Hometown reunionPublished 1:29pm Friday, December 28, 2012
Hartselle welcomes home Vickie Orr Wiley, state girls title teams of ‘84, ‘85
Vickie Orr Wiley never sought recognition during her career.
However, when her accomplishments were read to the crowd gathered at the Pettey Center last and the crowd, including fans from West Morgan, gave her a standing ovation, she was nearly overcome with emotion.
“It nice to receive recognition for my accomplishments,” Wiley said. “I never really sought recognition or things like that. I just went out there and did the best I could at anything I did.
“But it is nice for the recognition, especially for my son,” she added.
Wiley was one of 13 former athletes, managers and coaches from the 1984 and 1985 AHSAA girls basketball state championship teams recognized during the school’s home basketball game with West Morgan.
Those teams combined to win 62 consecutive GAMES and became the first teams to win girls basketball championships in Morgan County. Of the 10 all-state players selected those two years, seven of them were Hartselle players.
Orr went on to play college basketball at Auburn and helped lead the Lady Tigers to a the national championship game in both 1988 and 1989 under former coach Joe Ciampi.
She finished her career with 2,035 points and 1,006 rebounds, only one of three Auburn women to achieve such a feat. She also holds records for career field goal percentage and field goals made and is third overall in points scored and fourth in both rebounds and blocks.
After being selected as a three-time All-SEC and All-American, she went on to play with the USA national team, where she won gold at the 1990 World Championships, gold in the Goodwill games and bronze in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
But while walking the halls of Hartselle High School, she had no idea what was in store for her.
In fact, basketball wasn’t necessarily on her radar until a coach caught her attention one day.
“He caught me before I got on the bus and told me that I should try out for the basketball team,” she said. “I thought about it for a minute and told him I’d try out. I’m so glad he caught me.”
Now, she will be member a of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame when the 2013 class is inducted next year.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet that I will be inducted into the hall of fame,” Wiley said. “It’s just amazing to receive this honor.”
Other members of the 1984 and 1985 teams honored on Thursday night include:
• head coach Jerry Reeves.
• managers – Kerry Williams, Amy Thrasher and Jennie Jones Cole.
• Bridget Connell
• Beth Reed, All-State 1984
• Amanda Reynolds Hardigree,
• Melody Roberts Shelton
• Tabatha Yates Fagan, All-State 1984
• Marianne Evans Parker
• Jeaniece Slater – First Miss Alabama Miss Basketball, Gatorade Player of the Year, All-State 1985
• Tara Starling, All State 1985
• Paula Story
• Tanya Armstron Lybarger, All-American, All-State 1985-86, Gatorade Player of the Year 1986, played at Austin Peay and Montevallo
• Paige Corum Dobbs
• Karen Duran Winchester
• April Hearring
• Jennifer Maples Chandler, Academic All-American
• Angie Pope Baker
• Nivada Spurlock, played at UNA