JoVanka J. Ward is in her fifth season with the Blazer program. Her responsibilities include recruiting and post play, while also taking on multiple scouting reports throughout the season.
Ward came to UAB after spending two seasons at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The Lady Bison were 11-17 overall but had an impressive 11-7 MEAC record in 2003-04. Howard posted the same conference record in 2002-03, as well as a 12-17 overall mark.
The Panama City, Panama native is not unfamiliar to the state of Alabama. Ward was the first assistant at Alabama A&M University for two seasons prior to moving to Howard. Before her stint at Alabama A&M, Ward was an assistant at Virginia State University.
Ward received an athletic scholarship to attend Old Dominion University. After spending one year at ODU, she transferred to Hampton University where she had a stellar basketball career. While at Hampton, Ward was a four-year letterwinner, three-year team captain and was named to the 1994 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association All-Rookie team. In her senior year, Ward helped lead her team to a MEAC co-championship while being named second-team all-conference. In that same year she was ranked nationally in steals, named the defensive player of the year for her team and traveled to Europe to compete against the Spanish and Portuguese national teams.
A two-time Dean's List scholar-athlete, Ward graduated cum laude with departmental and university honors from Hampton with a bachelor of science in athletic administration in 1998.
Ward played her prep school basketball at Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Va.
Ward holds a professional membership in Delta Sigma Theta. Additionally, she has been a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association since 1998 and the Black Coaches Association since 1998.
She married Steve J. Ward on March 27, 2004. The couple has one daughter, Jaelynn Jade, born November 27, 2007.