On Sunday afternoon, UB women’s basketball head coach Felisha Legette-Jack became the first female athlete to have her jersey retired by Syracuse University.
The former Orange standout had her jersey retired in front of 3,000 fans inside the legendary Carrier Dome at halftime of Syracuse’s game against Notre Dame. Her No. 33 jersey is the 22nd retired number in Syracuse history and joins 15 men’s basketball and six football players hanging from the Carrier Dome rafters.
Legette-Jack ranked first in Syracuse women’s basketball history in points, rebounds, field goals made and free throws made at the time of her graduation in 1989. She currently ranks eighth in career points, fourth in total rebounds and fourth in field goals made.
A three-time All-Big East selection and 1985 Big East Freshman of the Year, Legette-Jack is one of three players in school history to score more than 1,500 points and grab more than 900 rebounds in a career.
“I just went to Syracuse in 1984 just to make my family proud and get a college degree,” Legette-Jack said. “I never thought something like this could possibly happen.”
Now in her 10th season with the Bulls, Legette-Jack hopes her jersey retirement can be an inspiration and a message to women across the country.
“[I hope] that the people that come visit the university see 33 and see significant women rising above it all,” Legette-Jack said. “It’s never been about me as a student-athlete, it’s never going to be about me now. But if it can mean something, I hope that getting my number raised up in the rafters can mean that women matter.”
Anthony DeCicco is the Editor-in-Chief of The Spectrum. His words have appeared in outlets such as SLAM Magazine andSyracuse.com. In 2020, he was awarded First Prize for Sports Column Writing at the Society of Professional Journalists' Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards. In his free time, he can be found watching ‘90s Knicks games and reading NFL Mock Drafts at 3 a.m.