KNOXVILLE, TN July 28, 2014 – South Carolina women’s basketball assistant coach Nikki McCray added another hall of fame induction to her accolades as the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame welcomed her as part of its Class of 2014 Thursday night at the Knoxville Convention Center. She was honored for her outstanding career as a Tennessee Lady Vol as well as her professional and international highlights.
“I’m really excited about being inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame,” McCray said. “I feel like it’s a reflection of my career starting at Tennessee playing for the great Pat Summitt and of all the people who have influenced my life. It is another great blessing, and I’m humbled to be recognized.”
Inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012, Collierville, Tennessee, native Nikki McCray burst onto the national women’s basketball scene during a standout four-year career at Tennessee (1991-95). Her spark helped the Lady Vols to three SEC regular-season titles and a 122-11 record. A two-time All-American and SEC Player of the Year (1994, 1995), she amassed 1,572 career points, which still ranks her among the program’s all-time top 20 nearly 20 years later.
McCray went on to flourish both internationally with USA Basketball and domestically in the ABL (American Basketball League) and WNBA. She collected Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2000 and was a key element on the 1995-96 U.S. team that spent more than a year in residency for the first time in USA Basketball’s history. The group posted a 60-0 record in international competition and sparked two professional women’s basketball leagues in the United States.
McCray played in both of those leagues, helping to launch the ABL as a member of the Columbus Quest for two seasons. She was named league MVP after guiding her team to the league’s inaugural championship in the 1996-97 season. McCray moved to the WNBA, enjoying a nine-year career in the league. She earned a spot in the WNBA’s inaugural All-Star game in 1999, was the leading vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards in 2000 and capped her three-year All-Star run with another appearance in 2001.
Following her final professional season in 2006, McCray launched her coaching career at Western Kentucky, where she spent two seasons before joining former USA Basketball teammate Dawn Staley on the sideline at South Carolina for the 2008-09 season. McCray has helped lift the Gamecocks into the national spotlight where they have thrived in the last three seasons, posting 25 or more wins each campaign and reaching the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 twice during the stretch. She also played a critical role in landing the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class in 2014 for South Carolina.