Heather Burge

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Heather Burge
Born (1971-11-11) November 11, 1971 (age 42)
Fairfax, California
High school Palos Verdes High School
College University of Virginia
WNBA teams
Sacramento Monarchs (1999)

Heather Marie (Burge) Quella (born November 11, 1971 in Fairfax, CA) is a former professional basketball player and is the twin sister of Heidi (Burge) Horton.

Growing up[edit]

Prior to starting High School, the Burge family moved to Palos Verdes Estates, CA so that the sisters could attend Palos Verdes High School. Although Burge was not originally interested in playing basketball, as she preferred theater and volleyball, after being asked to tryout by the ladies basketball coach her senior year, she quickly fell in love with the game. Burge also brought success to the team, transforming the Sea Kings into Southern Section 3-A champions in 1987 and concluding her high-school career atop the school's the all-time list of girls' scorers with 1,345 points.[1] After graduation, both sisters accepted scholarships to attend the University of Virginia and play for the Lady Cavaliers basketball team. Although the pair would attend the same school, they did not live together or even have the same circle of friends. The Burge's also did not play the same position on the court as Heidi preferred the outside game and Heather (who is 6 minutes older than Heidi)[2] played inside against the opposing team's center and was the go-to scorer in the paint.[3]

Basketball star[edit]

UVA would win right away with Burge averaging 12.2 points and 6.7 rebounds a game her freshman year[4] and the pair playing a big part in leading the team to the school's first three, and to date only, Atlantic Coast Conference championships (in 1990, 1992 and 1993) and Women's NCAA Final Four appearances (1990–1992). Following the school year in 1989 and 1990, Burge was asked to play for USA Basketball U18 and U19 basketball teams and won a gold medal at the 1990 US Olympic Festival.[5] Things did not always go smoothly for the Burges in their freshman and sophomore seasons as the pair were frequently in foul trouble, rarely played at the same time on the court (due to their foul situation), fought with teammates and each other, and were considered by their teammates to be both "soft" and prone to mistakes and turnovers.[2]

However during their time with UVA, the pair averaged 24 points and seven rebounds per game and teamed with NCAA All-Americans Dawn Staley and Tammi Reiss to lead the Cavaliers to three consecutive Final Fours and a 1991 overtime loss to Tennessee in the championship game. In all three trips to the Final Four, the Cavaliers lost to the eventual NCAA Champion (losing to Stanford in 1990 and 1992).[6] Virginia's 1992 campaign ended with a school-record 32 wins (32-2, 15-1 in the ACC) and the team was ranked #1 in the Associated Press Poll and second in the USA Today Coaches Poll at the end of the regular season.[7] In 1993, Virginia lost in the East Region Championship to NCAA runner-up Ohio State. The Lady Cavs lost all four tournament games by a total of only 15 points with the biggest score differential being their 9 point loss to Stanford in 1990.

While at UVA, Burge was the ACC Player of the Year and a Kodak District All-American in 1993 and was also a two-time Academic All-American (1992 & 1993), a two-time ACC All-Conference selectee (1992 & 1993), a two-time selectee to the NCAA All-Tournament team (1992 & 1993), and a three-year member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll (1991–1993).[8] As of May 2011, Burge is first all-time for the Lady Cavs in career blocked shots with 152, in free throw attempts with 640, and in games played with 135, second in career rebounds with 955, third in career scoring with 2,058 points, sixth in career double-double's with 30, and 10th in free throws made with 326.[9][10] She is also 13th all-time in the ACC in scoring.[11]

After graduating with a bachelors degree with a dual major in Spanish and Drama, Burge first played on the 1993 USA National Team and then played professionally for six years overseas. Following her time overseas, Burge accepted an offer to play in the infant Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) for the Sacramento Monarchs in 1999 (one year after Heidi had ended her two-year WNBA career). In her season with the team, she played little and was only on the court for a total of 28 min spread over 13 games.[12] However, the team played well, finishing the season 19-13 and in third place in the Western Conference, but lost a one-game first round playoff game to the Los Angeles Sparks.[13] After a single year playing with the Monarchs, she chose to return overseas and accepted an offer to play for the ESBVA team in Lille, France.[14] However, she retired after the 2001 season due to lingering injuries. Upon retirement, one of Burge's biggest professional disappointments was that she was never able to either play with or against Heidi.

USA Basketball[edit]

Burge was named to the USA team competing in the 1992 William Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan. The team won all eight games and won the gold medal. Burge averaged 4.5 points per game.[15]

Post-Retirement[edit]

Heidi Burge (L) and Heather Burge (R) with fan Russ Pittman (6'0")

After retiring from basketball on June 1, 2001, Burge stayed in California and taught 8th grade Spanish at Miraleste Intermediate School in Palos Verdes, CA.[14] She later received a Masters degree in Multi-Lingual Education. She is now a stay-at-home mom and lives with her husband, Darren Quella, and their two children in Los Angeles. She also has teamed up with San Pedro High School boys basketball coach John Bobich to run a youth basketball camp in San Pedro, CA.[16]

At 6 feet 5 inches each, the pair were recognized in 1991 by Guinness World Records as the world's tallest female twins. This record was broken in 2004 by Ann and Claire Recht. The Disney television movie, Double Teamed, which was released in 2002, is based on their life stories and achievements in high school basketball. In the movie, Burge is played by actress Poppi Monroe. Burge has a small part in the 2002 film Juwanna Mann starring Vivica A. Fox. She plays the character "Magda Rowonowitch" and is credited as Heather Quella.[17]

In September 2002, Burge was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Women's Basketball Team.[10] Included in the eight members that played at UVA were Val Ackerman (who played for Virginia from 1978–81), Tonya Cardoza (1987–91), Dena Evans (1990–93), Donna Holt (1985–88), Wendy Palmer (1993–96), Tammi Reiss (1989–92), and Dawn Staley (1989–92).

WNBA Career Statistics[edit]

Season Age Team GP GS MIN FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF REB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1999 28 Monarchs 13 0 2.2 .429 .000 .200 0.0 0.4 0.4 0.7 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.5

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Real Twin Towers Play for Virginia : Women's Final Four: Heidi and Heather Burge help Cavaliers to semifinal game against Stanford tonight. - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1990-03-30. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  2. ^ a b "COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENTS : Alike, Different : Identical Twins Heather, Heidi Burge Succeed in Their Quest to Be Individuals - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 2002-01-18. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  3. ^ Kelli Anderson (1993-02-01). "There's an identity crisis in women's basketball as an - 02.01.93 - SI Vault". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  4. ^ "The Real Twin Towers Play for Virginia : Women's Final Four: Heidi and Heather Burge help Cavaliers to semifinal game against Stanford tonight. - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1990-03-30. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  5. ^ "Women's All-Time U. S. Olympic Festival Roster by Affiliation". USA Basketball. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  6. ^ "Postseason History". University of Virginia. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013. 
  7. ^ "Virginia in the National Polls". University of Virginia. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013. 
  8. ^ "Virginia to Celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day on Sunday". University of Virginia. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013. 
  9. ^ "Virginia Women's Basketball: Blocked Shots Records". University of Virginia. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Eight Cavaliers Named to ACC 50th Anniversary Women's Basketball Team - VIRGINIASPORTS.COM - The University of Virginia Official Athletic Site". Virginiasports.cstv.com. 2002-09-25. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  11. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/acc/sports/w-baskbl/auto_pdf/08wbkg119123.pdf
  12. ^ "Heather Burge WNBA Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  13. ^ "1999 Sacramento Monarchs Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  14. ^ a b "Virginia Women's Basketball: Alumnae Bios". University of Virginia. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013. 
  15. ^ "1992 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Retrieved 13 Oct 2013. 
  16. ^ "San Pedro Basketball Camp". Burgeandbobich.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  17. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0247444/

External links[edit]