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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Ms. Wildcat

    UA guard Tasha Dickey (13) drives around Oregon guard Taylor Lilley in a 59-53 loss to the Ducks on Jan. 5 in McKale Center. The daughter of two former Arizona athletes, Dickey claims she was destined to be a Wildcat.
    UA guard Tasha Dickey (13) drives around Oregon guard Taylor Lilley in a 59-53 loss to the Ducks on Jan. 5 in McKale Center. The daughter of two former Arizona athletes, Dickey claims she was destined to be a Wildcat.

    You could call it destiny.

    From early in Arizona women’s basketball player Tasha Dickey’s life, it seemed apparent the daughter of former Wildcat athletes, Charlie and Lisa Dickey, would follow in their footsteps.

    Charlie was a player and later a coach for the Arizona football team while Lisa – formerly Lisa Bradshaw – adorned cardinal and navy on the hard court.

    Tasha’s love affair with the UA began when she first stepped onto the McKale Center court as a young girl at camps run by head coach Joan Bonvicini. Dickey, whose family moved to Tucson when she was three, immediately formed an attraction to Bonvicini and the Wildcats.

    “”(Tasha) kind of grew up at that camp,”” Lisa Dickey said. “”(Tasha and her sisters) would all go to camp and they knew all the

    “”She felt very comfortable there and from very early on, Joan was the coach (Tasha) wanted to play for.””

    Also contributing to Dickey’s growing admiration for the university was her father’s position as offensive line coach for the Wildcat football team from 1992-2003.

    After the camps, Dickey and her family would visit her dad in his office before heading to the stands to watch the Wildcats play.

    After 12 years in Tucson, Dickey’s family moved to Washington, where Charlie took a job as the offensive line coach for the Huskies.

    This, Dickey said, was when she first decided she truly wanted to become a Wildcat.

    “”At first I thought, ‘I like Washington (and) I want to stay here,'”” she said. “”But I was in a new atmosphere and later I really realized how much I loved living in Arizona.””

    After only one year in Washington, the Dickey family moved again, this time to Utah as Charlie took yet another position as offensive line coach for the Utes.

    In 2007, Tasha posted an impressive senior season and was named the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year as well as being named the 2007 Utah Ms. Basketball.

    Dickey’s efforts did not go unnoticed by Bonvicini.

    It was not long before she was on the phone with Dickey, offering her a scholarship to play basketball for the Wildcats.

    “”We knew about Tasha for a long time,”” Bonvicini said. “”Tasha is a passionate player and a smart player; and her accomplishments in high school really stood out to us.””

    Much to the enjoyment her parents, Tasha committed to Arizona. Lisa said Tasha’s commitment was “”a dream come true.””

    “”We were fired up,”” Lisa said of hearing about her daughter’s commitment. “”You always want your kids to go where you went; I think that’s every parents dream.””

    Tasha’s decision has also given her parents an excuse to return to their alma mater, although they have since struggled to find time.

    “”We try to make it down when we can,”” Charlie Dickey said. “”Unfortunately it hasn’t been as much as (Lisa or I) would like with my job and Lisa watching the kids back (in Utah).

    “”But when we’re here, it’s great. It brings back a lot of old memories.””

    Although missing her parents’ presence, Dickey still manages to show confidence both on and off the court, likely stemming from her familiar past with Arizona. This confidence has made an impression her teammates, especially guard Ashley Whisonant, who said she admires Dickey’s passion on the court.

    “”Most freshmen come in kind of timid and nervous,”” Whisonant said. “”Tasha is nowhere near being timid or nervous. She just jumped right in and got into the swing of things.””

    Dickey did not have much choice but to jump right in as injuries and other factors led to an early starting role for the freshman. She is one of only three players to have recorded minutes in every game this season while starting 16 of the 22.

    So far this season, Dickey is averaging seven points per game along with 2.1 rebounds. Bonvicini said Dickey is far from reaching her full potential, however.

    “”There’s an adjustment when you come to college,”” Bonvicini said. “”That’s why I think at times she’s had good games and other times she’s played like a freshman.

    “”But as she continues to grow and improve her skills, she’s going to be a great player here at the University of Arizona.””

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