If you ask a sports fan why they love sports, they will probably tell you about the moment that first grabbed their attention. It could be Michael Jordan’s flu game, the Olympics when the U.S. hockey team defeated Canada, or John Elway’s “the Drive.” For Katrina Rushing, it was a Georgia women’s basketball game when she was four years old.
“When I went to my first Lady Dogs game as a kid, I had an amazing view,” she said. “I would watch the different players, their artistry and how they did their layups. I fell in love with it, and it made me want to play, especially since there weren’t many women players in the league.”
The Lady Bulldogs have produced plenty of stars. Players like Teresa Edwards, four-time Olympic gold medal winner who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and Janet Harris, who was the first NCAA women’s basketball player to earn 2,500 points and 1,250 rebounds, have made the Bulldogs one of the best women’s college teams in the past.
For Rushing, it was former Lady Bulldog and Detroit Shock player Deanna Nolan who inspired her to pick up a basketball. The Athens, Ga. native began to play pickup games with the guys in her neighborhood, and she went out for her middle school team, playing every position except point guard. She then went on to play for her high school team, the Cedar Shoals Jaguars.
Now, Rushing’s life has come full circle as she manages the team she once grew up idolizing, the Lady Bulldogs. She is currently a junior at The University of Georgia where she studies Sports Management and Public Relations. She names the Atlanta Dream and Miami Heat as her favorite professional teams, and her dream job is to coach the WNBA or work in Public Relations with the NBA.