NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -C. Vivian Stringer was suffering from exhaustion at the end of last season, so doctors prescribed rest, relaxation and no basketball.

That meant that the Hall of Fame caoch was under strict orders to not even watch the Rutgers Scarlet Knights' games on television.

Not being able to follow the team on TV, as she puts it, drove her crazy.

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"I needed to rest," Stringer told TAPinto New Brunswick on Friday.  "So believe it or not, no, I didn't watch. The only game I watched was the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (Doctors) told me, 'Just take your mind off basketball. Don't even think about basketball. Don't even think about anything. Just relax and rest. And of course, you can't rest because the only thing you can think about is basketball. But I did and I found out I could be disciplined and everything will happen in new time."

The 71-year-old caoch opened up about her late-season absense last week. In interviews with the Associated Press and a few other media outlets, she revealed that she wasn't getting more than a few hours of sleep each night. During the day, caffeine was keeping he going. When it caught up to her, she had to step away.

Rutgers announced in June that she had returned to work. She immediately focused on recruiting.

Stringer, whose career spans more than 1,000 wins over 48 seasons, was on hand two weeks ago when the university held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new $115 million RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center.

She said she is "feeling great and excited" since returning to work.

She seemed like her usual energetic self as she posed for photos with fans inside the faciility that is so new, you could still smell the lacquer on the basketball court.

Stringer said the time away gave her a new perspective on things. For one, she had to learn to slow down and have patiences. It was a difficult time being away from the sport she loves and the program she built.

"I am grateful for the team and the fans because they truly have been there," Stringer said. "They're been special."

On Friday, Stringer and members of the basketball team appeared at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to help one of their fans celebrate a special birthday.

Sringer and the team brought Barbara Wadsworth, a season ticket holder, her own jersey with the No. 100. Wadworth promplty put it on over her blouse and let it hang down to almost her knees.

When she's not rooting on the Scarlet Knights, she mows her own lawn, drives herself around, cooks and even spends one day a week volunteering in the hospital's gift shop.

"How about that, 100 years old? And she continues to volunteer?" Stringer said. "We are going to not only have her be the coach of the game but come in and give a word of encouragement before a game. Do you remember when Sister Jean (Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, also 100) was with Loyola a few years ago? She's going to be our Sister Jean."