A Dynasty Does Not Come Without A Price
Feb. 20, 2007
Franthea Price was an integral part of the Iowa's women's basketball dynasty of the late 1980's and early 1990's. So much so, she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, becoming Iowa's second player to win this coveted award and ending her career as the Big Ten Player of the Year in 1990. Earning All-Big Ten selections three times during her college career as well as several All-American honors, Price helped Iowa to four consecutive conference titles. Fueled by being part of a winning program, Price drove hard each year and earned many honors.
Price entered her sophomore year somewhat of a seasoned veteran. That summer, she was selected to represent the United States in the William Jones Cup in Taipei, Taiwan. The team, consisting of the nation's top-12 college players, edged out South Korea, 74-73, in the final game to earn the U.S's third consecutive Jones Cup gold medal. In the seven-game round-robin tournament, Price contributed 48 points and 22 rebounds. She also lived up to her Street and Smith Preseason All-America nod by garnering her first All-Big Ten first-team selection during her sophomore year. The Hawkeyes won their second Big Ten title, while posting an impressive 29-2 overall record. Iowa's only losses that season were to Ohio State and the Hawkeyes' final opponent, Long Beach State in their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Elite Eight.
After another busy summer in which she was one of only 57 players invited to the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials, Price entered her junior season poised to lead the Big Ten's top scoring team to a third consecutive Big Ten title and deeper into the postseason. The Hawkeyes were successful in their Big Ten title quest as Price continued to pick up postseason accolades. Price garnered Kodak All-District honors that year despite being a second-team All-Big Ten selection. Iowa closed out the 1988-89 season with a loss to Stanford, 98-74, in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
By her senior year, Price came into her own, leading the Hawkeyes in scoring (21.2 ppg), rebounding (7.1 rpg), steals (2.9 spg) and three-point field goals (47). In addition, Price scored in double figures in 34 of her last 35 games to lead the conference in scoring with 19.8 points per game. Price earned her second All-America nod and second first-team All-Big Ten accolade that year. She also became only the second Iowa player to be named a Kodak All-American after her teammate, Edwards, earned the honor just two years before. After posting a 15-3 conference record, the Hawkeyes garnered their fourth consecutive Big Ten title. Despite ending her collegiate career in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, it marked Iowa's seventh NCAA appearance in program history.
When Price left Iowa, her name was littered throughout the record book. She holds the school record for career steals with 321, and is tied for first for most steals in a single game with nine. Price also ranks fifth in career scoring (1,742), third in career assists (387) and eighth in career rebounds (726).
Because there were no opportunities to play professionally in the U.S., Price traveled overseas to play professional ball in Spain for several years, before joining the WNBA Sacramento Monarchs for one season. Appearing in 26 games in 1998, Price averaged 4.9 points and 1.7 rebounds per game and despite totaling only 379 minutes, she led the team in three-point percentage (.359).
"I saw a very loyal and trustworthy young woman, who would give everything in her life if she believed, and yes, she did believe," said Stringer. "And so I'm honored to have coached her. She had the unique trait of opening herself with her teammates and her coaches personally, and would not sacrifice anything in what she believed in. Price is what you call one of those unique four or five players; you don't find players like that. She's one of the finest athletes that I'd ever coached."