Former SU Basketball Player Felisha Legette-Jack Honored at the Dome
By Tyler Melito
SYRACUSE, NY – To have your jersey retired, and to be forever immortalized, is one of the highest honors an athlete can receive, regardless of sports. Prior to the 2021-2022 school year, Syracuse University retired the jerseys of six different football players, and 15 different men’s basketball players while also forever retiring the No. 44 in football and immortalizing the 25 players to wear the number. But on Sunday, November 14, 2021, Syracuse Athletics made history. That being, retiring the first jersey worn by a woman in the school’s over 150 year history.
The woman to receive this honor is Felisha Legette-Jack, who at halftime of the Syracuse Women’s Basketball team’s game against Notre Dame, saw her No. 33 rise to the rafters to be forever remembered in SU athletic history. When speaking about the honor, Legette-Jack would say,
“This is so overwhelming. This is not what we do. It’s just work hard, work ethic. It’s earn[ing] your scholarship, earn[ing] your way to get an opportunity to get educated,” said Legett-Jack. “Had it not been for a basketball scholarship, I couldn’t go to college because we couldn’t afford it.”
Legette-Jack was a Syracuse kid, going to Nottingham High School prior to committing to SU to play basketball from 1984-1989. For the Orange, she would score over 1,500 points, grab over 900 rebounds(one of only three players in school history to accomplish that feat mind you), was a three-time All-Big East selection, leading the Orange to the 1985 Big East Title, and being named as one of 15 players to the Big East’s Silver Anniversary Team in 2004.
For the members of this current Syracuse Women’s Basketball team, being able to witness this historic moment was truly amazing, as Graduate Student Forward Alaysia Styles described.
“She is a woman and she is a black woman and we are all black women playing this sport that she is getting her jersey retired in,” Styles said. “So I think it is absolutely remarkable and I am grateful to be here and be a part of it for sure.”
Legette-James is the first of four former SU athletes who will have their jerseys retired during the 2021-2022 school year. She will be joined Anna Goodale, who played for the SU Women’s Rowing team from 2002-2005, Katie Rowan-Thomson, who currently is an assistant coach for the Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse team but played on the team from 2006-2009, and current Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Gary Gait who played for the Orange 1987-1990.