Teah Gant and Rae Lin D'Alie became the two most recent UW women's basketball players to receive their degrees when the University of Wisconsin held its spring commencement ceremonies over the weekend.
Earning a degree from the UW is impressive on its own. To do so in four years while not only competing, but starting, for the Badger women's basketball squad warrants extra attention.
Gant completed her degree in industrial engineering this spring and will continue on at UW in graduate school next year, working towards a Master's degree in engineering. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Gant was the model student-athlete and leaves Wisconsin women's basketball second all-time in career games played at 131. The career leader in games played? D'Alie.
Along with playing in a recording-breaking 132 career games, D'Alie completed her degree in sociology over the last four years. The Waterford, Wis., native earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for her commitment to her studies as a sophomore.
It is not uncommon for Division I student-athletes to require a fifth year to complete their college education. However, through the grueling practice schedules, miles logged on the road and demands of competition, Gant and D'Alie maintained the focus and balance necessary to finish school in four short years.
In addition to both being four-year letterwinners, Gant and D'Alie each served as a team captain for one season in their careers. Gant, an Oswego, Ill., native, wrapped up her career averaging 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a senior. Meanwhile, D'Alie averaged 8.8 points and 4.8 boards per game for the Badgers this year.
While the athletic accomplishments of the duo are many, including advancing the Badgers to the NCAA national tournament for the first time in seven years in 2010, their academic feats are ultimately what matter most. When their days of competition in cardinal and white have long passed, Gant and D'Alie can smile at their diplomas and know they are Badgers for life.