The 2020 class of inductees to the McDowell High Athletic Hall of Fame should feel right at home at the ceremony on Friday, Jan. 31.
After all, all of them played on the court at Titan Gym.
The basketball-oriented class includes the 1975-76 Titans team, as well as former star players Tiffany Stacey Sellers and Raekwon Miller.
The group will be honored between varsity games when the Titans and Lady Titans host Watauga next Friday. A reception, open to all members of the hall, is set for 5:30 at the school.
The Titans’ team of 1975-76 essentially put the school on the map where basketball is concerned. The Titans, coached by Vann Brackin, made quite a splash in their first season as a 4A program.
McDowell finished 24-6 and was Western 4A Conference co-champions. The Titans went on to win the West Sectional and District championships, advancing to the State 4A championship game before falling to South Meck.
It’s still the deepest playoff run a McDowell boys’ team has ever made. The team’s portrait hangs in the gym. Brackin was named Western N.C. Coach of the Year, and star center Rob Noyes — a charter member of the hall as an individual — was an All-Western N.C. selection.
Members of the team included Noyes, Tony Austin, James Brown, Bill Buchanan, Jeff Conley, James “Junior” Conley, Paul Corpening, Ken Day, Jimmy Everidge, Keith Jarrett, Odie Kuykendall and Mike Stepp. Team members Keith Taylor and Roger Carver are deceased. The club was coached by Brackin and assistants Bill Chapman and Mike Silver (also an individual hall-of-famer). David Hensley and Winslow Ballew were the team’s managers.
Sellers, a 1992 graduate, was a dominant force in the paint for two of the best teams the Lady Titans ever produced.
As a junior in 1991, the 6-foot-2 center helped lead McDowell to Northwestern 4A Conference, Sectional, Regional and State championships, finishing 29-1. Sellers averaged 12.1 points and 7.7 rebounds, was named to the NW4A all-tournament team, and was the MVP of the West Regional.
As a senior, Sellers was the NW4A Co-Player of the Year, averaging 18 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. She made the Associated Press All-State team and was chosen to participate in the Annual East-West All-Star Game. Sellers helped lead the Lady Titans to a regular-season NW4A co-championship, a conference tournament title and a state sectional championship. McDowell advanced to the West Regional final and finished 26-3. In Sellers’ two varsity seasons, McDowell went 55-4.
Sellers went on to a successful collegiate career at UNC-Wilmington. She is fifth all-time on the school’s career blocked shots list and seven all-time in offensive rebounds.
Miller, a 2014 graduate, is one of the most prolific scorers in the school’s history. As a senior, Miller averaged 23.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.5 steals, leading the Titans to the State 4A Playoffs. He was an all-conference selection and earned AP All-State honors. Miller also made all-district, played in the East-West Game, and was the MVP of the Annual Blue-White All-Star game.
Miller tied or broke the school’s single-game scoring record three times as a senior, and holds the current mark with a 48-point outburst in a 111-104, six-overtime playoff win over Ragsdale. Miller owns half of the six 40-point games in Titan history. He finished his two-year varsity career with averages of 17.6 points, 4.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals.
Miller then embarked on a successful college career at UNC-Asheville. As a senior, he averaged 11 points and 4.4 rebounds, and led the Bulldogs in assists at 3.3 per game, and 3-point percentage, shooting 48 percent. Miller was part of a senior class that won a school-record 81 games, two Big South regular-season titles and a tournament championship, and played in the NCAA tournament in 2016.
Miller played professionally in Germany.
The group joins a stellar list of inductees into the hall, which includes: Anna Atkinson Caparaso (athlete, basketball), Bob Brackett (coach, supporter), Ronald “Poon” Hausley (athlete, basketball), Greg Holland (athlete, baseball), Courtney Morris Gardner (athlete, basketball, soccer, high school Heisman), Rusty Wall (athlete, football), Mike Silver (coach, basketball), Tammy McEntire (athlete, basketball), Joe Cash (athlete, football, basketball), Aletha Corpening (athlete, basketball), Brian Franklin (athlete, basketball), Coy Gibson (coach, football), Jenis Grindstaff (athlete, basketball), Charlie Gowan (athlete, football), Jason Van Dyke (athlete, football), Alicia Harris (athlete, swimming), Chuck Koone (athlete, baseball) Jack Noyes (supporter, deceased), Donnie Suttles (athlete, baseball), the 1990-91 Lady Titans (athletes, basketball team), Anthony Allen (athlete, football), Kelly Landreth (athlete, track, cross country, swimming, soccer, high school Heisman), Dwayne Ledford (athlete, football), Van McKinney (supporter, radio announcer), Sara McMann (athlete, wrestler), Greg Sproles (athlete, swimmer), Johnny Anderson (coach, football, deceased), Tom Blackburn (supporter, deceased), Ken Griffin (coach, basketball, deceased), Lynn Helms (athlete, wrestler, deceased), Lauriece Jenkins (athlete, basketball), Richard Laney (coach, athletic director, deceased), Charlotte McCall (athlete, track, cross country), Rob Noyes (athlete, basketball), Greg Parker (athlete, golf), Marty Queen (supporter, newspaper sports editor), Judy Stroud (athlete, basketball), Chris Twitty (athlete, football, basketball) and Scott Wade (athlete, football).