Honoring Black History: WVU hoops greats Cathy Parson, Levi Phillips

Sports

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s men’s and women’s basketball programs have a slew of household names throughout their storied histories.

Today, we take a look at a pair of key players in Mountaineer hoops history from the 1970s and 80s.

Levi Phillips (right) makes a move during a game against visiting Colgate in Morgantown. (Photo via WVU Athletics Communication department)

WVU basketball entered a new era in the 1970s with the opening of the WVU Coliseum.

The Mountaineers are 400 games over .500 inside their current home, and got off to a good start on December 1, 1970.

West Virginia picked up a 21-point victory, led by Wil Robinson’s 39 points. But it was Charleston, West Virginia-native, Levi Phillips, who scored the first points in the history of the Coliseum.

Phillips scored 10 points in the debut of the Mountaineers’ new home, and over 650 more throughout his Mountaineer career. None were bigger, though, than his first points during that December home opener.

Cathy Parson goes in for a layup. (Photo via WVU Athletics)

Phillips was honored at the Coliseum earlier this month.

Ten years after Phillips opened up the WVU Coliseum, Hagerstown, Maryland-native, Cathy Parson made her debut with the WVU women’s basketball program.

Parson averaged more than 17 points per game over her career, finishing with 2,113 points — the most in program history, and the third most in Mountaineer basketball history overall, trailing just Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley.

Parson set numerous program and school records during her four years in Morgantown. She was an All-American, the first women’s hoops player to have her jersey retired by the university, and the first woman to be inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.

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