UNCA basketball star Weaver remarkable on and off the court

K.J. Weaver, a leader on and off the court for the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, has had a remarkable impact on the program.

Weaver is one of four seniors on the team, making up a recruiting class that's very special to the program. She couldn't stop smiling on senior day, her last game at Kimmel Arena, and she got to share it with her family.

"My family is my everything," Weaver said. "They are one of the only things that make me joyful in life. They shower me with so much love."

Coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick said the day was special for several reasons.

"We had four wonderful seniors this year," Kirkpatrick said. "That moment was extremely emotional for me, because it was our first recruiting class, and then extremely emotional for them, because they've invested so much in UNC Asheville."

Weaver, one of the best women's players in UNCA history, is special, too. What many people may not know about her is she learned sign language before she learned to speak English.

"Both of my parents are deaf," Weaver explained. "I had a real father, he passed away when I was 1. But he was deaf, too. My stepdad is deaf. My stepsiblings' parents are deaf. My half-sister's dad is deaf."

So, when all of Weaver's accomplishments were broadcast at Kimmel Arena on Sunday, she signed every word to her parents so they could be a part of the experience.

"My mom was really wanting to hear what they had to say. She wanted to be proud of her little girl, so interpreting what they had to say about me and the other seniors was really important to her. And I'm glad I got to be able to do it," Weaver said.

Even after Weaver is finished playing, the example she's set will forever be part of the fabric of UNCA women's basketball program.