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, 68-61.The Gators led by two points going into halftime, but Kentucky answered back with a strong second half, outscoring the Gators 40-31.


Arkansas's Bobby Portis  (10) closes in on Florida's Eli Carter (1) as he pulls up for a jump shot.

Gators Hold Off Arkansas With Clutch Free Throw Performance

Saturday’s matchup between the Florida Gators and Arkansas Razorbacks came down to the wire. The Gators were able to secure the 56-55 victory with the help of Michael Frazier II’s clutch performance at the free throw line.


Florida's Jacob Kurtz hustles to save a ball before it goes out of bounds.

LSU Hands Gators Second Straight Loss

The LSU Tigers defeated the Gators 79-61, making this the team’s second straight loss. The Tigers had three players who scored in double-digits. Florida is now 3-2 in SEC play, and 10-8 overall.


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