Ortega wasn't clad in purple mid-day Sunday at the Erwin Center -- for good reason. Much like the vanity license plates making the rounds, Ortega, in her third season as the assistant athletic director for basketball operations at Texas, was in a divided mood before the game.
"Somebody asked me this morning how I felt about it," said Ortega, who helped lead the Lady Demons to the first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history in 1989. "Today is a heart divided ay for me. Obviously, I'm with Texas, but I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Northwestern, for the opportunity I was given there. I'm so proud of Scott and Brooke (Stoehr) and everything they've done. Seeing them a year ago and then following them throughout the year and watching them win the Southland Conference Tournament, I couldn't be more proud."
A shooting guard in her career with the Lady Demons, Ortega gave the Stoehrs an assist, helping them to identify current assistant coach Kasondra Foreman, who played for Ortega during her time at North Texas.
Ortega joked about not having a lot of purple left in her closet these days. However, she sees a lot of the same characteristics in the Stoehrs' Lady Demons as there were in she and her teammates, despite a fair share of differences.
"Northwestern doesn't run as much as they used to, but you have to play according to your personnel," Ortega said. "I think (Janelle) Perez is a fantastic point guard. The first time I saw her play, even last year, she stunned us. She came in here and hit the backdoor cuts and was getting to the rim. She's a big key to their success."
Ortega and her teammates used their play on the court to leave a lasting legacy on the Lady Demons program.
Another part of Ortega lives on every summer. Although she deferred credit -- and the origins of the statement are debated -- Ortega has been credited with offering the statement that defines the Lady Demons' summer golf fund-raiser, the Don't Die Wondering Classic.
The scramble golf tournament turns 27 in August and has become synonymous with the Lady Demons program.
"I'm excited," Ortega said. "I'm glad they're able to take something and turn it into something that raises money for the program. Anything that's going to give back to Northwestern and help them, I'm all for it."