Davis-Wrightsil to be inducted into Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil, former Texas women's basketball All-American, National Player of the Year, Olympic and pro standout, will be inducted into The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in April of 2006, as announced Sunday by the Hall of Fame. She is one of six inductees in the Class of 2006, which features four former players and two coaches.
The six individuals in the Class of 2006 will be formally enshrined as members of the Hall of Fame during a weekend of induction festivities to be held Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, 2006, in Knoxville. The Class of 2006 was announced in conjunction with the State Farm Women's Tip-Off Classic, Sunday's ESPN2 doubleheader of women's basketball (LSU-Texas Tech, Baylor-Georgia from Lubbock), which directly benefits the Hall of Fame.
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 The University 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 Class of 2006 will be the eighth group of inductees into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, which is located in Knoxville. The six members of the Class of 2006, in alphabetical order, are:
· GENO AURIEMMA ... The five-time national championship coach enters his 21st season at Connecticut this season with career achievements which include eight Final Four berths, two perfect seasons, and an NCAA record for consecutive wins;
· CLARISSA DAVIS-WRIGHTSIL ... 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 34-0 mark ... 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;
· PAULA GONÇALVES DA SILVA ...The Brazilian legend represented her homeland on national teams for 22 years, including two Olympics and six World Championships, and capped her career with a gold medal in the 1994 World Championship and a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics;
· JANICE LAWRENCE BRAXTON ... The Louisiana Tech All-American guided the Lady Techsters to a pair of national championships and was an Olympic gold medalist in 1984 before embarking on a professional career that included 15 years in Italy and two seasons in the WNBA with the Cleveland Rockers
· KATRINA McCLAIN JOHNSON ... A three-time Olympian, she starred on 11 U.S. National Teams after a stellar collegiate career at Georgia and was twice tabbed as USA Basketball's Female Athlete of the Year ... She also played professionally for 10 years;
· BARBARA STEVENS ... Winningest coach in NCAA Division II women's basketball history, the Bentley (Mass.) College mentor has a career mark of 691-180 for 28 seasons overall and a record of 534-89 in 19 seasons at Bentley ... this includes an NCAA tournament berth each of those years and seven trips to the Division II "Fab Four" (national semifinals and championship)
"Some of the most recognizable names in our sport are being recognized in this class of inductees," said Conradt, president of the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors who coached both Davis-Wrightsil and Ethridge. "There are so many outstanding players and coaches in our game, and this follows the trend that we have set of recognizing some of those outstanding individuals with induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
"When you look at the players being inducted--Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil, Janice Lawrence Braxton, and Katrina McClain Johnson--these are players that fans of the game have had the opportunity to see play on TV," Conradt said. "Some of them we got to see up close and personal (Davis-Wrightsil played for Conradt at Texas). Paula Gonçalves da Silva was one of the best players in the world. And the coaches - Geno Auriemma has been so visible with what he has achieved at Connecticut, and Barbara Stevens has definitely made her mark at Bentley College. These inductees are individuals that people know and appreciate."
With the addition of the Class of 2006, the list of individuals who have been recognized as Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductees will increase to 91.
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining which individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Voting is based on various factors, which may include moral character, integrity, sportsmanship, record of performance, ability, national or international recognition, and contributions to the game of women's basketball. A player must be retired from the highest level of play for at least five years to be considered.
The mission of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, which opened in June 1999, is to "honor the past, celebrate the present, and promote the future" of women's basketball. For more information on the Hall and the inductees and upcoming April enshrinement ceremony, go to www.wbhof.com.
Below is a capsule summary of Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil's achievements and honors as a player.
2006 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee (April 2006) Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil (1985-99)
PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL EXPERIENCE