The University of Virginia is poised to hire Peninsula legend La’Keshia Frett Meredith as a women’s basketball assistant coach.
A 1993 Phoebus High graduate and the leading scorer in state history, Meredith has worked the past eight seasons at Georgia, where she was a two-time All-American and led the Lady Bulldogs to back-to-back Final Fours. Meredith served as an assistant coach at Georgia for six years, as director of basketball operations the past two.
Meredith’s hiring appears imminent since Virginia’s website lists her with a U.Va. email address. She would replace Ashley Earley, who left for an assistant's position at Vanderbilt, her alma mater.
Meredith – that’s her married name -- played nine professional seasons in the United States, two with the defunct American Basketball League and seven in the WNBA. She also played in Hungary, Israel, Korea and Spain.
At Virginia, Meredith joins head coach Joanne Boyle, who’s guided the Cavaliers to a 41-25 record but no NCAA tournaments in her first two seasons in Charlottesville. Then coached by Hall of Famer Debbie Ryan, Virginia was a recruiting finalist for Meredith during her peerless career at Phoebus.
A 6-foot-3 forward, Meredith averaged 27.8 points during four varsity seasons for the Phantoms, leading them to a 110-8 record and a state championship. Her 3,278 career points remain a Virginia High School League record and are eons more, 562 to be precise, than the runner-up.
Parade Magazine named Meredith its national player of the year in 1993, when she averaged 32.9 points and scored 1,018, a state record that also still stands.
Those are remarkable numbers for any player, especially one who didn’t begin playing basketball until the sixth grade, when her family moved to Hampton and she began competing against boys at Fort Monroe, where her father was stationed.
“Some people know they're good,” Meredith told me during her senior year. “They just know it. I don't really know. The only reason I might know is so many people keep telling me.”
That modesty was genuine, rooted in her dad’s military career and has followed her throughout her playing and coaching days.
Meredith’s hiring will heighten the recruiting intrigue in Hampton Roads. Old Dominion head coach Karen Barefoot is a Newport News native and former Christopher Newport All-American, while Virginia Tech just hired assistant Jermaine Woods, a former CNU star who coached the girls team at Norfolk’s Maury High the past three seasons.
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