It’s always a great feeling when a plan works to perfection. Justin Underwood must be feeling pretty good right now.
Underwood, the coach of Bearden’s girl’s basketball team had it in his head to retire Holly Warlick’s No. 22 basketball jersey and surprise her while doing it. Under the pretense of taking part of senior night, Holly arrived at the Bearden High football stadium.
“She didn’t have a clue,” Underwood said.
“I was like, What the heck?” she said.
The presentation took place before Bearden played Catholic on Friday, October 26.
Warlick was surrounded by high school friends and teammates and family. Her high school coach, Buddy Fisher, was also among the group celebrating her honor. The Lady Vols assistant coaches and players were also on hand. Her mother, Fran, showed up wearing a No. 22 jersey, as did the Lady Vols basketball team.
“Really cool,” Warlick said. “It was very nice of them to do that. I’m very appreciative.”
Warlick was an all-state track and field performer at Bearden. As a three-time UT basketball All-American and Olympian, she was the first player in Tennessee athletics history to have her jersey retired.
Underwood, a former Lady Vols male practice player, wanted to repeat the honor. His biggest roadblock was Warlick, who kept telling him, “You don’t need to do that.”
“It was a cool opportunity to show what she means to the Bearden community,” he said.
By Nancy Morris | (photo:govolsxtra.com)