Top 50 Hokies Spotlight: Renee Dennis
Every time someone walks into Cassell Coliseum, they are greeted with retired jerseys and memories of Allan Bristow, Bimbo Coles, Dell Curry and Ace Custis. There’s another banner that may not resonate with many Hokies but celebrates one of the best athletes in Virginia Tech history, Renee Dennis.
Renee Dennis was born on October 17, 1965, in Bridgeport, CT, and grew up playing multiple sports, specifically softball, volleyball and basketball. Her basketball prowess earned her a full five-year scholarship to Virginia Tech, where she majored in Physical Education and Science. During her five years in Blacksburg, she inserted herself into the record books for Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball, setting records for the Most Career Points (1,791), Field Goals Attempted (1,461) and Free Throws Attempted (637). She is second in the record books for Free Throws Made (431), Scoring Average (15.6 PPG) and Field Goals Made (680). Two of her notable accomplishments on the court include leading the Metro Conference in scoring during her senior year, averaging 21.4 PPG, as well as being a letter winner from 1984-1987.
She went on to play professional basketball in Australia and France before becoming a teacher in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Florida. Shortly after moving to Florida, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and passed away in 2015.
In 1997, she had her jersey retired by the university, becoming the first female athlete at Tech to receive this honor, as well as becoming the first black female athlete to be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
1980s: @HokiesTFXC's 🏃♀️Lucy Hawk Banks is 1st female All-American, @HokiesVB's Ginny Lessman 🏐 became the 1st Academic All-American & @HokiesWBB's Renee Dennis is 1st female to have her jersey retired. #Hokies celebrating women who helped pave the way. #NGWSD #LeadHerForward pic.twitter.com/6eZ8Ii1eDO— HokieSports (@hokiesports) February 6, 2019