Athletics News

Ten Tigers to Graduate Sunday

Aroha Jennings is one of three women's basketball players graduating Sunday. Former stars Connie Hibler (1984-88) and LaTonya Johnson (1994-1998) will also complete their college degrees Sunday.
Aroha Jennings is one of three women's basketball players graduating Sunday. Former stars Connie Hibler (1984-88) and LaTonya Johnson (1994-1998) will also complete their college degrees Sunday.

Aug. 15, 2008

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis will gain 10 more alumni and alumnae from the athletic department at Sunday's commencement ceremonies. Women's basketball will add three alumnae while football, men's basketball and men's soccer all have two graduates completing their Tiger academic careers. Volleyball rounds out the group with one graduate.

The ceremonies will be held at 3 p.m. at FedExForum. Congratulations to the graduates listed below:

Chris Garner, Men's Basketball: A four-year letterwinner from 1994-97, Garner completed his career as the school's all-time steals leader with 321 swipes - a record that stands to this day. Entering the 2007-08 campaign, Garner's 321 steals ranked 20th for a career in NCAA Division I history. The 5-foot-10 Garner, regarded during career as one of nation's quickest guards, also finished his career with 843 points and 639 assists. The 639 dimes are the second-most in Tiger basketball history. Garner led the Tigers all four seasons in assists and steals and is the only player in Memphis history to record 600 assists and 300 steals in a career. A 1994 Great Midwest Conference All-Newcomer Team pick, Garner was also named to the league's All-Tournament Team that same season. In his four years wearing the Blue and Gray, Garner helped lead the Tigers to a combined record of 75-49, three conference regular season crowns (one GMC, two C-USA) and three postseason tournament appearance (1995, 1996 NCAA; 1997 NIT), including a trip to the 1995 NCAA Sweet 16. After his college days, Garner signed as a free agent with the NBA's Toronto Raptors, and also had a stint with the Golden State Warriors. Garner earned his bachelor's degree in University College. Memphis, Tenn./Treadwell HS.

Gresh Gorman, Volleyball: Gresh Gorman spent the 2007-08 season with the Tiger volleyball team after spending the 2004-07 seasons as a member of the women's basketball program...Gorman appeared in seven games with the volleyball team, adding 10 digs while playing in the back row...With the women's basketball team, Gorman appeared in 54 career games, including 25 career starts in her sophomore campaign...She averaged 3.1 points and 1.7 rebounds for her basketball career, adding 36 steals and 53 assists...She is receiving a degree in sport and leisure commerce and hopes to go in to coaching...Southaven, Miss./SBEC.

Connie Hibbler, Women's Basketball: Connie Hibbler suited up for the women's basketball team from 1984-88, helping then-Memphis State to two NCAA tournament appearances and a 74-43 record...She still ranks 10th all-time in scoring with 1,529 career points...She played in 113 games, starting 95, and was a 47.2 percent shooter from the floor...She also ranks seventh in Memphis women's basketball career history with 349 assists and 95 starts...In 1987-88, as a senior, Hibbler played 990 minutes, still the sixth-best mark in school history...For her career, she played 3,421 minutes, second-best in Tiger history...Her 14 free-throws made against Florida State also still stands in the record book as the third-best single game performance...Memphis, Tenn./Memphis Tech HS.

Aroha Jennings, Women's Basketball: Jennings capped a two-year women's basketball career after transferring from Dodge City CC...She averaged 10.0 points and 4.9 rebounds over her career, which saw her play in all 61 games, earning 42 career starts...She also knocked down 42 career three-point field goals and was an 84.1 percent free-throw shooter...A native of New Zealand, Jennings spent the summer of 2007 playing in international tournaments with her country's senior Olympic team...She is receiving her degree in sport and leisure commerce....Rotorua, New Zealand/Dodge City CC.

LaTonya Johnson, Women's Basketball: The women's basketball team's first-ever WNBA draftee, Johnson still ranks third in the record book with 2,232 points....She also ranks among the school's career leaders in free-throws made (359), free-throws attempted (483), three-point field goals made (207) and rebounds (686)...She remains one of just two women's basketball players in school history to take a team to the NCAA tournament all four years of her career...A three-time All-Conference USA honoree and a Great Midwest Conference honoree as a freshman, Johnson was drafted by the Utah Starzz in the third round of the WNBA draft in 1998...She played for seven seasons in the WNBA and overseas before spending 2007-08 as a member of the women's basketball support staff, helping in the development of the team's Most Improved Player Award, Savannah Ellis...Winchester, Tenn./Franklin County HS.

Adam Montgomery, Men's Soccer: A member of the Tiger soccer team from 2004-2007, Montgomery caps his Tiger career with four goals and five assists in 76 career matches played...The midfielder from Morristown, Tenn., was a Conference USA second team honoree last season and an all-freshman team honoree in 2004, when Memphis won a C-USA Championship...Montgomery also earned NSCAA/ADIDAS Scholar All-South honors in 2007...He was named to the Memphis Diadora All-Tournament team for back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006...Morristown, Tenn./Morristown HS.

Rod Smith, Football: Smith had his playing career cut short following a severe neck injury in the 2006 Arkansas State game, where he fractured his C5 vertebrae and required surgery...Was back on the sidelines just four days after surgery...Played in 28 career games, starting 13...Finished with 89 total tackles over three seasons, including 56 solos and 33 assisted tackles...Also added five passes defended and two interceptions...Had 3.5 career tackles for loss and one sack...Received the Top Tiger Award in 2007 and a True Tiger Award at the 2006 Blue/Gray Game...Also received the Chris Faros Most Improved Award in the spring of 2005...Graduating with a degree in sport and leisure management....Milan, Tenn./Milan HS.

Tyler Strom, Men's Soccer: A four-year letterwinner with the Tiger soccer team, Strom appeared in 44 career games...He posted a career goals against average of 1.17, the second-best career GAA for anyone who played in more than 1000 career minutes...He stopped 177 saves over four years...In 2007, Strom had a 0.91 GAA, the third-best single season mark in school history....In his senior season, he was also named to the Memphis Diadora All-Tournament team...As a sophomore, he recorded 15 saves against SMU, a feature that had not been accomplished by a Tiger player in 17 years...His .815 save percentage led C-USA in 2005 as a sophomore...Thornton, Colo./Horizon HS.

Andre Turner, Men's Basketball: One of the most recognized players to wear the Blue and Gray, "The Little General" directed Memphis during one of the program's best runs in school history. From 1983-86, Turner was a member of Tiger teams that posted a combined record of 108-25, made four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet 16s (1983, 1984, 1985) and one Final Four (1985). A two-time All-Metro Conference pick (first team in 1986, second team in 1985), Turner was named to the 1985 NCAA Tournament All-Midwest Region Team, as he hit two last-second, game-winning baskets in victories over UAB and Boston College en route to the Final Four. The 5-foot-10 guard finished his career with 1,442 points, 763 assists and 272 steals, and is the only player in Tiger history to score 1,000 points, dish out 700 assists and have 200 steals. His 763 assists are the most in Tiger history, and his 272 swipes are the third-most. Turner was a third-round draft pick by the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers in 1986. He also played with the NBA's Washington franchise before playing most of his professional career overseas. Turner earned his bachelor's degree in University College. Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell HS.

Ryan Williams, Football: Played in 10 of Memphis' games in 2007, finishing with four tackles...Played in 25 career games, starting two and finishing with 15 total tackles, including 10 solos...Added one blocked extra point attempt against UAB and one fumble recovery. Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS.

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