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UNCW inducts four into Athletic Hall of Fame

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UNCW inducts four into Athletic Hall of Fame

The UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed four new members to its elite membership (from left to right) Rick Jones, Tressa McKeithan, John Goldsberry, and Anna Marbry on Feb. 13 at the Burney Center. 

The UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed four new members to its elite membership (from left to right) Rick Jones, Tressa McKeithan, John Goldsberry, and Anna Marbry on Feb. 13 at the Burney Center. 

The UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed four new members to its elite membership (from left to right) Rick Jones, Tressa McKeithan, John Goldsberry, and Anna Marbry on Feb. 13 at the Burney Center. 

The UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed four new members to its elite membership (from left to right) Rick Jones, Tressa McKeithan, John Goldsberry, and Anna Marbry on Feb. 13 at the Burney Center. 

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On Feb. 13, UNC Wilmington’s athletic department held its 11th Hall of Fame induction ceremony in the Burney Center. The inductees consisted of four UNCW sports legends, all of whom have left marks on the university that will last for a lifetime.

The inductees entailed basketball icons John Goldsberry and Tressa McKeithan, alongside college baseball coach Rick Jones and track & field star Anna Marbry, who all spoke to The Seahawk in exclusive interviews.

Goldsberry, who graduated in 2006 and went on to play eight professional seasons in Germany, led UNCW to two NCAA tournament appearances in his four seasons as a Seahawk. He finished his career as UNCW’s all-time leader in assists and returned to campus in 2015 to have his jersey retired during a halftime ceremony against William & Mary.

“Being inducted with this class, I feel very honored,” said Goldsberry. “The basketball was great, but the most important things to me were the relationships, the people and the connections that I made during my time here. Those’ll stick with me for the rest of my life.”

Rick Jones played baseball for UNCW in the mid-1970s, well before the Seahawks joined NCAA Division-I athletics. He was a relief pitcher for the Seahawks and helped them to the NAIA championships in 1975.

Jones did not shine on the field nearly as well as he did in the dugout, however. After landing his first head coaching job in 1982 with Ferrum College, Jones went on to win over 1,000 games in his career, including 814 in 20 years and two trips to the College World Series at Tulane University.

“I knew that I wanted to coach when I was here, and really being a part of the ’75 NAIA World Series team is what I felt really started my coaching career,” said Jones. “I always knew I wanted to coach, but it was being part of something special from a coach’s standpoint that I always strived for.”

Marbry, on the other hand, left UNCW in 2007 but not without setting numerous school records and representing the university at the NCAA Championships three times. She became the school’s first NCAA Division I All-American in 2005.

“You spend so much time trying to get better at your particular sport, and it’s really just an honor and the pinnacle of my athletic career to be a part of UNCW history for the long run,” said Marbry.

Another inductee made her name known in the record books. McKeithan started 84 games in a career that concluded in 1991. She is still one of only three Seahawks to tally 1,500 points and collect 500 rebounds in a career. Known for her shooting ability, McKeithan helped UNCW to 51 victories.

“This means everything to me,” said McKeithan. “ I’m just so honored and so grateful to be among the elite people that have been inducted. I hope I helped [women’s basketball] in a positive way, to show that women’s basketball is a positive program that should be kept going for others who come along.”

The next UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to take place in early 2018, and will be the next occasion for UNCW to be able to honor those who have made its sports history so great.

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UNCW inducts four into Athletic Hall of Fame