KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It was only an exhibition but it was an important one for Kellie Harper.
Harper, who was known as Kellie Jolly when she helped Tennessee win three national championships playing for Pat Summitt in the 90s, made her Lady Vols coaching debut on Tuesday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee took care of Carson-Newman 70-44 as Rennia Davis scored a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds. Rae Burrell added 14 points and nine rebounds.
For Harper, it was her first chance to get back in the venue that brought her so many memories from college days.
“It’s hard to put into words that I’m here,” Harper said. “I’m back at my alma mater, a place that I love, a place with such rich tradition and history. I don’t take that lightly. It’s just really cool. There’s no way to explain it. Walking out there, it was great to walk out there and see our fans, here at Rocky Top, to finally get to this point, to finally get to play a game. It was really special. I want it so bad for this program. I want it for these players because I know what it’s like when it’s amazing. I know what these players would feel like.”
Tennessee will travel to ETSU for the season opener on Nov. 5.