April 28, 2011
Jennifer Bruce Scott is the second leading scorer in Pitt basketball history - men's or women's. The 1985 Kodak All-American, who played for the Lady Panthers from 1981-85, scored 2,295 points over her stellar career.
Today, she is still ranked in the Pitt women's basketball record book in a number of categories including: field goals made (1st), rebounds (5th), blocked shots (3rd), and steals (7th). Bruce Scott , who graduated in 1986 from Pitt with a degree in nursing, has worked in the health care field in Western Pennsylvania since 1989. She has a daughter, Shayla (21) and a son, Tyler (17). Bruce Scott will serve as a dinnner co-chair for the Century of Change celebration on May 10.
I compare my experience to (my daughter) Shayla. She played for a major University, also going to Pitt. As I see her and her teammates, it does remind me when I played. Times have changed quite a bit even from my days, things like the three-point line and more points being scored. Nowadays, players can continue their playing careers overseas or in the WNBA - we didn't have that (opportunity).
Q: More than 25 years later, you are still ranked as the No. 2 leading scorer at Pitt. What does that mean to you?
A: I don't like to talk about it because at times I feel as if I am defending it. Lorri Johnson, who played for my brother (former head coach Kirk Bruce) is No. 1 and both the point totals we put up still stand (today). That is amazing that two females each topped 2,000 points.
Q: Your daughter Shayla just completed her four-year career at Pitt - how bittersweet was it to watch your child play at your alma mater?
A: We talked about this when she was making her decision (where to play collegiately). It was her decision and she was a homebody and wanted to stick around for her family to watch her play. It was an honor to know she was playing for the same University (I did). From a team standpoint, her teams were much more successful than mine. That's an accomplishment within itself and if I would have taken back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances over my personal accomplishments at any time. I think people didn't necessarily realize how amazing it was that she followed me to Pitt - there are not a lot, just a handful of mother-daughter tandems. It is amazing to share experiences with her. And we did have lot of similarities as student-athletes. The camaraderie at a University among its athletes is always the same and I saw that Shayla had much the same experiences,; friendships with others athletes as I did.
Q: How important is it for individuals to turn out for the Century of Change event at Pitt on May 10?
This is the third of a series of interviews with former Pitt African-American student-athletes, leading up to the event "Athletics at Pitt: The Forefront of a Century of Change" on May 10.
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