Holly Warlick has enough memories of Stokely Athletics Center to serve as the building's historian.
The Tennessee women's basketball coach didn't just play there as a Lady Vol. She also went to Tennessee men's games at the facility that served as the home of UT basketball before Thompson-Boling Arena.
She broadened her Stokely experience by seeing Elton John, Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston in concert there.
Even the concessions left an unmistakable impression.
"It used to have, seriously, the best smelling popcorn," she said. "When you walked in the door, all you could smell was great popcorn."
Warlick paid a visit Thursday to sign autographs at the Official Team Shop. Her appearance served as a tribute to Stokely, which will be closing on Dec. 15.
The men's team will honor the memory of Ray Mears at their Dec. 13 game against Wichita State. Mears coached UT and energized the program and Stokely from 1962-77.
"There's so much Tennessee basketball history in this building," said Jimmy Delaney, UT's senior director for marketing and sales. "We wanted fans to remember it one last time before the doors were shut."
Warlick recalled watching Vols All-Americans Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King play at Stokely. The halftime entertainment was unforgettable, too.
"I remember when the halftime show was the guys on unicycles, dribbling the basketball," she said.
Warlick played her entire Tennessee career at Stokely, earning All-American honors three times and playing on Tennessee's first SEC championship team in 1979-80.
Warlick said that her first game there was against Kentucky on Nov. 13, 1976. She remembered scoring her first basket by tipping an inbounds pass on the front of the press, stealing the ball and scoring an easy layup.
She missed her share of layups in that game as well, which she said factored into teammate Patricia Roberts scoring a Stokely-record 51 points.
"It was my first game in a really big arena," Warlick said. "... I probably bricked about 10 layups and she came in and trailed and scored. So I had 10 assists. I felt like I was a part of her record."
The Lady Vols' top 20 crowds there ranged from 10,000 to 4,883.
"To me, it was great place to play," Warlick said. "People, especially on the ends, they were right on top of you."
The people and the place left quite an impression.
"It was all I knew," Warlick said. "So I thought it was awesome."
Summitt Honored: Tennessee head coach emeritus Pat Summitt was honored with the AARP Andrus Award. The award, which is named after AARP founder Ethel Percy Andrus, recognizes those who embody the organization's goal of bringing lifetimes of experience and leadership to serve all generations.
Summitt who was diagnosed in 2011 with early onset dementia Alzheimer's type, was selected based on her work with the Pat Summitt Foundation and raising awareness of Alzheimer's.