Sudartha Ellen Vann, who started the girls basketball team at Oak Ridge High School and coached the first sanctioned game in 1973, died Friday, February 16. She was 81.
Born in Radford, Virginia, on December 5, 1936, Vann graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1955. After graduation, she worked for the Oak Ridge Recreation Department as a playground director for two years at Woodland Elementary School.
Later, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee in 1964 and a master’s degree in 1970. She taught health and physical education at Oak Ridge High School for 30 years, according to her obituary.
Vann was a good athlete, and she loved basketball, her obituary said. She participated in the 1954 and 1955 Southern Appalachian Basketball Tournament at Chilhowee Park. These teams were comprised of Oak Ridge Church League players and coached by Margaret Gotshall. Vann earned numerous relay medals swimming at the Oak Ridge Municipal Pool at the ACAC swim meets, where large crowds would gather to watch swimmers compete from several southern states, and she played softball for more than 10 years for the Kerns Methodist team. [Read more…]