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Smith-Knight to be inducted into Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
July 17, 2012
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Former University of Texas standout Annette Smith-Knight has been named one of six inductees into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2013, the organization announced. Smith-Knight (1981-84, '85-86) becomes the fourth player and fifth overall member of the Texas Women's Basketball program to be selected for the Hall of Fame. She is the 11th member from the Big 12 Conference.

She joins former UT players Kamie Ethridge(2002), Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil (2006) and Andrea Lloyd-Curry (2007) in the Hall of Fame. Former head coach Jody Conradt was inducted to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

"I am very honored. This is a privilege that comes with a lot of surprise, too. At my age, you start to think that all of the awards and honors are in the past," Smith-Knight said. "This announcement brings such a smile to my face and brings a flood of emotions and wonderful memories of my career at Texas."

Smith-Knight is joined in the Class of 2013 by coaches Gary Blair and Jim Foster, and players Peggie Gillom-Granderson (Mississippi), Jen Rizzotti (Connecticut) and Sue Wicks (Rutgers). The 15th group of Women's Basketball Hall of Honor inductees will be formally introduced at the 2012 State Farm Tip-Off Classic between Baylor and Kentucky on Nov. 13 in Waco, Texas. The induction is scheduled to take place at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on June 8, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn.

"In the most simple words, we built the Texas Women's Basketball program on the back of Annette," UT Women's Athletics Director Chris Plonsky said. "We have probably never had a more humble, yet effusive, superstar. In her prime, Annette was great because of her sheer-natural talent. Her competitiveness and her zest for playing were unmatched. Every great player that came to play at Texas came because of Annette."

Smith-Knight was a first-team All-American (1984) and a two-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year (1983, 1984) as a sophomore and junior who also won a gold medal for USA Basketball at the 1983 World University Games. She paced Conradt's squad to a runner-up finish at the 1982 AIAW Championship in addition to a pair of NCAA "Elite Eight" showings (in 1983 and 1984).

Smith-Knight returned from a devastating knee injury to lead the Longhorns to the 1986 national title. After undergoing reconstructive knee surgery, Smith bounced back as a fifth-year senior and was the foundation of Texas' NCAA Championship squad. The Longhorns finished the season with a spotless 34-0 record and became the first program in NCAA history to go unbeaten.

"There's no one more deserving of this honor than Annette," Conradt said. "Everyone who loves UT, and especially those who have followed the Women's Basketball program, should be elated because this is a long, overdue honor. She was the first building block of our program, the first superstar to commit to Texas, and she had a tremendous career that was sidetracked by a devastating injury. Until that point, she was recognized as an extraordinary talent, and following her rehabilitation, she was recognized for her work ethic, determination and character. She came back to be the real inspiration for our perfect season."

Smith-Knight continues to hold Texas' all-time scoring mark with 2,523 points. She also stands second in career scoring average (19.3 ppg), second in free throws made (419), fifth in rebounding (966), and holds the school record for consecutive games in double-figure scoring with a remarkable 33 straight.

In 2002, Smith-Knight was inducted into the UT Women's Hall of Honor and was a 2006 inductee into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.

"Coach Conradt picked up where my parents left off, and she has been a tremendous role model since the day we first met. Coming here, I was a small-town girl from Bay City, and I didn't know what I was walking into. I had never lifted any weights, and we seemed to run so much. Being an athlete, I took it on as a challenge and found out how much more I had in me to give. Coach Conradt challenged me to be the player I became, and I owe her a tremendous amount of gratitude," Smith-Knight said. "I know without a doubt that I made the right choice to attend Texas and to play for Coach Conradt,especially since I'm still here.

After completing her collegiate eligibility and earning a Bachelor's degree in speech communication in 1986, Smith-Knight moved into the coaching ranks and spent time as an assistant coach for Conradt's program from 1993-2003. Following the birth of her second child, daughter Alisa, Smith-Knight turned her attention away from coaching and into an athletic support staff position and has since served as the Director of Community Service at The University of Texas.

Smith-Knight's family includes her husband, Curtis Knight, a former basketball standout at UCLA who currently teaches math at Connally (Pflugerville) High School, and their two children, son Curtis Knight III, known as Trey (15), and Alisa (9).

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining which individuals will be inducted each year and which groups will be honored as "Trailblazers of the Game." Voting is based on various factors, including moral character,integrity, sportsmanship, record of performance, ability, national or international recognition, and contributions to the game of women's basketball.

In order to be considered for selection for induction, an individual must meet the following prerequisites: players must be retired from the highest level of play for at least five years, coaches must have coached the game for at least 20 years, referees must have officiated the women's game at least 10 years, and contributors must have significantly impacted the game of women's basketball.

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