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All 15 Legends to be honored at 2015 ACC Tournament & ACC Legends Brunch
GREENSBORO - The Atlantic Coast Conference Tuesday announced its 11th annual class of ACC Women's Basketball Legends presented by New York Life. The Legends will be recognized at the 2015 ACC Women's Basketball Tournament, which will be held March 4-8 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Legends will be honored at the annual ACC Women's Basketball Legends' Brunch on Saturday, March 7, at 10 a.m., and then will be introduced to the Coliseum crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game that afternoon. The ACC Women's Basketball Legends program honors both players and coaches from each of the ACC's 15 schools who have contributed to their respective institutions rich tradition.
Tickets to the Legends Brunch are priced at $35 each and can be obtained by calling 1-336-369-4673. Quantities are limited.
Included in this year's class are 14 former-student-athletes and one former head coach who represent five decades of women's basketball. Below is a complete list of this year's Legends, and the accolades from their playing and coaching careers.
2015 ACC Women’s Basketball Legends Roster
Name School Years Position Hometown
Clare Droesch Boston College 2001-05 Guard Rockaway Beach, N.Y.
Amy Geren McGowan Clemson 1995-99 Guard Cleveland, Tenn.
Alana Beard Duke 2000-04 Guard/Forward Shreveport, La.
Cherry Rivers Florida State 1976-80 Forward/Center Miami, Fla.
Sonja Mallory Gamby Georgia Tech 2000-03 Center The Bronx, N.Y.
Nell Knox Louisville 1989-93 Center New Albany, Miss.
Ferne Labati Miami 1988-2005 Head Coach Collingswood, N.J.
Tracy Reid North Carolina 1995-98 Forward Miami, Fla.
Jennifer Howard Wolgemuth NC State 1993-97 Guard Hickory, N.C.
Natalie Achonwa Notre Dame 2010-14 Forward Guelph, Ontario
Debbie Lewis Pittsburgh 1977-82 Guard Grove, Pa.
Martha Mogish Rowe Syracuse 1978-81 Forward Syracuse, N.Y.
Audra Smith Virginia 1989-92 Forward/Center Milledgeville, Ga.
Kerri Gardin Virginia Tech 2002-06 Forward Morganton, N.C.
Janice Collins Wake Forest 1983-86 Guard/Forward Hampton, Va.
BOSTON COLLEGE – Clare Droesch, Guard, Rockaway Beach, N.Y. (2001-05)
One of the most dynamic players in Boston College women’s basketball history, Clare Droesch is one of two players to appear in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments. A member of the prestigious 1000-point, 500-rebound club, Droesch was 12th in scoring with 1,136 points, third in 3-pointers made with 158, and sixth in assists with 314 helpers. She played in 126 games, and over her four-year career averaged 10 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. As a freshman, Droesch was named to the conference all-rookie team and earned all-conference honors as a senior. Droesch had a BC NCAA-best 17 points in the win over Minnesota as a junior and notched a double-double in the win over Eastern Michigan in the tournament. Droesch graduated in May of 2005 from the School of Arts & Sciences. She currently works and coaches high school basketball at Christ The King High School. Droesch is a member of W.I.S.H., a local volunteer group that aides neighbors in times of need, especially during the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort, and works to raise funds for breast cancer awareness.
CLEMSON - Amy Geren McGowan, Guard, Cleveland, Tenn., (1995-99)
Amy Geren McGowan was undoubtedly one of the most fearsome shooters in Atlantic Coast Conference history. The Cleveland, Tennessee, native was a first-team All-ACC selection in both 1998 and 1999, and was a starter on both of Clemson's ACC Championship teams (1996, 1999). She averaged 13.5 points per game as both a junior and senior on her way to first-team honors, and set the school record with 70 made 3-point goals in 1998. In all, she appeared in 125 games, making 62 starts, and helped the Tigers to four NCAA Tournament appearances, four ACC Championship game berths and two titles. She ranks 13th in school history with 1,402 points, but it is her dead-eye shooting that earned her national recognition. She was the National Three-Point Shooting Contest Champion in 1999, and still ranks among the top 25 in ACC history in 3-point makes (199) and attempts (558). Perhaps her finest accomplishment is her career free throw shooting percentage of .848 (335-395), a mark that still ranks sixth in ACC history. She was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. She is currently the data manager at Cleveland (Tenn.) High School and coaches the Cleveland Middle School girls basketball team.
DUKE - Alana Beard, Guard/Forward, Shreveport, La., (2000-04)
Considered one of the best all-time players in women’s basketball history, Alana Beard earned National Player of the Year honors her final two seasons at Duke and is one of five three-time First Team All-Americans as selected by the Associated Press. Beard helped Duke to a 126-14 record in four seasons, four straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including back-to-back trips to the Final Four (2002 and 2003), four consecutive ACC Regular Season and Tournament Championships. Beard was the first player in league history to be named Player of the Year three times, and earned All-ACC First Team honors each of her four seasons at Duke – the first player in ACC women’s basketball history to accomplish the feat. She finished her career as Duke’s all-time leading scorer, amassing 2,687 points, 509 assists and 404 steals at Duke and is the first player (men’s or women’s) in NCAA history with over 2,600 points, 500 assists and 400 steals. Beard holds 10 Duke career records, points (2687), field goals made (1,005), field goals attempted (1,906), free throws made (582), steals (404), steals per game (3.0), minutes played (4,285), double-figure scoring games (127), games played (136 – tied) and games started (136). She also holds the ACC record for free throws made, and ranks in the top eight of eight categories in the ACC record book, including points (second), points per game (sixth), steals (third), steals per game (eighth), field goals made (third), field goals attempted (fifth) and free throws attempted (second). Beard was the second overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft.
FLORIDA STATE – Cherry Rivers, Forward/Center, Miami, Fla. (1976-80)
Known as one of Florida State Women’s Basketball’s top interior players, four-year student-athlete Cherry Rivers was an intimidating presence who could rebound with the best of them. From 1976-80, the Miami, Florida, native guided the Seminoles through the Metro Conference and left her mark as one of the best players in FSU Women’s Basketball history. Rivers averaged 10 rebounds per game in her career, compiling 1,029 total boards that led the FSU program for 34 years. In two of her four seasons, she led the Seminoles in rebounding and also led FSU in scoring in three of her four years as a player in Tallahassee. Rivers is third all-time at FSU with a 15.9 points per game average for her standout career, and finished her playing journey as a member of the Metro Conference All-Tournament Team, while earning the team’s MVP in 1980. Rivers was the first Seminole to wear the No. 33 jersey, which has followed with other FSU legends including LeeVayne Oliver, Bev Burnett, Danielle Ryan and Natasha Howard. Rivers’ 1976-77 season in which she averaged 14 rebounds per game continues to be a school record that may be nearly untouchable. She currently sits fourth in school history in career points (1,636), second in rebounding average and tied for 10th in steals (189). Perhaps her best performance as a Seminole came against her home school of Miami, when she delivered a career-high 30 points. Rivers stuck with the Seminole tradition when she became a part-time assistant coach in 1981 and then a full-time assistant coach in 1983.
GEORGIA TECH – Sonja Mallory Gamby, Center, The Bronx, N.Y., (2000-03)
Sonja Mallory Gamby was a force in the paint for the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team from 2000-03. Gamby was an honorable mention WBCA All-American and a first-team All-ACC pick as a senior. During her senior year, she was also named to the ACC All-Defensive team and led the Yellow Jackets in scoring (16.2 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg) and blocked shots (1.84 bpg). Gamby’s rebounding and block totals in her senior season led the ACC while her scoring average was third-best in the conference. The Bronx, New York, native finished her career with 1,254 points which at the time ranked ninth on Tech’s all-time list and currently ranks 16th. Gamby finished her time at Tech with 750 rebounds, which ranked eighth all-time. Her 173 blocks still rank third on Georgia Tech’s all-time career list. She recorded 23 double-doubles in her four years at Tech, which ranked first on the conference’s active career list when she was a senior. As a junior, Gamby earned second-team All-ACC honors. She recorded two 30-point games and ended her four years starting in 83-straight games. She played in 114 career games, averaging 11.0 ppg and 6.6 rpg over her four years. Gamby was the second Yellow Jacket to be selected in the WNBA after being drafted in the second round as the 24th pick of the 2003 WNBA draft by the New York Liberty.
LOUISVILLE – Nell Knox, Center, New Albany, Miss. (1989-93)
Nell Knox finished her four-year career at Louisville as the Cardinals' all-time leading scorer in women's basketball with 1,899 points. Knox, who currently has the third-most points in school history, was the first in program history to surpass 1,500 career points. She earned first team All-Metro Conference honors as a senior, when she averaged 20.3 points per game, totaling a then-school-record 630 points. She also was named to the Metro Conference All-Tournament team in 1993 after helping the Cardinals capture the regular-season and tournament championships and reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. She poured in a career-high 36 points against Tulane her senior year, the third highest single-game total ever at Louisville. Her 803 career field goals made ranks second all-time. She also excelled at the defensive end of the court, blocking 131 shots in her career, ranking her third all-time for the Cardinals.
MIAMI – Ferne Labati, Coach, Collingswood, N.J. (1988-2005)
Remembered for her legendary enthusiasm and drive, Ferne Labati was named the head coach of the women's basketball program at the University of Miami in 1988. Eternally optimistic, she had a remarkable career at Miami and has the most wins of any Miami women’s basketball coach as well as the highest winning percentage. Highlighting her 17 seasons are nine berths in postseason play, six in the NCAA tournament and three in the WNIT. In 1991-92, Labati led Miami to a Sweet 16 appearance and a 30-2 record, including an unblemished 18-0 mark in the Big East. The Hurricanes won back-to-back Big East regular season and tournament titles in 1992 and 1993, while finishing as high as No. 6 nationally. Her 1996 squad earned a share of the Big East 7 division title. Labati also ushered in a new era of basketball at Miami, as her final season with the program was the Hurricanes’ first in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 1992 WBCA/Converse Coach of the Year, Labati finished her impressive tenure at Miami with a stellar record of 303-195 (.608) and was 439-317 (.581) in her head coaching career. Labati was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
NORTH CAROLINA – Tracy Reid, Guard, Miami, Fla. (1995-98)
The No. 2 scorer in North Carolina women’s basketball history, Tracy Reid amassed a then-school-record 2,200 points upon graduation in 1998. When her Tar Heel career came to a close, Reid ranked fourth all-time in the ACC in points, eighth in rebounds (1,065) and ninth in scoring average (18.2 points per game). She was selected as the ACC Player of the Year following her junior and senior seasons and was named to the Kodak and Associated Press All-America teams in both 1997 and 1998, becoming UNC’s first two-time consensus choice. She finished third in voting for the Naismith Player of the Year award as a senior in 1998. A member of three ACC Tournament title teams, Reid earned All-ACC honors in 1996, ’97 and ’98 after leading the conference in scoring all three of those seasons. She was voted to the All-ACC Tournament First Team in 1997 and ’98. In addition to leading the program in points scored, Reid boasts the highest career scoring average (18.2), the sixth-highest first goal percentage (52.8), and the fifth-highest rebound total (1,065). Reid is one of only two North Carolina players to total more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their careers. A member of the ACC 50th Anniversary Women’s Basketball Team, Reid was selected by the Charlotte Sting in the first round (7th overall) of the 1998 WNBA Draft. She would go on to be named the WNBA Rookie of the Year after finishing among the league leaders in scoring and rebounding. Reid played from 1998-2003 in the WNBA for Charlotte, Miami and Phoenix.
NC STATE – Jennifer Howard Wolgemuth, Guard, Hickory, N.C. (1993-97)
One of the most renowned shooters in NC State history, Jennifer Howard was the first three-time Academic All-American in team history, and the only United States Basketball Writers Association’s (USBWA) Academic All-American of the Year to wear the Wolfpack red and white. Howard was honored by the Atlantic Coast Conference in each of her four seasons from 1993-97, earning second team All-ACC honors in 1995 and 1996. In addition to ranking among the elite 30 who have scored 1,000 points in their Wolfpack careers, Howard ranks first in program history with 315 made 3-pointers, second in career free throw percentage (.814), sixth in career free throws made (347), and 15th in assists (332). She twice made the most 3-pointers in a single game in school history (9) and led her teammates in three-point field goal percentage all four years of her career, and the ACC twice. Howard’s teams reached three NCAA Tournaments, recorded two 20-win seasons, and posted an impressive record of 73-46. She became the seventh Wolfpacker to make a WNBA roster following her graduation, signing with the Cleveland Rockers in 1997.
NOTRE DAME – Natalie Achonwa, Forward, Guelph, Ontario (2010-14)
Natalie Achonwa is less than one year removed from a stellar playing career as one of the cornerstones of the most successful four-year runs in Fighting Irish history. A two-time All-America forward, she helped lead Notre Dame to a 138-15 (.902) record, four NCAA Final Four appearances and three trips to the NCAA title game. She also ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in points (12th - 1,546), rebounds (4th - 970), field-goal percentage (6th - .562) and double-doubles (tied-5th - 28). In 2015, Achonwa will continue her basketball career as a member of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, who selected her in the first round (No. 9 overall) of the 2014 WNBA Draft. Achonwa missed the 2014 season while recovering from knee surgery. A native of Guelph, Ontario, Achonwa graduated from Notre Dame in May 2014, earning her bachelor’s degree in management-consulting from the top-ranked Mendoza College of Business. In addition to her professional playing career, Achonwa currently serves as operations specialist for the Notre Dame women's basketball team, helping coordinate the team's travel and social media plans, as well as assisting with summer camps and day-to-day office operations.
PITT – Debbie Lewis, Guard, Willow Grove, Pa. (1977-82)
After 40 years of Pitt women’s hoops, few players have come close to reaching the levels of efficiency and productivity set early-on by Debbie Lewis. She dished out 638 career assists, which is still the school record, in addition to ranking second in program history in steals (250) and fourth in scoring (1,961). In fact, she still owns overall school records – including those of the men’s basketball program – for most assists (18) and most steals (10) in a single game. After many years coaching at high school and collegiate levels, she became a recipient of Carlow College’s Women’s Spirit Award and was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, she became only the second women’s basketball letterwinner to be named an Awardee of Distinction by the Pitt Varsity Letter Club. Today, Lewis operates a private dental practice just four miles from the Pitt campus and was named one of Pittsburgh’s Top 200 Dentists by Pittsburgh Magazine.
SYRACUSE – Martha Mogish Rowe, Forward, Syracuse, N.Y. (1978-81)
One of the first females to receive a basketball scholarship, Martha M. Mogish was the first woman to be inducted as a Syracuse Letterwinner of Distinction without the "honorary" tag. A four-year starter for the women's basketball team, Mogish set the SU single-season record for rebounds. During her senior year, SU had a school-best 26-8 record, winning the 1981 Eastern Region 1-A Championship and advancing to the 1981 AIAW national tournament. Mogish was the first member of the Syracuse women’s basketball team to score at least 1,000 career points. She finished with 1,405 career points, which ranks sixth in program history. In addition, she ranks fourth in school history in career rebounds (912). Mogish played professional basketball in Italy, France, Sweden and Finland for five years after graduation. She was a member of the National Champions of Finland and played in the European Cup Tournament with the French and Finish teams.
VIRGINIA – Audra Smith, Forward/Center, Milledgeville, Ga. (1989-92)
During Audra Smith's four-year playing career at Virginia (1989-92), the Cavaliers went 113-18, made three trips to the Final Four and won two ACC Championships. After graduating from Virginia with a degree in sociology in 1992, she worked in her hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia, before joining Debbie Ryan's staff in 1994, serving as an assistant coach. Smith served as the recruiting coordinator beginning in 2000, before leaving in 2004 to become the head coach at Alabama Birmingham. At UAB, Smith amassed a 57-39 record with her teams finishing with a winning record in each of her last four seasons there. On April 8, 2013, Smith was named the head coach at Clemson, where in her first season at the helm, she led the team to collect the most wins by the program since 2009-10, and a win an ACC Tournament game.
VIRGINIA TECH - Kerri Gardin, Forward, Morganton N.C. (2002-06)
Kerri Gardin was a tough rebounder for the Hokies for four seasons and has her name etched throughout the record book for her work on the boards. During her senior campaign, Gardin led the ACC in rebounding, averaging 10 per game and holding the Virginia Tech single-season record as well with 289. Gardin’s 21 rebounds against UVA rank as the most in the Hokies’ history and is tied for the fifth highest in the history of the ACC. Gardin finished her career ranked fifth in Tech’s history in rebounding with 784, 21st in scoring (1,061), eighth in blocks (91) and 10th in steals (157). In addition, Gardin holds the Tech records for most rebounds in an ACC season (141) and in an ACC Tournament game (15 vs. Duke). In 2006, Gardin was drafted 34th by the Chicago Sky and was signed as a free agent in 2008 by the Connecticut Sun where she played until 2011 before continuing her career overseas.
WAKE FOREST – Janice Collins, Guard/Forward, Hampton, Va. (1983-86)
Collins played in 109 games with 80 starts in her four-year Wake Forest career. She was named second-team All-ACC in 1985. She led the team in field goal percentage (.507) that season while averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a junior. Collins again averaged 12.7 points per game as a senior and increased her rebounding average to 6.5 boards per game. She shot .753 (67-89) from the free-throw line and started all 29 games and also had 56 assists and 49 steals in her final season. For her career, she amassed 992 points, 548 rebounds, 186 assists and 146 steals. Collins is currently a faculty member at the University of Illinois in the College of Media and has earned multiple Emmy, Best of Gannett, Associated Press, NABJ, and AABJ awards for writing, editing, video journalism, reporting and producing.