Rest in Peace Daedra Charles-Furlow; Lady Vol legend passes away at 49

Daedra Charles-Furlow passes away at 49

4/17/18 update from Tennessee: A viewing will be held, beginning at 2 p.m., on Friday, April 20, at McFall Funeral Home, located at 9419 Dexter Ave. in Detroit. On Saturday, April 21, at the World Deliverance Temple at 27355 Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn Heights, there will be a Family Hour from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by a Home Going Service at 11.

Charles-Furlow’s Accomplishments || Former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball star Daedra Charles-Furlow dies at 49 (Knoxville News-Sentinel)

Word began to surface on social media Saturday night that Lady Vols legend Daedra Charles-Furlow had passed away at the age of 49. The two-time Olympian was a star at Tennessee during her collegiate career and went on to play for the Los Angeles Sparks before entering the coaching realm. She spent two years coaching at her alma mater under Pat Summitt before getting diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

Summitt, in her book Sum It Up, said she was lucky to have Charles-Furlow play for the Lady vols, “you didn’t want to mess with Daedra.”

“She was a muscled six-three center from Detroit, Michigan, whom we called ‘Train,’ which was short for ‘Night Train,’ because she was so forceful around the basket. Take a basketball out of her hands and she emanated sweetness, with deep brown almond eyes and a triangular face with high cheekbones that framed a brilliant smile. But on and off the court she meant serious business.”

In the fall of 2010, Charles-Furlow talked with sports writer Maria Cornelius about her battle with cancer.

“It was never why me. I never questioned why God,” she said to Cornelius. “I just think with what was going on with me, maybe I can inspire somebody else to know that it’s going to be OK, and you’ve got to have faith, and you’ve got to be positive.”

Charles-Furlow entered the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Current Tennesse head coach Holly Warlick released a statement about Charles-Furlow:

“My heart is broken from the loss of one of the greatest players to play at Tennessee, Daedra “Night Train” Charles (Furlow). An Olympian, a pro player, an ambassador for the Lady Vols, and more importantly a wonderful person/mother.  Dae had a spirit that was so uplifting, and you never thought she had a bad day.  Our memories of Daedra will bring us comfort and smiles.  But it will also bring me tears because she is suddenly gone. Lord wrap your arms around her…I know she has found her peace.”

Charles-Furlow is survived by her mother, Helen; her sister, Danene; her husband, Anthony Furlow; and their son, Anthonee.

Coaches and others around the country began posting condolences and messages of sorrow as the news spread about Charles-Furlow’s passing.

Charles-Furlow’s accomplishments as compiled by the WBHOF:

  • Became first player from the Southeastern Conference to win the Wade Trophy in 1991
  • Two-time National Champion (1989, 1991) and two-time Kodak All-American (1990, 1991) at the University of Tennessee
  • One of only six Lady Vols to have her number (32) retired, and was a member of the inaugural class of 2001 into the Tennessee Lady Vol Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Better known as “The Train.”
  • SEC Female Athlete of the Year in 1991
  • Three-time member of USA Basketball’s Senior National Team, winning the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics
  • Played professionally in Japan , Italy and France from 1991-97
  • Played for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks in 1997
  • Named one of ESPN’s Top 25 College Women’s Players in 2005
  • Scored 1,495 points, grabbed 858 rebounds and blocked 97 shots in three seasons as a Lady Vol
  • Color Analyst for Comcast Local (2004, 2005, 2006)
  • Finished career seventh on scoring list, sixth in rebounding and second in blocked shots in Tennessee ‘s record books

Rest in Peace Daedra…


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