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October 16, 2002

Wareham's Whitney honored with Hall of Fame nod

From: South Coast Today, MA
Oct. 16, 2002

By MARIA CAPRIO, Standard-Times correspondent

Wareham basketball standout Jessica Whitney has been inducted into the new New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

Whitney, who has excelled in basketball since she picked up a ball at age 14, was a four-year letter winner at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She was a member of the school's team that made it to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 in 1999, and in 2001 was a member of United States team that won the gold medal at the Deaf World Games.
She was inducted into the hall of fame along with 99 others, including Bob Cousy, Rebecca Lobo, Tom Heinsohn, Patrick Ewing and Jamila Wideman. She was informed of the honor in late August.
The idea of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame was conceived by Dan Doyle, founder and executive director of the Institute for International Sports.
Doyle's goal with the New England Basketball Hall of Fame was to honor a wide variety of individuals and teams.
"I was shocked and surprised," Whitney said when she learned of her nomination. "To be in the company of Bob Cousy, Rebecca Lobo, Jim Calhoun and others is an enormous honor. Most of these people have spent their lives playing basketball and have contributed so much to the sport."
So has Whitney, who was one of the speakers at the induction ceremony held Oct. 4 at Keaney Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Rhode Island in Kingston.
"The ceremony was the most emotional part of the night," she said. "After giving my speech, I looked up at the crowd of 600 people and they were standing. A standing ovation for me, Jessica Whitney. I was speechless."
Her parents, grandmother, high school and college coaches were among her supporters at the event.
"It was so exciting for us," said Alice Whitney, Jessica's mother. "Jessica is dedicated. Basketball is something she has loved for a long time, and this is such an honor for her."
Whitney currently is a student in the master's program at Gallaudet, and an assistant coach for the women's basketball team. Her goals are to work in either a school system or at a state agency as a social worker.
"I will continue to play and coach basketball," she said. "I hope to be a positive role model."
With her drive and demonstrated success, she will undoubtedly be an inspiration to others.

This story appeared on Page C1 of The Standard-Times on October 16, 2002.

©2002 The Standard-Times