2012 Madonna Athletics Hall Of Fame Class Announced
LIVONIA, Mich. (MadonnaCrusaders.com) - - A trio of former All-America student-athletes and the first ever Madonna University team to go to a NAIA Final Four are the newest selections to the Madonna Athletics Hall of Fame as announced by the Hall of Fame committee Thursday (Jan. 19).
The Madonna University Athletic Hall of Fame was established to recognize those persons who have made significant contributions to the tradition of Crusader athletics as athletes, coaches and administrators and, in doing so, have enhanced the image and reputation of Madonna University.
Those inducted into the Hall of Honor have earned prestigious honors or recognition in a team or individual sport or, as individuals made significant contributions to the Madonna Athletic Department as a coach or administrator.
All-time men's and women's basketball scoring leaders Noel Emenhiser and Katie Cushman-Tillman along with three-time Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Year Brandy Malewski-Verkeyn and the 2000 women's soccer team that made the department's first ever appearance in a final four will be inducted this summer to the hall.
Cushman-Tillman scored 1,752 points in her four-year career to hold the top spot in the Madonna annals by almost 200 points over her closest rival. A two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-WHAC selection (1998, 1999), Cushman-Tillman also garnered NAIA All-America honorable mention honors in 1996 and 1997, leading MU to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in program history in 1997.
In addition to her all-time scoring record, Cushman-Tillman ranks first in free throw percentage (89), field goals made (579), three-point field goals made (303) and is second all-time with 502 assists. Cushman-Tillman graduated in 1999 with two Bachelor of Science degrees in both sign language studies and criminal justice before continuing her education and earning a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. She is currently practicing law in the Metro Detroit area.
Emenhiser is the lone Crusader basketball player to surpass the 2,000-point plateau, scoring 2,213 in his four years. A four-time all-conference selection, Emenhiser holds the career records for scoring average (18.6 points per game), made field goals (804), three-point field goals made (348), three-point field goal percentage (.419) and is the top-10 all-time in 11 other categories. Emenhiser was named to the NAIA All-America honorable mention, NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-WHAC teams twice before moving on to play professionally in Portugal. A 2006 graduate of Madonna with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, Emenhiser is currently the Assistant Athletic Director and head men's basketball coach at Madonna University.
Malewski-Verekyn is the lone student-athlete in Madonna history to earn three All-America selections and to be named WHAC Player of the Year three times (1998, 1999, 2000). A dominant outside hitter for the Crusaders, Malewski-Verekyn led Madonna to four straight WHAC championships (1997-2000) and a berth in the 2000 NAIA National Tournament en route to All-America first team honors. Malewski-Verekyn also took home All-America honors in 1998 and 1999. Third all-time with 2,763 kills, she holds the career record for block assists (1,130) and total blocks (1,548). An all-around player, Malewski-Verkeyn is also eighth in service aces (191) and ninth in digs (1,708). A 2002 graduate of Madonna with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, she is currently teaching computers and business in the Livonia Public Schools.
In just its third year of existence, the 2000 Madonna women's soccer team captured lightning in a bottle and after a dramatic shoot out victory over Westmont, the Crusaders advanced to the NAIA Final Four in the program's first ever National Tournament appearance.
The Crusaders went 19-3 overall with two of those losses coming to eventual national champion Simon Fraser. MU posted a 13-1 mark in the WHAC, capturing the regular season and tournament championships. During the 2000 season the Crusaders set the program record with 79 assists, 19 wins and 14 shutouts. 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Jen Barker led the individual honors for the Crusaders, being named the Most Valuable Defensive Player of the National Tournament and to the All-America first team while defender Melissa Jacobs took home All-America second team honors. A total of five players from that team earned conference, regional or national honors in 2000. Head coach Rick Larson was honored as both the WHAC and NAIA Region VIII Coach of the Year following the season.
The 2012 Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for June 9 at the University Center on the Madonna campus.
Contact: Patrick Moore (734) 432-5834