INDIANAPOLIS, IN— Jackie Stiles, the legendary basketball and track and field star at Claflin High School during the 1990s, is among 12 individuals who will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 33rd Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 96th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.
Stiles is regarded as the greatest female athlete in Kansas history and she is on a short list of top high school female athletes in U.S. history as a result of her storied career at Claflin from 1993 to 1997.
In basketball, Stiles scored 3,603 points and averaged 35.7 points per game (seventh all-time nationally), which includes a staggering 46.4 scoring average (fourth all-time nationally) as a senior. She set the state’s all-time single-game mark with 71 points in a 1997 game.
Stiles holds the top four single-game performances in Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) tournament history with games of 53, 48, 48 and 47. Despite the fact that at times she was guarded by three or four players on the opposing team, Stiles scored 50 points or more 12 times during her high school career.
Since the age of five, Stiles has lived a good portion of her life in gymnasiums as she rewrote the definition of the word “practice.” During her sophomore season, Stiles began a regimen of making (not taking) 1,000 shots a day, which, on good days, would take about four hours. As a result of her relentless practice, Stiles made 58 percent of her field goals despite taking many shots from all over the court.
Not surprisingly, Stiles holds claim to nearly every Kansas girls state basketball record and is the only four-time first team all-state selection. However, basketball is only the beginning of the story of her amazing high school career.
In track and field, Stiles helped Claflin to two state titles and set an all-state record with 14 gold medals and two silver medals (out of 16 possible medals). She won four gold medals as a freshman and, as a junior, became the first female athlete to win the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 – all in one day. As a senior, she won three of the four events and set a state record in the 800.
During the fall, Stiles competed in two sports. In cross country, she won three region titles and placed all four years in the state meet (three third-place finishes and one runner-up finish). In tennis, Stiles earned three region singles titles, medaled each year at the state meet and led her team to three runner-up finishes.
Stiles’ fame expanded far beyond the Kansas plains during her career at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University), where she led her team to a berth in the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2001. She concluded her celebrated career at SMSU as the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history with 3,393 points. Including men, only Pete Maravich scored more points than Stiles in NCAA Division I basketball history. She led the NCAA in scoring in 1999-2000 with a 27.8 average, which included a single-game best of 56.
Stiles was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year three times and received the Wade Trophy as a senior as the best female basketball player in the nation.
In the 2001 WNBA draft, Stiles was selected fourth by the Portland Fire and was selected WNBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 14.9 points per game. She also was chosen for the 2001 WNBA All-Star team.
Unfortunately, her professional career was cut short by a series of injuries.
The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, fine arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and activity programs. This year’s class increases the number in the Hall of Fame to 435.
The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.
Other inductees in the 2015 class:
ATHLETES: Cindy Brogdon, basketball, Greater Atlanta Christian School, Norcross, Georgia; Nikki McCray-Penson, basketball, Collierville (Tennessee) High School; Lincoln McIlravy, wrestling, Philip (South Dakota) High School.
COACHES: David Barney, swimming, Albuquerque (New Mexico) Academy; J. T. Curtis, football, John Curtis Christian School, River Ridge, Louisiana; Rick Lorenz, volleyball, Central Catholic High School, Portland, Oregon; Don Petranovich, basketball, Winslow (Arizona) High School; Charles “Corky” Rogers, football, The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Florida.
OFFICIAL: Joseph (Joe) Pangrazio Sr., football and basketball official, Dennison, Ohio.
ADMINISTRATOR: Doug Chickering, executive director, Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.
PERFORMING ARTS: Mike Burton, speech and debate coach, Eastside Catholic High School, Bellevue, Washington.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS):
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.7 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.