July 3, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina women’s basketball assistant coach Nikki McCray-Penson was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame Thursday night at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, La. She joined 11 other inductees in the Class of 2015, which included three girls’ basketball selections.
“It is truly an honor to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame and to be the first female to represent the state of Tennessee,” McCray-Penson said. “High school sports helped me develop a love and passion for the game as well as build lifetime friendships that I will always treasure.”
McCray-Penson, best known nationally for standout careers with the Tennessee Lady Vols, USA Basketball and the WNBA, achieved those heights after a career at Collierville High School that saw her score 3,594 points – the most in state history for the five-player game. As a senior, she took her team to the 1990 state tournament after leading the state with 33.6 points per game. Also the state’s top rebounder, she earned Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Class AAA Miss Basketball honors. Following her playing career, which included two SEC Player of the Year selections, two Olympic gold medals and three WNBA All-Star selections, McCray-Penson was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Other inductees in the Class of 2015 are: athletes Cindy Borgdon (girls’ basketball), Lincoln McIlravy (boys’ wrestling) and Jackie Stiles (girls’ basketball); coaches David Barney (swimming), J.T. Curtis (football), Rick Lorenz (girls’ volleyball), Don Petranovich (girls’ basketball) and Charles “Corky” Rogers (football); official Joseph Pangrazio Sr. (football); administrator Doug Chickering (Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association); and performing arts selection Mike Burton (speech and debate coach)
The National High School Hall of Fame was founded in 1982 by the National Federation of High School Associations to honor high school athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and others, including individuals from the performing arts (beginning in 2003). With the 2015 class, 435 individuals have received this prestigious honor.