Phoenix, Ariz. - Highlights from the press conference announcing the AstraZeneca "Hoops for the Cure Classic" on July 17, 2000 at Leinenkugel's Ballyard Brewery in downtown Phoenix. The event, billed as the first ever outdoor women's basketball game, will pit the Arizona State Sun Devils against the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Bank One Ballpark on Dec. 27, 2000. The main goals of this potentially historic event are to raise money for breast cancer research and to break the single-game attendance record for a women's college basketball game, which currently stands at 24,597.
ASU Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne: "I have not met a person yet that has not said `wow, what a cool idea - I want to go.' There is no downside to this event. Everybody that I have talked to is excited about it, and I've talked to a lot of people. There's no reason we can't break this attendance record."
"This game started as a promotional vehicle for our program, and it grew into something much bigger. One of the greatest aspects of the game is to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment."
"I think we've been working hard on getting some of the major components together. In terms of really selling the game, that's really going to happen from now until the event. We want to get everybody involved with this. It's truly a goal of ours to get every girls' basketball player in the state at this game. We have a lot of community organization to do - a lot of work - but I think it can be done."
"Obviously if it's raining we'll close the roof, and certainly look at the temperature a little bit. In my mind it has to be raining or snowing - something really extreme - or else we're playing with the roof open."
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Pat [Summitt] to want to play this game, because she doesn't have to do it. It's a very unique event, it's a real unknown. So, give her a lot of credit. That's why she's at the top - she looks for good opportunities for her program, and this is one of them."
Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt: We hope to have a bunch of fans from the [Phoenix] area turn out for the game. We've already contacted them. Whenever we travel we always seem to have some orange in the stands. But we know we'll be ounumbered."
ASU senior guard Natalie Tucker: "This will be very exciting. This will probably be the biggest basketball game I've ever played in in my life. I'm hoping to make the best of it."
"The publicity this game brings to our program will help our fan base all year. It should also help in our recruiting, just getting [ASU's] name out to the best players in the country."
Tennessee senior forward Tamika Catchings: "I think this game is obviously going to be very important for women's basketball. This game will definately have the highest attendance [ever]. It definitely proves that women's basketball has grown. It should be a great game and a great atmosphere, too."
"It's a cool idea [to play outdoors]. I think it will feel really different. It's going to be kinda crazy seeing the court in the middle of a baseball field, but I'm really excited. Hopefully we will get some shooting practice beforehand."
AstraZeneca Oncology Program Manager Janet Caldwell:
"We are very thrilled to be a part of this, mostly because it's a perfect component to our disease awareness program. This is the first time a women's college athletic event has been dedicated to breast cancer research. We could not pass up the opportunity to get involved. And then, of course, with it being Tennessee and Arizona State, you just can't miss."