Tuesday March 1, 2011Former Gator All-American Murriel Page Honored in Class of 2011 SEC Greats
Featuring former outstanding student-athletes from all 12 Southeastern Conference member institutions, the 2011 class of the SEC Greats program which includes former University of Florida All-American and current Gator assistant coach Murriel Page will be honored at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, March 3-6 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
A consensus first-team All-American at UF in 1998, Page had been playing professional basketball during the 12 years since graduating from the university, including a storied 11-year WNBA career, prior to joining the Gator coaching staff in August of 2010.
Page, who was inducted into UF’s Athletic Hall of Fame on April 17, 2009, suited up for the Gators from 1994-98, when she earned first team All-Southeastern Conference in 1997 and 1998, and was one of three players who was a unanimous selection on the 1998 squad (with Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw & Alabama’s Dominique Canty). She was a finalist for the 1998 Naismith Player of the Year, a finalist for the 1998 Wade Trophy, among the top vote getters for the 1998 AP National Player of the Year and was one of six finalists for the Honda Award for Basketball, the first-ever Gator to reach this stage of the award. Her 12.6 rebound average per game during her senior year ranked No. 2 nationally (behind Howard’s Alicia Hill, 12.8 rpg).
Shortly upon graduating, Page was the third overall pick in the 1998 WNBA draft, as she became the Washington Mystics’ first-ever draft selection in franchise history and voted team captain from 2000-05. In March of 2006, “The Original Mystic” was traded prior to Los Angeles, where she was reunited with former Gator frontcourt mate DeLisha Milton-Jones. Page played with the Sparks for three years and had signed a contract to play with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury for the 2009 season, but tore her Achilles tendon on the final day of training camp and was unable to play.
In 11 WNBA seasons, Page appeared in 354 games, earning 205 starts, while scoring 2,154 points and collecting 1,603 rebounds. She earned the 1999 and 2000 WNBA Bud Light Shooting Champions Award for leading the league in field goal percentage.
During the WNBA off-season, Page suited up for a number of different professional teams in Spain, including Soller from 2008-10, Baloncesto San Jose in 2007-08, with Hondarribia in 2003-04, 2005-07, Ros Casares in 2004-05 and 2001-02, Venezia in Italy in 2002-03 and Mangueira in Brazil in 2000.
A native of Louin, Miss., Page concluded her collegiate career with 1,915 points and 1,251 rebounds, both of which remain the top two numbers in those respective categories all-time in Gator history. She ranked No. 1 at UF for career double-doubles (65), No. 1 for games played (128), No. 2 all-time at UF for rebounding, No. 2 at UF for scoring and No. 2 at UF for career field goal percentage (55.0%). She was No. 6 all-time in SEC history for rebounding, just 21 behind the 1,272 by Vanderbilt’s Wendy Scholtens. Page also totaled 103 double-figure scoring games & 67 double-figure rebounding games. UF was 92-36 during her four-year career, won at least 21 games each of those seasons, reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA twice, the NCAA Elite Eight once and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament every year.
“We are excited to again showcase the talent and dedication in women’s athletics in the Southeastern Conference,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “Honoring these former standouts gives the conference the opportunity to thank those who helped establish the rich women’s athletic tradition in our conference.”
The 2011 class includes: Shalonda Enis, Alabama (Basketball); Delmonica DeHorney Hawkins, Arkansas (Basketball); Margaret Hoelzer, Auburn (Swimming & Diving); Murriel Page, Florida (Basketball); Tracy Henderson, Georgia (Basketball); Rachel Komisarz, Kentucky (Swimming & Diving); Jenny Lidback, LSU (Golf); Jackie Martin, Ole Miss (Basketball); Tiffany McWilliams-Dudley, Mississippi State (Track & Field); Kim Pietro, South Carolina (Softball); Melissa McCray Duke, Tennessee (Basketball); Candice Storey Lee, Vanderbilt (Basketball).
Each member will be honored during half-time of their respective team’s first game of the tournament, all 12 individuals will also be honored as a group between games of the second session on Friday, March 4. The Greats will then participate in an autograph session on the concourse before game eight. Complimentary posters of the Greats will be available at the session.
This marks the 11th year of the Greats program.
Biographical sketches of the 2011 honorees follow:
Shalonda Enis, Alabama (Basketball), 1996-97
After being named the 1995 Junior College National Player of the Year, Enis transferred to Alabama to finish out her collegiate basketball career with the Crimson Tide where she would become one of the most decorated student-athletes in program history. Enis earned Kodak All-America honors three times, two of which came at Alabama, and was a finalist for the Naismith Award in 1997. Enis’ 35-point performance on Nov. 29, 1995 still ranks as the most points scored in a single game by a junior and third most all-time at Alabama. Throughout her career, she collected 28 double-doubles and finished with an average of 20.5 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per contest. Enis is eighth in the Tide scoring annals with 1,309 points and ranked 11th in rebounds with 589. Following her collegiate career, she played one season for the American Basketball League’s Seattle Reign where she was named the ABL’s Rookie of the Year in 1998. She would also be named Most Valuable Player of the All Star Tournament that season. Enis was then selected by the WNBA’s Washington Mystics as the 13th overall pick in the 1999 draft. She would go on to play five seasons in the WNBA; Enis currently serves as a Career Advisor for North Texas Job Corps in McKinney, Texas.
Delmonica DeHorney Hawkins, Arkansas (Basketball), 1988-91
In the storied history of the Southwest Conference, only one woman was voted by the league coaches to a player of the year honor three times in a career. Delmonica DeHorney was the SWC Newcomer of the Year as a freshman in 1988. An injury limited her playing time as a sophomore, but she returned full force as a junior and senior to lead the league in scoring and earn the 1990 and 1991 SWC Player of the Year award. The first player twice voted first team all-conference, DeHorney was chosen SWC Player of the Week three times and all-tournament once. Her career was remembered years later as she was the only women’s basketball player voted to the five-player first-team of the SWC All-Decade Team. She Became the second Razorback basketball player and the fourth overall inductee to the Arkansas Hall of Honor in September 2000. The first Kodak All-American at the University of Arkansas, DeHorney set the standard by which all future post players will be judged. Leading Arkansas and the SWC in scoring and field goal percentage, DeHorney paced the Razorbacks to the first win over Texas by a conference opponent. The win at Texas broke a 183-game streak and the UT strangle-hold on the conference title. She earned All-NCAA West Regional team honors for her back-to-back 30-point games at the Stanford-hosted tournament. Arkansas reached the Elite Eight with DeHorney leading the way. For her efforts, DeHorney was voted the SWC Player of the Year in 1990 as well as one of the 10 players selected by the WBCA for the Kodak All-America team.
Margaret Hoelzer, Auburn (Swimming & Diving), 2001-05
While at Auburn, Margaret won six NCAA titles, and contributed to Auburn winning three NCAA Championships. She earned All-America honors 23 times in her four year collegiate career. She has nine SEC titles and still holds the Auburn record in the 100 fly (52.03) set at the 2003 NCAA Championships. In addition to her success in the pool, Margaret also was a College Swim Coaches Association of America Academic All-American. A two-time Olympian in 2004 and 2008, she won silver medals in the 200 back and 400 medley relay and a bronze in the 100 back. She was also a three-time World Championships competitor, winning the gold in the 200 back and 800 free relay and silver twice in the 200 back. She set a world record in the 200m back and placed first in the event at the 2008 United States Olympic Trials.
Murriel Page, Florida (Basketball), 1994-98
Named a 1998 first team All-American by the WBCA, Women's Basketball Journal, Women's Basketball News Service, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association, Murriel Page was also named first team All-Southeastern Conference in 1997 and 1998. She was a finalist in 1998 for the Naismith Player of the Year Award and the Wade Trophy. Her 12.6 rebound average per game during her senior year ranked No. 2 nationally and she concluded her career with 1,915 points and 1,251 rebounds. Florida was 92-36 during her four-year career, won at least 21 games each of those seasons, reached the “Sweet 16” twice, the “Elite Eight” once and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament every year. She was the third overall pick in the 1998 WNBA draft and the first-ever selection by the Washington Mystics. She enjoyed a highly successful 11-year career with the league, as well as playing 12 years professionally overseas.
Tracy Henderson, Georgia (Basketball), 1993-96
Tracy Henderson was a rock in the paint during UGA’s dominant mid-1990s run. Henderson was a four-year starter at center on Lady Bulldog teams that were a combined 81-16 from 1995-97 and that won the 1996 and 1997 SEC Championships, advanced to the 1995 and 1996 NCAA Final Fours and finished as NCAA runners-up in 1996. Henderson was a three-time All-SEC performer, earning second-team honors as both a sophomore and a junior before securing first-team status as a senior. She also was named to the 1996 All-Midwest Regional Team after averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds in the Lady Bulldogs’ “Sweet 16” and “Elite Eight” victories that season. Henderson finished her career ranked among Georgia’s top-10 statistical leaders in five categories – No. 6 in points, No. 7 in rebounds, No. 2 in blocked shots, No. 4 in field goals made and No. 6 in field goal attempts. She was drafted with the No. 5 overall pick in the first round of the 1997 ABL draft by the Atlanta Dream and also played for the WNBA’s Cleveland Rockers for three seasons.
Rachel Komisarz, Kentucky (Swimming & Diving), 1996-99
Rachel Komisarz is a three time Southeastern Conference Champion, a six time NCAA All-American, an Academic All-American and an Olympic gold medal winner. She was a versatile performer whose six All-American honors were spread over five separate events. During her time at Kentucky she was the 1999 SEC Swimmer of the Year and won the SEC Commissioners Award that same year. The Warren, Mich., native swam at Kentucky from 1996-99 before entering the international swim scene. Komisarz reached the pinnacle of her sport at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, where she helped Team USA to a gold medal in the 800-freestyle relay and a silver in the 400-medley relay. She is currently a member of the 400-medley relay World Record in Short Course Meters as well as the current American Record holder in the 50- and 100- butterfly and 400 freestyle and 800 free style relays (Short Course Meters). To this day, she continues to hold UK records in 4 events.
Jenny Lidback, LSU (Golf), 1985-86
Jenny Lidback was the National Collegiate Player of the Year in 1986, capturing All-American and SEC Player of the Year Awards in the same year. She won seven individual tournament titles at LSU in 1986 – more in one season than any LSU golfer has won in her career. She helped the Lady Tigers win five team championships in 1985-86, the most team titles in a single year in program history. Before transferring to LSU, she won All-American honors two times while playing at TCU. In 1985, she won the Individual Women’s World Amateur Champion while playing for Peru. She had a successful career on the LPGA Tour and since 2008, competes on the LPGA Senior Tour.
Jackie Martin, Ole Miss (Basketball), 1987-92
Jackie Martin led Ole Miss to a 102-28 record in the games she played during her career at Ole Miss from 1987-92. She started every game she played from 1988-1992 and the Rebels played in five NCAA Tournament appearances during her career including two regional finals (1989, 1992) and one regional semifinal (1990). Martin served as a team captain on the 1991-92 SEC Championship team and she ended her career with 1,395 career points, 455 assists, 393 three-pointers and 232 steals. She was named a Kodak All-District honoree in 1991-92 and was an All-American honorable mention selection by Basketball Times in 1991-92. Her 1,395 career points are 13th on Ole Miss’ all-time scoring list.
Tiffany McWilliams-Dudley, Mississippi State (Track & Field), 2002-04
One of the most decorated track and field athletes in Mississippi State history, 4-time All-American Tiffany McWilliams made a name for herself on both the conference and national level. Though she competed her freshman year, it was not until her sophomore year when she won a combined four SEC titles and one NCAA title that her track career really took off. McWilliams continued her winning ways her junior season as she took 3 more SEC titles and an additional 2 NCAA titles. McWilliams cut her career short at MSU as she left to pursue a professional track career, but not before she set SEC records, which she still holds today, in both the 800- and 1500-meter outdoor race.
Kim Pietro, South Carolina (Softball), 1996-99
One of the all-time greats in SEC Softball, Kim Pietro was a first-team All-American and SEC Player of the Year for her senior season in 1999. Also a CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American that season, Pietro hit .419 with five home runs and 40 RBI while leading the Gamecocks to their second SEC Eastern Division crown. A three-time first-team All-SEC selection, Pietro also made three appearances on the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Pietro ranks among the top 10 in Gamecock softball history in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs batted in and walks.
Melissa McCray Duke, Tennessee (Basketball), 1985-89 (Posthumous)
Nicknamed “Emma” by her Tennessee Lady Vol basketball teammates, Melissa McCray-Dukes played on four consecutive NCAA Final Four teams (1986-87-88-89) and started as a guard on Coach Pat Summitt’s first two national championship teams in 1987 and 1989. For her career, she scored 874 points, grabbed 376 rebounds and handed out 289 assists in 139 career games with 87 career starts. As the Lady Vols best defensive player, she committed just 164 turnovers in 2,892 minutes of play. Following graduation, she was a longtime employee of Knoxville law firm Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C., and served as the Client Services and Marketing Director. She also was very active in her husband’s churches, the New Life West and Faith Temple. She lost her battle to breast cancer on Dec. 27, 2010, at the age of 43 and is survived by her husband, the Rev. John Dukes, daughter Stephanie McCray, 20 and son, Chandler Dukes, 16.
Candice Storey Lee, Vanderbilt (Basketball), 1998-2002
As a player, Candice Storey Lee helped the Commodores to three NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2002 SEC Tournament Championship. The former Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama averaged 21.8 points and 1.5 rebounds during her career. A former post player, Lee graduated from Vanderbilt in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree and then went on to receive her master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt in 2002. A former four-year letterwinner, she has served as Vanderbilt’s Senior Woman Administrator and Compliance Director since 2004, overseen the operation of Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball program since 2008 and in July began overseeing Vanderbilt Student Services.