Now that the career of Stephanie Stevens has come to a close, it is time for the Bearcats women's basketball program to seriously consider retiring number 34. Prior to Stevens donning 3-4 for four seasons at UC, the number belonged to Valerie King, one of the most decorated Bearcats ever to play for the women's basketball program here at UC.
For women's basketball, there is only one number retired. That is #24 and belonged to Cheryl Cook, who was without question the greatest Bearcat to play in Clifton. Cook is the Bearcats all-time leading scorer, made more field goals in her career than any other player, is 7th all-time in rebounds with 688 and 5th all-time in assists with 360. There is no question #24 deserved to hang inside Fifth Third Arena. Now it is time for #34 to join #24.
Over the course of her career, Valerie King played as many games as any other Bearcats (126) and is 2nd all-time in minutes played (4,200). Besides Cook, she is the only other Bearcat to eclipse 2,000 career points, finishing with 2,156. All-time she is 4th in scoring average (17.1 PPG), 1st in 3-point field goals made (338), 1st in 3-point field goal percentage (.399), 3rd in free throws made (440) and 1st in free throw percentage (.866).
Additionally, Val was a 2002 honorable mention All-American, three-time All-Conference USA, a member of the 2001 Conference USA All-Freshman team, twice the C-USA Tournament MVP and a four-time member of the C-USA All-Tournament Team.
Currently, Val is an assistant coach at Morehead State, where she is on the staff of former Bearcats assistant, Mike Bradbury. Maybe the Bearcats can schedule the Eagles for next fall, welcome #34 back to Fifth Third Arena and give her the honor she very much deserves.