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Former Collierville High basketball star will be inducted into National High School Hall of Fame


Former Collierville High School basketball star Nikki McCray-Penson will become the 10th person and first female athlete from Tennessee to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame.
McCray-Penson is among 12 individuals who will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations National High School Hall of Fame on July 2 at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, La.
The 33rd Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 96th NFHS annual Summer Meeting.
McCray-Penson was named an “All-American” by Parade Magazine and by Converse during her senior season (1989-90). She was also the winner of the Class AAA Miss Basketball Award that year. She was a three-time All-State selection and was twice named “Best of the Preps” Player of the Year.
She set four state records by the time she finished her high school career, all of which still stand. She holds state records for Most Field Goals Made in a Career (1,592), Most Rebounds in a Career (1,720), Most Field Goals Attempted in a Career (2,587) and Most Free Throws Attempted in a Career (858). She is third in the state record book for most points in a career (3,594), but is first all-time in 5-on-5 basketball. McCray-Penson finished her career second in the record book for Career Field Goal Percentage (.592).
After high school, she went on to play at the Univeristy of Tennessee-Knoxville where she was named an All-American and SEC Player of the Year both as a junior and senior. She finished her collegiate career with 1,572 points, which is still among the Lady Vols’ top 15. In her four years at Tennessee, the Lady Vols won three SEC regular-season titles, two conference tournament championships, and had four NCAA tournament appearances.
At the conclusion of her collegiate career, McCray-Penson went on to play professionally for 11 years (two years in the ABL and nine in the WNBA). She was a three-time WNBA All-Star and was named MVP of the ABL for the 1996-97 season.
She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012 and is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner (1996 and 2000).
She is currently in her seventh year as an assistant coach for the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team.
“We are extremely happy for Nikki and her family,” said Bernard Childress, executive director of TSSAA. “She was such an outstanding athlete and is so well revered in Tennessee high school history, and we are honored to have her represent our state as the first female athlete inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame. This is a very proud moment for Collierville High School, the State of Tennessee, and TSSAA, but most of all, it’s a proud moment for Nikki’s family.”
Previous Tennessee inductees include; Rick Insell, Catherine Neely, the late Jim Smiddy, the late Buck Van Huss, and the late Boyce Smith, all coaches. The late Bill Pack was inducted into the Hall of Fame as an official, as well as Billy Schrivner of Jackson.
Ronnie Carter, former executive director of TSSAA, was inducted as an administrator. Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway was inducted last year.
The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their “extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and activity programs.”
The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.

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