« Women’s Basketball 2013-14

Ataira Franklin

Studio Art


Ataira is a Studio Art major at UVa with an emphasis in sculpture and photography, though her favorite medium is charcoal. She is a very gifted artist who relishes creating images of people, as opposed to creating abstract art, because she wants people seeing the art to be able to tell what she is doing. Some of her best pieces are portraits of President Obama, Bill Cosby, Will Smith and Jackie Robinson. Ataira is very interested in pursuing a career in photography and has assisted the UVa Athletic Department’s video and photography departments on multiple shoots.


Ataira has been a tremendous leader on and off the court. For the last two seasons, the team has not designated a team captain, but Franklin was the one that everyone looked to in the game and out of it when they needed guidance.
On the court, she has been the cornerstone of the Virginia offense and defense, ranking second in the ACC in minutes played last year while earning first team All-ACC honors. The depth of Ataira’s character is best exemplified by the fact that she has scored 1,192 points in her first three seasons at Virginia while battling knee problems her entire career. It is through sheer willpower that she takes over a game, going well past what should be her physical limitations.
She also has volunteered to be part of a leadership team this year and is working with the Assistant AD for Basketball Operations in helping make decisions about gear and equipment, while working within the confines of the operating budget, as well as working with the scheduling and managing of student managers. It is taking her ownership of this team to a whole new level.


At least once a month, Ataira is in the community helping on one project or another. Her favorite projects involve working in schools, and she was able to participate as a guest speaker in Fluvanna County Middle School’s Young Women’s Leadership program during the 2012-2013 school year. She is extremely patient with kids during basketball clinics. All of them flock to her station and her gentle but helpful instruction and the vibrant smile and enthusiastic high-five they receive after a job well done. In addition to clinics and reading to groups of kids (she is always a favorite at story time) and helping with art projects (probably Ataira’s favorite of the school activities), Ataira has also volunteered for some manual labor shifts. She has worked with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank helping distribute emergency food packs. She has done volunteer shifts at Habitat for Humanity including a hot afternoon of landscaping and laying sod for a series of four houses that Habitat was putting the final touches on weeks before the residents were to move in. She has worked with Operation Toy Drop and is looking forward to an upcoming visit to UVa’s Children’s Hospital


Ataira was the 29th player in Virginia history to reach the 1,000-career-point mark. Ataira was a First Team All-ACC honoree last season and First Team VaSID All-State as well as winning the Virginia Women’s Basketball Coaches Award for Excellence. Last yeas, she was ninth in the ACC in scoring (14.3 points per game), fifth in the ACC in free throw percentage (79.3 percent), fifth in the ACC in steals (2.2 per game) and second in the ACC in minutes (36.1 per game). She finished the season strong, averaging 19.1 points per game in her final six contests.