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College Sports

Navy women’s basketball retires No. 21 jersey of Jade Geif, centerpiece of three NCAA Tournament teams

Jade Geif retired as the all-time leading scorer in Navy women’s basketball history before becoming a Marine Corps officer — leaving behind a slew of school records and awards.

Saturday, Geif returned to Alumni Hall to be recognized for her historic career as the academy retired her No. 21 jersey during a ceremony at halftime of Navy’s home game against Loyola Maryland.

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Members of the Navy women's basketball team pose with Jade Geif and her family during Saturday's jersey retirement ceremony. Geif, standing with a framed replica of her No. 21 jersey, was the centerpiece of Navy teams that captured three Patriot League championships to earn automatic berths into the NCAA Tournament.

Geif became the third Navy women’s basketball player so honored, joining Becky Dowling Calder and Courtney Davidson O’Brien.

“It’s indescribable. It’s been a long time since I’ve been back,” Geif said. “Now, to be on the same floor and watch my No. 21 come down — it’s awesome.”

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A number of other women’s basketball alumni were on hand to help Geif celebrate the moment.

“The support of the alumni is overwhelming. My heart is full,’’ she said.

Over four seasons at Navy from 2010-14, Geif scored a school record 1,501 points and grabbed 1,033 rebounds. She is the only player in program history with more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. David Robinson and Vernon Butler are the only Navy men’s basketball players to achieve that milestone.

Geif is one of only six players in Patriot League women’s basketball history to amass more than 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds. She was also named to the Patriot League’s Silver Anniversary team.

“Jade has not only left an indelible mark on the Navy women’s basketball record book, but she epitomized all the intangibles of leadership, service and commitment that make the Naval Academy such an incredible place,” current Navy coach Tim Taylor said. “Her basketball stats and awards alone put her in elite company, not only in Navy women’s basketball history but the entire history of women’s basketball in the Patriot League.”

Geif is the only player in Patriot League history to earn All-Tournament team honors four times and one of four to earn two Most Valuable Player awards.

Geif was the starting center for Navy teams that captured three Patriot League championships (2011-13), earning automatic berths into the NCAA Tournament. Under the direction of former coach Stefanie Pemper, Geif’s Mids compiled a cumulative record of 83-46.

“It was an awesome time. We had a good group of women and a class that was so unique. We blended well,’’ Geif said. “It was my family away from home. That was so important to me.”

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Geif was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year as a plebe. She was a four-time All-Patriot League selection, earning first-team honors as a junior and senior.

“I came as much for the chance to play basketball, but as a plebe I quickly caught on to the academy,” Geif said. “Coming here was the greatest decision I ever made, not knowing about what I was getting into. It definitely helped me grow as a person and made me more confident.”

Geif was the 2014 recipient of the Vice Admiral Lawrence Sword for Women, one of the highest honors presented by the Naval Academy Athletic Association.

“Jade was one of the most dominating, game-changing, high-intensity athletes to wear the blue and gold over the past 20 years. She simply refused to lose as she led [Navy] to N-stars and league championships throughout her playing career,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said. “She inspired a very talented group of varsity women that had great team talent and chemistry, who always looked to her when the game was on the line. Jade embraced the pressure and repeatedly displayed why she was truly the undisputed leader among her peers.”

During her five years in the Marine Corps, Geif served as an aviation supply officer at Beaufort Air Station and as a platoon commander at Parris Island Recruit Depot. She is currently a civilian living in Beaufort, South Carolina, with her husband, Charles Bolton, and their 6-year-old daughter, Brantley.

Geif now works as an executive assistant for Tactical Baby Gear and also volunteers for the local fire department. Geif has not played much basketball since leaving the academy, but said she would be interested in coaching if her daughter ever becomes interested in the sport.


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