DOVER, Del. – The University of Delaware women’s basketball team capped off an unforgettable run as the Delaware General Assembly at Legislative Hall recognized the Blue Hens on Thursday for their success and achievements this season.
The Blue Hens sat in at the House of Representatives and State Senate, where members of the 146th General Assembly addressed and thanked the team for their successful and inspirational season.
After Delaware head coach Tina Martin introduced each player at the front of the room, Speaker of the House Representative Robert F. Gilligan presented the team with House Concurrent Resolution No. 41, commending and acknowledging the team for their dedication and leadership.
Gilligan added personal regards, telling the team, “You are a role model to young people throughout the State of Delaware so thank you very, very much.”
Governor Jack Markell then honored the team in his office. Markell presented Martin with a tribute for being named the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year and leading the Blue Hens to an unprecedented season. He also presented the entire team with a tribute for a record-breaking season that brought “pride to Delaware.”
“The entire state is just so proud of this team, and I as the Governor am so proud of this team,” said Markell, who was in attendance for several of the Blue Hens’ home games this season. “They did an amazing job on and off the court, and I could not be more proud. I have heard from people all over the country about what an incredible performance this team, as a team, put together. I grew up in Delaware and this is really the first time that women’s basketball has gotten this kind of publicity, buzz, and enthusiasm and it was phenomenal.”
Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden honored the team in the nation’s capital. The Blue Hens were given a personal tour of the White House and honored with a poolside dinner at Biden’s Naval Observatory residence. The tour included trips through the Rose Garden, Oval Office, West Wing, and the White House Basketball Court.
“It was just a wonderful week for our young ladies and coaching staff,” said Martin, the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year. “To tour the White House, have dinner poolside with Vice President Joe Biden, and two days later come to the state capital and be recognized by the Senate, House of Representatives, and the Governor is something we could only dream of. This week has been truly amazing and a humbling experience. We are truly thankful, grateful, and appreciative of the all the attention we’ve received and these ladies will remember it always.”
Delaware’s record-breaking season included its first NCAA Tournament victory, an undefeated conference run, and a first-ever Colonial Athletic Association title.
This memorable season began for the Hens after stunning then No. 11 Penn State in an 80-71 upset at the Bob Carpenter Center in just the second game of the season as Delaware defeated its highest ranked opponent in school history. Delaware’s success earned the team national recognition as the Blue Hens cracked the national polls for the first time.
The Hens, who finished out the regular season with a No. 7 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, also established a perfect 14-0 run on their home court and set school records for wins in a season (31) and consecutive wins (21).