Mary Ostrowski dies; former star with University of Tennessee basketball team

July 20, 2013

Mary Ostrowski, a former star basketball player at the University of Tennessee, died July 19 in Bristol, Va. She was 51.

Her sister, Beth Hundman, said Ms. Ostrowski had complications from multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

At Tennessee, Ms. Ostrowski helped the Lady Vols advance to NCAA Final Four in 1981, 1982 and 1984. She was an SEC All-Tournament Team member and an All-SEC selection in 1982 and 1984.

Ms. Ostrowski, a 6-foot-2 forward, ranks fifth in rebounds and 10th in points at Tennessee. She was inducted into the Lady Vols Hall of Fame in 2006.

She also was a member of the United States team from 1981 to 1983. She earned a gold medal at the 1983 World University Games.


Mary Ostrowski shoots in a college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/University of Tennessee)

As a standout at Parkersburg Catholic High School in West Virginia, Ms. Ostrowski was the first female winner and a three-time recipient of the Russell A. Thom Award, which is given to West Virginia’s top basketball player.

She had been staying at her sister’s home in Bristol, where she received hospice care, Hundman said.

Hundman described her sister as compassionate, humble person who didn’t call attention to her basketball success.

“One of the things people keep saying is what a kind and gentle soul she was,” Hundman said. “That is so true.”

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