Pensacola State celebrates 35 years of its women’s basketball program tomorrow

Pensacola State College celebrates 35 years of its women’s basketball program, including recognition of Vicki Carson, PSC’s first full-time women’s basketball coach, with several events Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Lou Ross Center, Bldg. 3, on the Pensacola campus.

The public is invited to a free, family fun-filled PSC women’s basketball alumni game at 11 a.m. featuring about 36 alumni Lady Pirates.

The festivities continue at 1:30 p.m. with an introduction of the women’s basketball alumni players and a ceremonial presentation to Coach Carson, who led the Lady Pirates for 25 years. Next, the current Lady Pirates face Louisiana State University-Eunice at a 2 p.m. tipoff. Halftime entertainment is provided by Triple B dance team and FitLife Frenzy.

Admission to the PSC vs. LSU-Eunice game is $5 general admission and free for PSC women’s basketball alumni and guests.

The post-game celebration includes a display of Lady Pirates’ memorabilia and greeting opportunity with the alumni players and Coach Carson from 4 – 4:45 p.m. followed by a dinner for the current and alumni women’s basketball teams, coaches and guests.

Coach Carson began the PSC women’s basketball program in 1980 and retired in 2005 with 515 wins, more than any other community college coach in Florida. She led the Lady Pirates to a state championship in 1985, nine Panhandle Conference titles and 15 state final-four contests.

Known for her motto, “books then ball,” Coach Carson emphasized academic success along with basketball skills. Over the years, she coached 100 athletes, 98 percent of whom graduated from PSC and completed their degrees at four-year universities, often with scholarships.

“It was an honor to work with these talented women athletes at PSC,” Carson said. “Winning 515 games was fun, but the real success for me came from seeing them graduate from college and go on to have productive careers and families.

“Knowing that so many of my former players and more recent alumni players are travelling from across the country to attend this anniversary celebration is very humbling to me.”

Alumni Affairs Executive Director Patrice Whitten says the women’s basketball anniversary celebration is truly an overall PSC alumni event with several alumni donating food, creating special alumni T-shirts, working as photographers and serving as volunteers.

“We are thrilled that 36 women’s basketball alumni are attending our 35th anniversary events and we hope many more PSC alumni will come out and join the celebration with us,” Whitten said. “We are expanding our alumni reach and encouraging our alumni to be more engaged with the college.”