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What is the link between the best shooters in UW women's basketball history?

The answer is not technique or physical attributes. They came from different eras and have a variety of heights and body types.

No, the answer is....they are 'nearly' all from small towns.

Of the top-five 3-point shooters in UW's career category, four of the five are from towns of less than 5,000 people. 

At No. 1 is fabled shooter, Jolene Anderson who was from tiny Port Wing, Wis. (pop. 250); No. 2 is Katie Voigt of metropolitan Woodruff, Wis. (pop. now 4,918); at No. 4 is Stephanie Rich, who grew up on a farm outside Crawfordsville, Iowa (pop. 327 at its peak in 1999); and fifth is Dolly Rademaker of Thorp, Wis. (pop. 1,753).

The exception coming in at No. 3 is Kyle Black (Rechlicz), who was a gym rat from Indianapolis and now is head women's basketball coach at Milwaukee.

This common link made these players excel for a very good reason. In a small town, you invent your own fun and to these athletes, the most fun was shooting hoops.

I know this because I am from a small town, and that was a passion of mine, too, until the ankles gave out and I turned to golf instead. In a small town, there is a hoop in nearly every driveway (or on the barn for Stephanie), and a game of H.O.R.S.E. is easily generated.

I bring this to your attention because Rademaker is going to be honored next week for that shooting prowess among other talents. She will be inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 13 in Madison. The four-year letterwinner from 1990-94 played in 111 games as a Badger, averaging 7.4 points per game. She is the first UW player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since girls' were included in 2010.

Dolly was an all-state guard and Miss Wisconsin Basketball award winner that drew the attention of a lot of college recruiters. But she wanted to play for her home state school and found a place in the varsity lineup almost from the beginning.

As a senior in high school, she averaged 28.7 points per game. With the tougher defenses in college, that figure dropped considerably, but not the accuracy. Dolly still owns the school record for best 3-point shooting percentage in a season hitting 43.8 percent of her shots (63-144) in 1993-94. She also has the fourth-best 3-point percentage in a season at 40.5 in 1990-91.

More than the stats, Dolly also made her mark in the classroom where she earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three years. She graduated with a degree in physical therapy and works as a therapist in Menomonie, Wis., where I am sure she is teaching that deadly stop-and-pop shot to her three children - Brock, Shelby and Brody.

Congratulations to Dolly Rademaker Thornton on this wonderful honor. It shows that being from a small town doesn't prevent one from dreaming big and accomplishing those goals and even making it to a Hall of Fame!

NOTE: Dolly Rademaker is just the ninth girl player and the first UW-Madison player in the WBCA Hall of Fame. Click here for full listing.

 Most UW Career 3-Point Goals

 1. Jolene Anderson        248         2004-08

 2. Katie Voigt                234         1993-98

 3. Kyle Black                191         1998-02

 4. Stephanie Rich          182         2002-05

  5. Dolly Rademaker       173         1990-94


Author Tamara Flarup was the long-time Director of Women's Sports Information at Wisconsin from 1977-2001, and today continues to work in the athletics program as the Director of Website Services and home blogger for women's basketball. She was the sports information contact during Dolly's reign.

Thansgiving, Badger style

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For much of the country, Thanksgiving means spending time with family, watching NFL games on TV and eating copious amounts of food. For a number of Wisconsin student-athletes, coaches and staff members, Thanksgiving bore a striking resemblance to "Thursday" on their daily schedules.

That's not to say they didn't celebrate the holiday, just that it may have been in a slightly different fashion than most people are used to.

For the second year in a row, the Badger football team is hosting a football game on Thanksgiving weekend with enormous ramifications on the Big Ten race. Last year, UW pounded Northwestern on its way to earning a share of the Big Ten title. This Saturday, Wisconsin and Penn State meet to determine the Leaders Division representative in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship game.

Because of that, the Badgers had a regular practice on Thursday, although a little earlier in the day. The early start time allowed those players who live locally (more than 50 players on the roster from Wisconsin) to get home for a quick Thanksgiving meal. For those not so fortunate or those choosing to spend it with their other "family," the team dined at Samba, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse in downtown Madison. Hopefully they ordered some extra beef for the evening.

MBB_1.JPGAs you can see from the photos, the men's basketball team also ate as a team today. The Badgers are in Hoffman Estates, Ill., getting ready to play Bradley on Friday in the Chicago Invitational Challenge. After practicing at the Sears Centre, UW headed back to the team hotel for a little turkey and stuffing. It may not be as exotic as the Thanksgiving meal we had in South Padre Island in 2006 but I'm sure there was plenty of good food for the guys tonight.

The women's basketball team is also on the road, albeit a little further from Madison than Chicago. After playing at BYU on Wednesday, the Badgers are in Boulder, Colo., as they prepare to take on Montana State on Friday in the Colorado Omni Classic. They also practiced earlier in the day and had a team "feast" at the hotel. As you can see from the photo below, it looks like a good time was had by all. In addition to the video above, check out some other WBB players talking about what they're thankful for.

WBB.JPGBoth UW hockey teams are at home this weekend, as is the volleyball team. Like the football team, the men's hockey team let players who live close enough go home for a quick meal after practice. Some guys tagged along to eat with their buddies while the rest of the squad ate as a team at the Coliseum.

With six UW teams in action this weekend, their Thanksgiving traditions may have been put on hold. However, Badger fans everywhere are hoping to be thankful for some victories once the weekend comes to a close.

Big Ten Media Day in Tweets

The 2011-12 basketball season is only a couple weeks away, but things got underway on Thursday afternoon with the annual Big Ten Media Day in Chicago.

The official Twitter accounts of @BadgerMBB and @BadgerWBBall provided coverage throughout the day, but in case you missed it, we've compiled a recap of the day's events

Gilreath runs away with fan vote


After a week of voting, Badgers fans have spoken with their pick for the top play of the 2010-11 season. In reality, the contest was probably over before it started.

The play that got the football Badgers' thrilling 31-18 win over No. 1-ranked Ohio State "underway with ... a ... bang" ran away with nearly half the votes.

David Gilreath's 97-yard return for touchdown on the game's opening kickoff claimed 48.7 percent of the vote to take the title in the UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year poll.

Runner-up honors -- with 27.2 percent of the fan vote -- went to women's hockey's Kelly Nash, who tallied the game-winner in overtime to secure the WCHA Final Face-off crown over Minnesota.

Josh Gasser's buzzer-beating 3-pointer garnered 9.5 percent of the vote to finish third, and Landon Peacock's last-gasp pass for the Big Ten cross country title was fourth with 5.3 percent. Justin Schultz's overtime game-winner for the Badger men rounded out the top five with 4.3 percent.

Here's a look at the complete poll results:
48.7%  David Gilreath - Football - Opening kickoff return for TD vs. Ohio State (Oct. 16)
27.2%  Kelly Nash - Women's Hockey- OT game-winner in WCHA Final Face-Off (March 5)
9.5%   Josh Gasser - Men's Basketball - Buzzer-beating 3-pointer at Michigan (Feb. 23)
5.3%   Landon Peacock - Men's Cross Country - Late pass to win Big Ten title (Oct. 31)
4.3%   Justin Schultz - Men's Hockey - OT game-winning goal vs. Canisius (Jan. 8)
3.5%   Brad Nortman - Football - Fake punt to keep drive alive vs. Iowa (Oct. 23)
1.4%   Lin Zastrow - Women's Basketball - Game-tying tip-in at buzzer vs. Wyoming (Dec. 15)

And, in case you want to see it again, the top play in UW sports for 2010-11:

Play of the Year Nominee: Lin Zastrow

Vote: UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year

Our look back on the top plays of 2010-11 continues Saturday as we look back on the play that kept the Badgers alive for an overtime period that allowed them to finish the non-conference slate with a big road win.

Is it your choice for the best of 2010-11? Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner Wednesday, June 29.

Lin Zastrow - Women's Basketball
Game-tying tip-in at buzzer vs. Wyoming (Dec. 15)

The Badgers grabbed a key road win at Wyoming in their non-conference finale, but the 63-59 victory wouldn't have been if not for a clutch play from their senior leader. The Badgers had their chance for the final shot of regulation, but Alyssa Karel's jumper with 12 seconds remaining rimmed out. Fellow senior Lin Zastrow played hero, however, tipping in the rebound to push the contest to overtime.

The Voice: Storylines abound as march to March begins

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgWe begin today's blog with a tip of the cap to the Wisconsin women's basketball team, which begins the week tied for first place in the Big Ten. Among the highlights so far this season is coming back from a 16-point deficit to win at Minnesota.

It is a big week of hoops at the Kohl Center. On Thursday night, the women host third-place Michigan State. Beyond the obvious importance of the game in the league race, head coach Lisa Stone is on the brink of 500 career wins. She picked up number 499 on Sunday when the Badgers beat Northwestern in Evanston.

If you have not seen the women's team in action, Thursday would be a good time to start. Tip time is 7 p.m. at the Kohl Center.

If you are a student, why wouldn't you go? It is "UW Student Night," when simply showing a valid student ID gets you in for free. Plus, you will get a voucher for a free hot dog and a soda, while supplies last.

Free is good. It is one of my favorite words. Hopefully many will take advantage of the opportunity.

Archived Blog: Women's Basketball vs. BYU

Allison Metcalf Chronicled all the action from the Wisconsin women's basketball team's game against BYU on Nov. 26, 2010. 

Blog: Badgers travel on Thanksgiving

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While most people are spending time with their friends and family on Thanksgiving, the Wisconsin women's basketball team is preparing for two games this weekend.

As the team was en route to the West Coast for the Concord Hilton Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga, Calif., UWBadgers.com caught up with some of the players and coaches to find out what they are thankful for.

Updates from Big Ten Basketball Media Day

Big Ten Basketball Media Day is well underway here at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont, Ill. Men's head coach Bo Ryan is in the middle of cycling through interviews with Sirius/XM Satellite Radio and ESPN, while women's head coach Lisa Stone is awaiting the start of her press conference.

Here are few Tweets from @BadgerMBBall at Media Day:

Bo Ryan: "Jared Berggren could be the sleeper sophomore that people don't know about, but will."

Ryan: "The best thing u can say about a PG is that Jordan Taylor raises the level of his teammates. He'll be governor in 10 yrs."

Beilien to Ryan: "How's Krabbenhoft looking this year? He was around so long I'm expecting to see him again this year when we play you."

Ryan to ESPN: "Keaton is delightful. He goes to his own drummer, but he's got a strong beat going right now. This could be his year."

E'twaun Moore told Jordan he could avg 20 pts this year and Jordan said, "Nah, I'll avg 3-4 pts. I'm just going to pass the ball to Leuer."

Taylor: "Being from MN, I hated the Badgers til I was about 15. Then I got my first letter from them and I flipped sides. Then I loved em."

MSU's Draymond Green: "Working out in the off-season, I was thinking about getting quicker cuz of what Jon Leuer did vs. me."

Read what Bo Ryan had to say at this year's Big Ten media day press conference:

Tom Crean on Leuer: "I put him in a Kyle Singler class - and Jon might be bigger. He's going to have a long career after he's gone from UW."

Ann Arbor News did an unofficial poll of Big Ten media. Guess who has two of the most underrated players in the league? http://ow.ly/31uXg

Coach Stone at Badger Days 2010

Coach Lisa Stone traveled with her fellow coaches and staff to the Badger Days event in Milwaukee on June 8. Coach Stone took a couple minutes from her busy schedule to write a Blog on her experience, including a 3-2 win by the Brewers over the Cubs.