Harston, Davis-Wrightsil selected to all-time team by ESPN.com
BRISTOL, Conn. -- This spring marks the 25th anniversary of the Women's NCAA Tournament, culminating in the Final Four in historic Boston, a city known for tradition and history. To celebrate this Silver Anniversary, ESPN.com has named the top 25 players of the past 25 years of NCAA play, and also named the top 25 players who participated in collegiate basketball in the pre-NCAA era.
And, in both cases, The University of Texas has a representative on both teams.
Current Texas women's basketball assistant coach Kathy Harston and former UT basketball great Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil were both recently chosen by ESPN.com as two of the very best to ever play collegiate basketball.
Davis, a former National Player of the Year and All-American who led Texas to the 1985 NCAA title, was selected Harston, an All-America standout at former basketball powerhouse Wayland Baptist University, was chosen as one of the "Top 25 Players of the Pre-NCAA Era".
Harston starred for perennial power Wayland Baptist in Plainview (West Texas) from 1976-80. She helped the Flying Queens win the 1977 National Women's Invitational Tournament (NWIT) post-season tournament championship and to a fourth-place finish at the 1978 AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) national championship.
During her tenure, Harston was named to the National Scouting Association All-America Team and the prestigious 10-member Kodak All-America Team during 1977-78 season as a sophomore, joining the likes of Ann Meyers (UCLA), Lynette Woodard (Kansas), Carol Blazejowski (Montclair State) and Nancy Lieberman (Old Dominion) on that elite Kodak squad. A severe knee injury that season forced her to have reconstructive surgery, yet she rebounded to earn Street & Smith Preseason All-America (1979) and National Scouting Association All-America honors again (1979). As a senior, she also was a finalist for the Margaret Wade Trophy (national player of the year). She finished her career with 1,617 points, and currently ranks No. 8 in all-time Wayland Baptist scoring.
For Davis-Wrightsil, the former UT All-American, National Player of the Year, Olympic and pro standout, this is the second major honor she has received in the last two months. In November, she learned that she will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on April 29 as one of six inductees in the Class of 2006 (four former players and two coaches).
Davis-Wrightsil, a graduate of UT in 1989 and currently the Chief Operating Officer for the WNBA San Antonio Silver Stars organization, becomes the third member of Texas women's basketball program to be enshrined in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. She joins Longhorns head coach Jody Conradt, inducted into the Hall in the inaugural class of 1999, and Davis' former teammate, National Player of the Year and All-America point guard Kamie Ethridge, who was inducted in 2002.
The UT great made her mark first as a freshman when she gained "Most Outstanding Player" honors at the 1986 NCAA Women's Final Four, helping lead the Longhorns to the 1986 NCAA Championship with a perfect 34-0 record. She also led Texas to the NCAA Final Four (1986) and to the Final Eight twice (1988, 1989). Davis went on to earn acclaim as a two-year All-American and as National Player of the Year as a senior, before turning professional and playing in Europe and the United States while also starring on the bronze medal-winning 1992 U.S. Olympic team. Davis received the Naismith National Player of the Year Award in 1987; as a senior in 1989, she earned the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, Wade Trophy, Naismith Award, Champion and Mercedes Benz Award as National Player of the Year. Named to both the NCAA and the Southwest Conference "Team of the Decade" for the 1980s, Davis also earned top honors as the SWC's "Athlete of the Decade".
Davis-Wrightsil is first in Texas career scoring average (19.9 ppg), third in scoring (2,008) and fourth in rebound average (8.7 rpg).
On ESPN.com, the ESPN website is celebrating 25 years of NCAA women's basketball in many fashions. In addition to naming the top 25 players in pre-NCAA and NCAA history, ESPN also is conducting a countdown of the Top 25 moments in NCAA Tournament history, holding a fan vote for the top 10 players in college history, and featuring many players and moments over the last 25 years.
Additionally, ESPN has named its "Top 25 countdown air schedule", listing the top 25 TV games (on either ESPN2 or ESPN) during the regular season and through the 2006 NCAA tourney. The Texas-Connecticut game in Austin on Sunday, Feb. 12 (ESPN2 at 2 p.m. CST) is listed as one of those pivotal Top 25 contests.
For more information on ESPN women's basketball coverage and to vote for the "Silver Anniversary Top 10", go to ESPN.com.
ESPN's Silver Anniversary Team: Top 25 Players of Past 25 Years
Also: Anne Donovan, Old Dominion (1979-83); Katie Douglas, Purdue (1997-2001); Teresa Edwards, Georgia (1982-86); Bridgette Gordon, Tennessee (1985-89); Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee (1995-99); Venus Lacy, Louisiana Tech (1987-90); Janice Lawrence, Louisiana Tech (1980-84); Rebecca Lobo, Connecticut (1991-95); Katrina McClain, Georgia (1983-87); Cheryl Miller, Southern California (1982-86); Ruth Riley, Notre Dame (1997-2001); Charlotte Smith, North Carolina (1992-95); Dawn Staley, Virginia (1988-92); Jackie Stiles, Southwest Missouri (now Missouri State -1997-2001); Sheryl Swoopes, Texas Tech (1991-93); Diana Taurasi, Connecticut (2000-04); and Val Whiting, Stanford (1989-93).
ESPN.com's Top 25 Players of the Pre-NCAA Era
Also: Pam Kelly, Louisiana Tech; Charlotte Lewis, Illinois State; Nancy Lieberman, Old Dominion; Ann Meyers, UCLA; Brenda Moeller, Wayland Baptist; Inge Nissen, Old Dominion; LaTaunya Pollard, Long Beach State; Patricia Roberts, Tennessee; Sue Rojcewicz, Southern Connecticut; Theresa Shank, Immaculata; Susie Snider Eppers, Baylor; Susan Taylor, Valdosta; Rosie Walker, Stephen F. Austin; Holly Warlick, Tennessee and Lynette Woodard, Kansas.