Current, Future Cats Get Hall Call

May 13, 2009

TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona all-American Ify Ibekwe and 2009 signee Davellyn Whyte, a graduating senior at St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, will have their jerseys put on display at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame located in Knoxville, Tenn.

The jerseys will be included in the Hall’s “Ring of Honor”, which displays over 100 jerseys that includes high school and college All-Americans as well as WNBA All-Stars. The Ring of Honor traditionally holds 20 high school jerseys for a period of one year to honor those who were chosen.

“The Ring of Honor is one of our favorite displays at the Hall of Fame and it has become one of our most popular exhibits as well,” said Karen Tucker, Director of Basketball Relations, Programs and Communications at the Hall of Fame. “Not only does the Ring of Honor provide a colorful backdrop to the Hall of Fame’s many archives, but it is also our way of recognizing some young basketball players for their achievements in the sport.”

Ibekwe was selected an honorable mention all-American by the Associated Press after her sophomore season. A 1st-team all-Pac-10 selection and all-Pac-10 Defensive Team honoree, Ibekwe led the Wildcats in scoring (15.7), rebounds (11.6), steals (60), blocked shots (52), field goals (173) and free throws (109). Her rebounding total was 2nd all-time in Arizona history for a single season while also leading the Pac-10 and placing 6th in the NCAA.

“It is a great honor to have my jersey placed with those other players,” said Ibekwe, who was recently selected to participate in the 2009 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo. “Sometimes I still don’t believe that things like this are happening to me, but it’s very exciting.”

Whyte, who signed with the Wildcats during the November signing period, was the Arizona Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year after leading the Lady Knights to the Arizona 5A state championship game this season. She averaged 20.5 points per game this past season while helping her team to a 25-3 overall record.

“At first I was a little in shock, but then I accepted that people have noticed some of the things I accomplished in high school,” said Whyte, a three-time Desert Valley Region Player of the Year. “This type of honor motivates me because if it weren’t for things like this, people might not know who I am and that makes me want to work hard to prove myself at the next level.”

“I am really, really proud of these young ladies,” said Arizona head coach Niya Butts. “They have both worked very hard and deserve this prestigious honor. I am extremely blessed to both be their coach and to have them as part of our basketball team.”

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