HERMITAGE- Former Collierville High School basketball star Nikki McCray will become the tenth person and first female athlete from the state of Tennessee to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame.
McCray-Penson is among 12 individuals who will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 33rd Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 96th NFHS Annual Summer Meeting.
McCray’s accolades in high school are many. She was named an “All-American” by Parade Magazine and by Converse during her senior season (1989-90). She was also the winner of the Class AAA Miss Basketball Award that year as well. She was a three-time All-State selection and was twice named the Commercial Appeal’s “Best of the Preps” Player of the Year.
Nikki set four state records by the time she finished her high school career, all of which still stand today. She holds state records for Most Field Goals Made in a Career (1,592), Most Rebounds in a Career (1,720), Most Field Goals Attempted in a Career (2,587), and Most Free Throws Attempted in a Career (858). She is third in the state record book for most points in a career (3,594), but is first all-time in 5-on-5 basketball. Nikki finished her career second in the record book for Career Field Goal Percentage (.592).
After high school she went on to play at the Univeristy of Tennessee-Knoxville where she was named an All-American and SEC Player of the Year both as a junior and senior. She finished her collegiate career with 1,572 points, which is still among the Lady Vols’ top 15. In her four years at Tennessee, the Lady Vols won three SEC regular-season titles, two conference tournament championships, and had four NCAA tournament appearances.
At the conclusion of her collegiate career, McCray-Penson went on to play professionally for 11 years (two years in the ABL and 9 years in the WNBA). She was a three-time WNBA All-Star and was named MVP of the ABL for the 1996-97 season. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012 and is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner (1996 and 2000).
She is currently in her 7th year as an assistant coach for the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team.
“We are extremely happy for Nikki and her family,” stated Bernard Childress, Executive Director of TSSAA. “She was such an outstanding athlete and is so well revered in Tennessee high school history, and we are honored to have her represent our state as the first female athlete inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame. This is a very proud moment for Collierville High School, the State of Tennessee, and TSSAA, but most of all, it’s a proud moment for Nikki’s family.
Previous Tennessee inductees include Rick Insell, Catherine Neely, the late Jim Smiddy, the late Buck Van Huss, and the late Boyce Smith, all coaches. The late Bill Pack was inducted into the Hall of Fame as an official, as well as Billy Schrivner of Jackson. Ronnie Carter, former Executive Director of TSSAA, was inducted as an administrator. Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway was the first athlete from Tennessee and was inducted last year.
The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and activity programs.
The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.7 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site.
Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations
Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
Assistant Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association administers the junior and senior high school athletic program for an estimated 110,000 participants, 402 schools, an estimated 6,000 coaches, 5,000 officials, and almost 5,500 teams. The mission of the TSSAA is to serve its members by providing leadership and coordination for the administration of interscholastic athletics, which will enhance the educational experiences of students. The TSSAA will promote participation and sportsmanship to develop good citizens through interscholastic athletics, which provide equitable opportunities, positive recognition and learning experiences to students while maximizing the achievement of educational goals.
Matthew Gillespie, 615-889-6740
Assistant Executive Director
A complete list of the 2015 National High School Hall of Fame Class can be found below.
2015 National High School Hall of Fame Class
Charles “Corky” Rogers
Joseph (Joe) Pangrazio Sr.