Iconic basketball player Miriam Walker-Samuels will become the first South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame inductee from Claflin University.
The high-scoring star, who later coached at her alma mater, has been selected to the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame's Induction Class of 2019, according to a Thursday announcement.
Walker-Samuels is among seven inductees, joining Clemson’s Chris Gardocki, who punted for 16 NFL seasons, and South Carolina and College of Charleston women’s basketball coach Nancy Wilson of Lake City.
The class also features USC defensive lineman John Abraham of Lamar High, Clemson baseball player Shane Monahan, linebacker Dexter Coakley of Mt. Pleasant and Appalachian State, USC-Aiken and former major league pitcher Roberto Hernandez.
The seven individuals will be forever enshrined with the Palmetto State’s highest athletic honor on May 13 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Tickets (table of eight for $600) and program sponsorships are available by securing a table from the SCAHOF office 803-779-0905. Payment and reservations must be made by Friday, April 12.
A Talbotton, Ga., native, Walker-Samuels earned “Miss Georgia Basketball” honors at Central High School before establishing an outstanding basketball career at Claflin (1987-90). She led Claflin to the 1988 and 1989 NAIA National Championship games and set nine NAIA records during her prolific career, including most points in a game (62 vs. Dillard, 1988), most points in a career (3,855) and most points in a season (1,303; 1987-1990).
Walker-Samuels averaged 35.5 points per game during the 1988-89 season and 34.7 points per game over her career. She twice won the NAIA National Tournament’s MVP Award and was a two-time first-team All-American.
Walker-Samuels was a member of Claflin’s inaugural Hall of Fame Class in 2008. She enjoyed a successful high school coaching career, first at Keith High in Orville, Ala., and later at Sylacauga High, also in Alabama, which she guided to the Class AAAA state championship before returning to Claflin in 2003 as head coach.
Walker-Samuels succeeded her coach and mentor, the late Nelson Brownlee, and continued to guide the Lady Panthers in the same tradition as her predecessor. In her first three seasons as Claflin head coach, she guided her team to consecutive national tournaments.
She was recognized by the Black College Sports and Education Foundation as a Black College Sports Legend for making significant contribution to black colleges.