The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Athletics Department will honor the life of former Lady Cat standout Jody Billingsley during the Pitt-Johnstown “Think Pink” doubleheader basketball game Saturday, February 13. The Lady Cats will tip-off against Wheeling-Jesuit (W.Va.) University at 5:30 p.m. and the Mountain Cats game will follow at 7:30 p.m. Ms. Billingsley was an unfortunate victim of the L.A. Fitness Center shooting that occurred outside of Pittsburgh on August 4, 2009.
A moment of silence will be held prior to the tip-off. At halftime, Pitt-Johnstown will retire Ms. Billingsley’s Lady Cat jersey #44.
A Mount Lebanon resident, Ms. Billingsley earned a BS in biology at Pitt-Johnstown in 1994.
Ms. Billingsley was a member of the Lady Cat basketball team from 1990-1994. She helped lead the Lady Cats to three consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, including back-to-back Regional Championships in 1992 and 1993. She currently stands 21st on the Lady Cat All-Time Rebounding List with 515 rebounds. During Ms. Billingsley’s freshman year, 1990-91, Pitt-Johnstown finished with a 27-2 record and was ranked first in the East Region. The team was the Mideast Conference Champions and ranked fifth nationally on its way to earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The following season, Coach Jodi Gault’s Lady Cats compiled a 25-4 record and hosted and won the Eastern Regional Championship for the first time since 1988.
In 1992-93, Pitt-Johnstown climbed to No. 11 in the National rankings with a 25-5 record on its way to winning its second consecutive Eastern Regional title.
Ms. Billingsley’s final season as a Lady Cat proved to be the most difficult with a record of 19-7. Her dedication and courage was also proved when she did not miss a single game even after a severe facial injury from a car accident on Christmas Day. As a senior, she played in all 26 games on her way to leading the Lady Cats in rebounding at 7.4 rebounds per game. She also ranked fourth on the team in scoring (7.5 ppg) and led the team in free-throw percentage at 76.7%.
Following graduation, Ms. Billingsley attended Chatham University where she earned a master’s degree in physical therapy in 1997, before earning her transitional doctorate in physical therapy in 2002.
Ms. Billingsley worked as a physical therapist from 1997-2006 at UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. She became a sales representative for Medtronic, a medical technology company.
Ms. Billingsley was the daughter of Leon and Judy Billingsley.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a “Best Baccalaureate College” (2010), by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College” (2010), and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.”
Pitt-Johnstown…at the forefront of leading baccalaureate colleges…