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Hearn's return paying off for UWA

By Staff
DISHING OFF University of West Alabama's Thelma Hearn (12) says she is enjoying her return to the court at UWA. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 26, 2001
LIVINGSTON, Ala. It's not too often you hear of a female basketball player coming out of retirement, but that's the case with University of West Alabama senior Thelma Hearn.
Hearn, the Lady Tigers' starting point guard, has taken a twisting, but somewhat circular road through four stops only to wind up back where she started at West Alabama.
From there she signed with UWA. She played in 21 games and scored six points a game in limited duty.
The coach at the time at Calhoun is current West Alabama head coach Amanda Marks.
That was good enough to land a scholarship with the University of North Alabama Lady Lions.
As a junior, Hearn came off the bench to score 10.3 points per game while dishing out 117 assists. UNA went 22-6 and won the Eastern Division of the Gulf South Conference which earned the Lady Lions the right to host the GSC Tournament.
She still had her senior year left, but Hearn decided three years was enough.
That was until West Alabama decided to change coaches and hired Marks to become the new Lady Tiger boss.
It's been a good situation. The Lady Tigers are off to a 6-1 start following a thrilling 79-75 overtime win over Harding University last week.
Marks said a big reason why is because of Hearn.
Hearn tops the Lady Tigers in minutes played and was on the floor for all but three of the 45 minutes against Harding. She is second in the team in scoring at 10.8 points per game and once again leads the club in assists (31) and steals (21).
One of the better duties for her at West is grooming freshman guard Tausha Evans, the Lady Tigers' leading scorer from Philadelphia's Neshoba Central High School.
Next up for the Lady Tigers is a Friday date with Delta State University at the Mississippi University for Women Tournament in Columbus.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at