Written by Bryan Messerly
Late women’s basketball standout Olivia Bradley set the all-time Mountaineer record with 1,484 rebounds in 1985, a record that tops men’s basketball legend and hall of famer Jerry West’s 1,240 career rebounds and still stands today. Standing 6-foot-1, Bradley’s rebounding total tops any other WVU women’s player by more than 400 rebounds, and she is one of only three players in WVU women’s basketball history to record more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career.
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Bradley was a four-time All-America honoree and three time all-conference selection.
In her freshman season when WVU was not yet affiliated with a conference, she averaged 12.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, leading WVU to its first 20-win season, earning American Women’s Sports Federation Freshman All-America Team honors in the process.
As a sophomore, Bradley averaged 12.8 rebounds and 12.6 points per game en route to becoming the program’s first all-conference honoree as she was named to the 1983 All-Atlantic 10 Second Team. The power forward recorded 358 rebounds and set a single-game school record with 27 rebounds in a win at George Washington on Jan. 21, 1983, a record she would later break her senior season. For her efforts, Bradley earned 1983 honorable mention All-America honors by the AWSF, a feat she repeated for each remaining year of her career.
Bradley went on to improve her averages to 14.2 points and 13.3 rebounds per game as a junior, earning all conference first-team honors. As a senior team captain, Bradley broke her previous pair of rebounding records in a single game as she pulled down 28 boards in an overtime win against Temple. Each year she increased her season rebounding total, finishing her senior season with a career-best 458 rebounds. The Bradenton, Fla., native closed out her career, averaging 12.7 rebounds per game, which is the 16th-highest average in the NCAA record book today. During Bradley’s time, the Mountaineers recorded a 74-45 record and advanced to the Women’s NIT her senior year – a program first for postseason play.
Following graduation, Bradley moved overseas where she played basketball in Europe. After four seasons, she returned to Bradenton and taught third grade. Bradley began to coach as an assistant at Southeast High and eventually left her elementary teaching position for a job as the head girl’s basketball coach at Manatee High. In 2000, Bradley passed away unexpectedly at the age of 36, leaving behind husband Tony Reddick and three daughters, Deandre Houston (18) and Toni (14) and Danielle Reddick (12).