Bearette success continues
by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor
Jan 20, 2014 | 1075 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
FORMER BRADLEY CENTRAL and Tennessee Lady Vol All-American and current Wichita State head coach Jody Adams will be one of two inductees into the Bearette Hall of Fame Tuesday evening at Jim Smiddy Arena. Wichita State University photo
FORMER BRADLEY CENTRAL and Tennessee Lady Vol All-American and current Wichita State head coach Jody Adams will be one of two inductees into the Bearette Hall of Fame Tuesday evening at Jim Smiddy Arena. Wichita State University photo
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While a pair of former Bradley Central all-staters are preparing to be honored Tuesday evening, a current player is in the running for an All-American honor.

Between District 5-AAA games Tuesday evening with McMinn County, the Bearette Hall of Fame will welcome two new members as Jody Adams and Sandra (Dixon) Shourd are set to be inducted.

Meanwhile, senior Brooke Copeland has been named as a nominee for the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Team. The University of Florida signee is on a list of nationwide nominees for this year’s nationally televised games to be played at the United Center in Chicago on April 2.

Nearly a thousand players from 44 states have been nominated for the All-American games with the final 48 (24 girls, 24 boys) to be announced on ESPNU on Jan. 29 at 6 p.m.

Former Bearettes Adams and Dixon will be in attendance to watch Copeland and the current Black-and-Gold squad play before the induction ceremonies.

Adams is in her sixth season as the head coach of the Wichita State University Shockers, who are currently 13-2 on the season, including a perfect 4-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play.

Playing for legendary coach Jim Smiddy from 1987-89, Adams made all-district, all-region and all-state teams each of her three seasons (freshmen did not play on the varsity teams at the time).

One of the top scorers in Bearette history, Adams netted 2,478 points and led Bradley to its final TSSAA state tournament under Smiddy’s direction.

After begin selected to a trio of All-American teams — Street & Smith, Converse and USA — her senior season, Adams accepted a scholarship from the University of Tennessee to play for head coach Pat Summitt.

She was the starting point guard on the Lady Vols' 1991 NCAA national championship team, and won four Southeastern Conference titles as a player from 1990-93. She was twice named to the SEC All-Academic Team, earning the Lady Vol Torch Award for academic excellence as well as the Lady Vol Coach's Award after being honored as a preseason All-American in 1993. She was also named to the ESPY’s Team of the Decade for 1990-2000.

Like her father (Joe) and grandfather (Ace) before her, Adams went into the coaching profession after graduating, starting as a student assistant at UT before accepting assistant coaching positions at Auburn (1994-96), Wake Forest (1996-97) and Minnesota, where she also served as the recruiting coordinator, producing a recruiting class ranked among the top five nationally, including 2002 Big Ten Player of the Year Lindsay Whalen.

She was named 2003 AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year while at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and also served as an associate coach at Southern Illinois before getting her first head coaching job at Murray State (Ky.) in 2007. She led the Racers to the to a 24-8 record and the Ohio Valley Conference championship in her first season, before her team fell to then third-ranked Duke in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Shourd played for Coach Smiddy from 1968-71, making all-district and all-region three ties and all-state twice.

A guard under the old six-on-six, half-court style of play, Shourd was a tenacious defender as the Bearette finished third in the state in 1969 and won the TSSAA crown in 1970.

A four-year starter, Copeland was named to the all-state team last season, plus has earned the same honor on the volleyball court for the past two seasons. The 6-foot-2 post player, with the ability to play outside as well, has averaged a double-double the past two seasons and just posted 23 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocked shots in Friday’s victory over cross-county rival Walker Valley.

Copeland has scored more than 1,900 points as the Bearettes have gone 103-16 so far in her career, including a 59-57 victory over South Carolina’s Northwood Academy at the Girls’ Night Out event in Atlanta on Saturday.