Richard Jefferson, Jennie Finch Arizona representatives on first Big 12 Alumni Council

Arizona greats Jennie Finch and Richard Jefferson are part of the first Big 12 Alumni Council (Arizona Photos)

LAS VEGAS — Arizona softball good Jennie Finch and basketball standout Richard Jefferson is part of the inaugural Big 12 Alumni Council, announced by the conference Wednesday morning here at Allegiant Stadium ahead of the second day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

Membership in the Big 12 Alumni Council includes:

Arizona Richard Jefferson
Arizona Jennie Finch
Arizona State Lawrence Guy
Arizona State Brian January
Baylor Whitney Canyon
Baylor Robert Griffin III
BYU Steve Young
BYU Ashley Hatch
UCF Thank you autumn
UCF Shaquem Griffin
Cincinnati Jordan Thompson
Cincinnati Kevin Youkilis
Colorado Joel Klatt
Colorado Shelley Sheetz
Houston Andre Ware
Houston Natara Holloway branch
state of Iowa Ashley Jones
state of Iowa George Niang
Kansas Wayne Simien
Kansas Lynette Woodard
Kansas State Family Wesemann Orpin
Kansas State Tyler Lockett
Oklahoma State Tiffany Bias Patmon
Oklahoma State Brandon Weeden
TCU Marshall Newhouse
TCU Zahna Medley Family
Texas Tech Cody Campbell
Texas Tech Carolyn Thompson
Utah Stevenson Sylvester
Utah Charmelle Green
West Virginia Georgeann Wells
West Virginia Mike Gansey

Jefferson and Finch are members of Arizona’s Hall of Fame and highly visible diplomats within the athletic program.

Jefferson played basketball at Arizona from 1998 to 2001, averaging 11.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He was part of the Wildcats’ run to the 2001 national championship game. He was inducted into the Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Honor in 2012. He won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and is now a sports analyst for ESPN.

He made a lasting impact on Arizona by pledging $3.5 million to a basketball and volleyball practice facility that now bears his name. The multi-million dollar gift is believed to be the largest donation made by a professional athlete to their alma mater.

Finch played softball for Mike Candrea and the Wildcats from 1999 to 2002. She led Arizona to the 2001 Women’s College World Series championship and was named an All-American. She also led the United States to a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and silver medal at the 2008 Olympics. She also played for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League from 2005 to 2010.

Time Magazine ranked her as the most famous softball player in history. In 2010, Finch retired from softball to focus on her family. In August 2011, she began working at ESPN as an analyst for National Pro Fastpitch and college softball games.

She runs her now Jennie Finch Softball Camp in different places.

“I’m proud to be on the first ever Big 12 Alumni Council,” former BYU QB and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Steve Young said in a press release. “This is an incredibly exciting time for the Big 12, and I look forward to being a resource for Commissioner Yormark and his team as the conference continues to thrive.”

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark: “The Big 12 Conference is home to thousands of student-athlete alumni who have enjoyed great success on and off the field following their time on campus. As we enter a new chapter as a 16-team league, the insights and perspectives of the Big 12 Alumni Council will be an incredible resource.”

The Big 12 Alumni Council consists of 32 former student-athletes from men’s and women’s programs across each Big 12 institution. The council was created to leverage the experience and expertise of some of the 12’s most notable student-athlete alumni as the conference enters a new era. These alumni will provide guidance and insight on a variety of topics, including branding, sports relations, storytelling, digital content and more.

Each council member, in turn, will receive a variety of resources and amenities, including network access to the Big 12’s Business Advisory Board for professional networking, league support for council members’ community initiatives, media opportunities on behalf of the league and VIP access to all Big 12 championships and conference events .

The council will be overseen by Yormark and the VP of Communications & Strategy Clark Williams.

The council will start in August when the Big 12 officially becomes a 16-team league.

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