Last Ball in U-Hall: Ted Jeffries Played Big At Center

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Ted Jeffries works with the Virginia Athletics Foundation.

Ted Jeffries never played a minute of basketball in the NBA. He never even led Virginia in scoring during any of his four seasons playing for the Cavaliers. He was never once selected All-ACC while wearing a Virginia uniform from 1989 to 1993.

But none of that makes a difference to University Hall regulars, who seem to go out of their way to express their gratitude to Jeffries for his efforts on the court as a Cavalier.

“Even now, to have people come up to me and say ‘We appreciate how hard you worked on the court,’ is great,” Jeffries said. “It sums up my whole career here, these fans noticed how hard I worked and appreciated it.”

Jeffries came to Charlottesville as a 6-foot-9 forward who was not a natural center by any means. But the Cavaliers needed somebody to play the position and the young Jeffries stepped up to the task. Jeffries did not disappoint, playing well enough to start 127 of his 129 games with the Cavaliers. The only two contests where Jeffries spent the opening minutes on the bench were senior nights when he was an underclassman.

“When Ted came in from Fork Union [Military Academy], we were without a true center,” former teammate and current Executive Director of the Virginia Athletics Foundation Dirk Katstra said. “Ted was not really a true center, but he filled the role for us. Ted was solid and tough player you could count on.”

The forward-turned-center was a constant force on the boards for the Cavaliers, finishing his career with 787 rebounds. He holds sixth place on the Virginia all-time rebounding list and stands 10th in career blocked shots with 82.

Jeffries’ freshman campaign was also Terry Holland’s last year as head basketball coach of the Cavaliers. Like he had done seven of the previous eight season, Holland led the