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Both sides of a rivalry: Catching up with former Lady Vol Teresa Geter

Geter is one of the few players in SEC history to be a part of both the Lady Vol and Gamecock programs.
Credit: ESPN
Former Lady Vol Teresa Geter celebrates after scoring during the 1998 National Championship game against Louisiana Tech.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The 1997-98 Lady Vols team is one of the most talented in history, with players like Chamique Holdsclaw, Semeka Randall, Tamika Catchings and Kellie Jolly (now Harper) leading Tennessee to the Final Four. It all finished with a third straight national championship and an undefeated season, but a little known freshman from Columbia, South Carolina played a pivotal role.

"If you ever met Pat Summitt, then you know, there was no other place that you wanted to be," Teresa Geter said from her home.

In her first year, Geter stepped right into the fray with those Lady Vol legends.

"To say the least, it was out of this world."

On the way to a title, Geter averaged 6.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, participating in all 39 wins and starting nine times.

Harper, now the current head coach, was racking up assists on a few of those buckets.

"I wasn't surprised when that happened because even at that level, you know, at that time, Kellie was a coach. She chastised, she motivated, she encouraged, she did the things that Pat did for us and what any player would want from a great coach," Geter said.

In August of 1999, Geter decided it was time to leave Rocky Top. A self-described homebody, Geter said she wanted to be closer to her family, especially after her mother was diagnosed with diabetes. 

"That was probably one of the hardest decisions that I made ever in life, because I love my home in Tennessee," Geter said.

Geter transferred to SEC rival South Carolina back in her hometown of Columbia. In two seasons with the Gamecocks, Geter averaged 10.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game, helping to guide South Carolina to its first Elite Eight in program history.

There was even a return trip to Knoxville, the place she called home for two seasons.

"It's probably a lot of pressure on her to come back in here, I'm sure she wanted to play well here. I thought she got some good looks and maybe our defensive intensity, she might have rushed a few looks," Summitt said in the press conference after the game. 

"They wanted to see me succeed, that was never an issue, never a problem with this, and they knew that I would have been happier at home, so they were happy for me," Geter said of her former coaches and teammates.

Now, when her two teams meet, whether in the regular season or the postseason, one question always comes up.

"Who do you want to win? Who do you want to win? And, you know, I'm happy with either school that pulls it off, because I can say that I played for both."

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