The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Inducts Six | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Inducts Six

On June 12, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inducted seven new members Among the inductees were Teresa Edwards, Leta Andrews, Chris Weller, Teresa Weatherspoon, Gloria Ray, and Rebecca Lobo. Opened in 1999, the Hall of Fame is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Hall of Honor is complemented by such artifacts as a 1901 rule book and the WVU jersey worn by Georgeann Wells, who was the first woman to dunk in a college game.

Among the 2010 inductees were Edwards, an SEC star at Georgia in the 1980s and a key to three conference championship teams. She also won a Gold Medal in the 1984 Olympics, in Los Angeles. Edwards and Lobo, a former University of Connecticut Huskie, participated on the 1996 Olympics team together.

A native of Pineland, Texas, Teresa Weatherspoon played her college ball at Louisiana Tech, where she is now the head coach. Her 1988 Techsters squad won the national title. After graduation, she played with the WNBA teams, the New York Liberty and the Los Angeles Sparks. In 2007, she became the head coach at her alma mater.

Andrews, 72, owns the all-time record for wins in girls high school basketball. Her career record is 1,328-299. She highlighted the importance of personal sacrifice in her induction speech, about how her father nudged her away from music toward basketball:

Andrews said, "One day my daddy said, 'Leta, I think you need to pick up the basketball and put your singing sort of on the backburner and start fine-tuning your basketball game. I took my daddy's advice and picked a basketball up and started dribbling on a dirt, gravel driveway."

A coach of 27 seasons with the Maryland Terrapins, Chris Weller has averaged twenty wins through her career. She has taken the Terrapins to ten Sweet 16 appearances and three Final Fours.

But perhaps no one is more deserving of the selection than Gloria Ray, the CEO of the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Commission. Ray saved the project after progress had stalled in its original location in Jackson, Tennessee. Believing that the stars of women's basketball needed to be better recognized and honored, she has been the faithful steward to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. And now its latest inductee.

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