Birmingham, Ala. -- Featuring former outstanding student-athletes from all 14 Southeastern Conference member institutions, the 2013 class of the SEC Women’s Legends program will be honored at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, March 6-10 at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. This marks the 13th year of the the program.
“The SEC Legends program showcases the extraordinary talent these women have brought to athletics in the Southeastern Conference,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “These women set the precedent for the athletes you see today. It is an honor for us to acknowledge their contributions both on and off the athletic field.”
The 2013 class includes: Dominique Canty, Alabama (Basketball); Blair Savage-Lansden, Arkansas (Basketball); Becky Jackson, Auburn (Basketball); Sophia Witherspoon, Florida (Basketball); Kiesha Brown, Georgia (Basketball); Jenny Hansen, Kentucky (Gymnastics); Sandra Smith-Thompson, LSU (Gymnastics); Alexis Rack, Mississippi State (Softball); Joni Davis, Missouri (Basketball); Lashinda Demus, South Carolina (Track & Field); Kyra Elzy, Tennessee (Basketball); Kelly Krauskopf, Texas A&M (Basketball); Ashley McElhiney, Vanderbilt (Basketball).
Each honoree will be introduced during half-time of their teams first game of the tournament, all attending individuals will also be honored as a group between games of the second session on Friday, March 8. The Legends will then participate in an autograph session on the concourse following the group introduction. Complimentary posters of the Legends will be available at the session.
Biographical sketches of the 2013 honorees follow:
ALABAMA – Dominique Canty, Basketball, 1996-99
Dominique Canty remains one of the most decorated players in Alabama women’s basketball history and still stands as its all-time leading scorer, accumulating 2,294 points throughout her four-year career... Canty was the first freshman to be named Southeastern Conference Tournament MVP in 1996 and earned all-conference accolades each of her four seasons... She was also recognized nationally, being named a two-time U.S. Basketball Writers Association First Team All-American amongst several other All-America honors in the late 90s... Canty started in 113 of the 127 games she played in at The Capstone and averaged over 18 points and seven rebounds for her career... Canty was selected 29th overall by the Detroit Shock in the 1999 WNBA Draft and was the runner-up for the league’s Rookie of the Year honors... She spent 14 seasons in the league, making stops at Detroit, Houston, Chicago and Washington.
ARKANSAS – Blair Savage-Lansden, Basketball, 1989-93
Savage began her collegiate basketball career as a standout post player at Arkansas... She capped her career in Fayetteville as the Razorbacks' 10th all-time leading scorer with 1,072 points and currently ranks among the top 25 all-time in scoring for Arkansas... Savage ranks 10th all-time in rebounds (675) and in the top 20 in assists (233)... She was named to Arkansas' Razorback Silver Anniversary team after averaging 9.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in her four years in Fayetteville... She shot over 50 percent from the field in all four seasons in Arkansas... Also a standout in the classroom, Savage was an Academic All-America nominee in both 1990-91 and 1991-92, the first-ever time that Arkansas had two women's basketball teammates nominated for the award... In 1993, Savage was selected as the NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Arkansas, and also received the NCAA/Entergy Winning for Life postgraduate scholarship... Savage joined the University of Memphis as an assistant coach in 1994-95 working as a restricted earnings coach for two years... She moved to a full-time assistant position in 1996-97, a position she held until 2002-03... Savage followed her family to Middle Tennessee State working as an assistant coach, before returning to Memphis as the head coach.
AUBURN – Becky Jackson, Basketball, 1980-84
Kodak All-American as a senior... Earned ASWF All-America Third Team honors as a freshman and junior... Four-time All-SEC performer... Finished as Auburn’s all-time leading scorer with 2,068 career points and held that distinction until 2009…. Currently holds Auburn’s career rebound record with 1,118 career boards...Auburn’s career leader in field goals with 864 … Had second-highest mark with Carolyn Jones and Marianne Merritt for points in single game with 38... AIAW All-State performer as a freshman... Named to the Alabama State All-Tournament team as a freshman... Named MVP of the SEC Tournament in 1981... Jersey was retired in a ceremony during the regular season.
FLORIDA – Sophia Witherspoon, Basketball, 1988-91
Witherspoon finished her Gator Basketball career as the sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,381 points in just three seasons ... She is listed in the top five of several school career statistical categories: point average (5th), three point FGM (5th), three point FGA (5th), three point FG% (1st), FTM (2nd), FTA (2nd), and steals (5th)... A First Team All-SEC selection following her senior year and a Second Team honoree her junior season… The Office of Student Life created an academic award in her honor following her graduation... The Sophia Witherspoon Award for Overall Excellence is presented each semester to two individuals who exemplify the positive attitude and strong work ethic in the classroom that they display on the playing field. It is one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Office of Student Life at the University of Florida … Selected in the second round of the 1997 WNBA Draft by the NY Liberty, which made her the 11th overall player taken … She was inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
GEORGIA – Kiesha Brown, Basketball, 1996-97; 1998-2001
Kiesha Brown displayed remarkable resiliency throughout her basketball career... The 1996 National Prep Player of the Year out of Atlanta’s Woodward Academy, Brown joined the Lady Bulldogs in the fall of 1996 with four starters returning from UGA’s NCAA runner-up finish the previous spring... Brown became Georgia’s starting point guard in the third game of her freshman season and helped UGA to wins over three top-20 teams before suffering a season-ending knee injury in December... A second injury forced her to miss the 1997-98 season as well... Brown returned to help Georgia reach the 1999 Final Four, capture the 2000 SEC Championship and win the 2001 SEC Tournament... Brown then went from undrafted free agent to play for nine seasons in the WNBA and also competed for 12 years professionally in Europe in the Czech Republic, France, Israel, Russia, Spain and Turkey.
KENTUCKY – Jenny Hansen, Gymnastics, 1993-96
Jenny Hansen competed in the sport of women’s gymnastics at the University of Kentucky from 1993 to 1996... She graduated from UK after winning three consecutive (1993 – 95) NCAA All- Around Championships... Those three championships are part of Hansen’s unprecedented eight total NCAA Championships... She also scored 28 career perfect 10’s and won 10 SEC titles... One of her most valued honors was receiving the 1995 Honda Award for the Female Athlete of the Year... She was a three-time Honda Gymnastics Award winner and a Sullivan Award finalist, which honors the nation’s best amateur athlete... Jenny received 13 All-America honors, was voted the Kentucky Sportsman of the Year in 1995 and was named the most outstanding gymnast of the past 25 years by the NCAA... Since leaving UK, Hansen has worked as a performing artist at Sea World and is currently working as a personal trainer for a popular TV series.
LSU – Sandra Smith-Thompson, Gymnastics, 1980-83
Arguably the best overall gymnast at LSU during her era, Sandra Smith helped bring Tiger gymnastics to national prominence during the early '80's... Smith led LSU to the SEC Championship in 1981, the Tigers' only conference title in what now ranks as the toughest gymnastics conference in the country... A four-time All-American, Smith also earned All-SEC honors during each of her final three seasons, winning the conference vault and floor titles in 1981, the floor in 1982 AND the vault again in 1983... Upon leaving LSU, Smith held every individual school record, owning top marks of 9.80 on the vault, 9.850 on the bars, 9.60 on the beam, 9.65 on the floor and 37.10 in the all-around.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Alexis Rack, Basketball, 2006-2010
Alexis Rack became the first women's back-to-back Gillom Trophy winner for the state’s top college player when she received the honor after her junior and senior seasons... A member of the SEC All-Freshman team in 2007, she went on to be named First Team All-SEC by the coaches and second team All-SEC by the Associated Press in 2009 and 2010... Rack finished her career as the No. 3 all-time leading scorer for the Bulldogs with 1,756 points... She also owns the program and SEC record for most 3-pointers made in a career (340) and in a season (108)... She was drafted by the San Antonio Silver Stars as the 29th pick overall.
MISSOURI – Joni Davis, Basketball, 1982-85
Davis currently stands as the most prolific scorer in Missouri women's basketball history, scoring 2,126 points in her career from 1982-85, on four MU teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament... She was the Big Eight Conference "Player of the Year" in 1984 and '85, and was the MVP of the Big Eight Tournament three times... She is a two time Kodak All-American and a two-time Kodak All-America Honorable Mention... Davis holds three MU career and four MU season records... She scored 776 points in her senior season, the most for any senior in the program... Also in her senior season, Davis was named an honorable mention all-American, second-team Academic all-American, the Big Eight Female Athlete of the Year, and won NCAA and Big Eight postgraduate scholarships.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Lashinda Demus, Track&Field, 2002-2004
As a freshman, Lashinda Demus was an integral part of the first-ever NCAA Championship at the University of South Carolina when the women’s track and field team earned the title in 2002... In the same year, the 11-time All-American was named the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year as well as the SEC Outdoor Female Athlete of the Year... At the NCAA championship meet, Demus also collected two of her four individual NCAA titles in the 4x400m relay and in her specialty event, the 400m hurdles... Competing professionally since her time as a Gamecock, Demus won the 400m hurdles gold at the 2011 World Championships with the third fastest time recorded to break the 16-year-old American Record... After earning a spot on her second US Olympic team, Demus captured the silver medal in London this past summer... Demus currently lives in Toluca Lake, Calif., where she cares for her twin sons Duaine and Dontay while training for the 2016 Olympics.
TENNESSEE – Kyra Elzy, Basketball, 1996-2001
As a student-athlete at Tennessee from 1996-2001, Elzy was a member of two national championship teams (1997 and 1998) and a national runner-up squad (2000)... She helped the 1997-98 squad to a perfect, 39-0 record... A four-year letterwinner who spent five seasons in a Lady Vol uniform after missing the 1998-99 season with an injury, UT won four SEC Championships and three SEC Tournament titles during Elzy’s stay in Knoxville... She played in 126 games and earned the Holly Warlick Defensive Player of the Year award in 1997, the Unsung Hero Award in 1998 and was on the 2000 USA Today All-Injury Team that recognized athletes that competed while overcoming medical issues... Elzy became just the fifth freshman in Tennessee history to start her first game as a Lady Vol when she started at guard in the 1996-97 season opener against Austin Peay... She also became the first UT player to earn her master's degree while still playing... She was named to the 2000 and 2001 SEC Academic Honor Rolls and was a three-time member of the Lady Vol Academic Honor Roll and earned UT Dean's List honors each semester while in graduate school.
TEXAS A&M – Kelly Krauskopf, Basketball, 1980-83
After transferring from Stephen F. Austin where she played for legendary coach Sue Gunter, Kelly Krauskopf became a three-year letterwinner in women’s basketball under head coach Cherri Rapp... Those early seasons in the Southwest Conference laid a foundation for future success... Krauskopf played forward and was a starter her junior and senior seasons... After graduating in 1983 from Texas A&M, she remained committed to women’s athletics and served as an assistant athletic director for women’s sports and marketing at Texas A&M until 1990 when she joined the Southwest Conference as an assistant commissioner for marketing and was the chief administrator for women’s sports... In 1996, she became the first WNBA Director of Basketball Operations and has since become the President and General Manager for the Indiana Fever.
VANDERBILT – Ashley McElhiney, Basketball, 1999-2003
Currently Vanderbilt's 26th all-time scorer with 1,093 points... Second-most assists in a career (673) and a season (219 in 2002-03) for the Commodores... Was the first Vanderbilt player (male or female) to eclipse 600 career assists... Helped Vanderbilt to two Elite Eight appearances during her time at Vanderbilt, as well as 2002 SEC Tournament Championship... A finalist for Senior CLASS Award... Two-time All-SEC selection.