KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- In recognition of her outstanding play during the 2016-17 season, the jersey of Western Washington University senior guard Taylor Peacocke is among those currently on display in the Ring of Honor at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Ring of Honor features jerseys of the top college and high school players from the previous season with a display of over 100 jerseys hanging from the rafters of the back rotunda at the Hall of Fame. A colorful backdrop for the exhibits at the Hall of Fame, the Ring of Honor recognizes top young basketball players for achievements in the sport with representation of collegiate All-Americans and high school Gatorade State Players of the Year.
"The Ring of Honor is an exhibit at the Women's Basketball of Fame where we honor the nation's top players at every level," said Josh Sullivan, Director of Basketball Operations and Technology for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. "To have your jersey on display at the Hall of Fame is a huge privilege and we are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of these young athletes."
Among the honors and accomplishments of an illustrious career and standout senior season, Peacocke helped guide the Vikings to the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II West Regional and a 26-6 overall record during 2016-17. She scored 745 points during her senior year to become the first player in GNAC history to exceed 700 points in a season, setting the WWU single-season scoring record as well and leading all of NCAA Division II with a 23.3 points per game average.
"This honor means more to me that I can even express in words," Peacocke said. "Some of the players who have been honored in the American Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in the past are players I have looked up to since I first started playing and discovered my love and passion for the game of basketball."
In past years, featured jerseys have included basketball greats Candace Parker, Brittney Griner, Sue Bird, Candice Wiggins and Breanna Stewart.
"To have my college jersey hanging in a place where Sue Bird, Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart have also had their jerseys displayed is an honor that I can't even fathom -- those women not only exemplify incredible talent but also strong, inspiring women with great character that I have and will always look up to," Peacocke said. "It's safe to say that this honor is one of the most amazing feelings I have experienced and I am beyond grateful to even be considered for a spot in the Ring of Honor."
During the 2016-17 season, Peacocke scored 20 or more points in 23 of 32 games, including four games of 30 or more points (five in career). She scored a career-high 41 points (fourth-best Division II scoring performance during season) in an 84-72 WWU win at Simon Fraser on Jan. 17, coming within a single point of tying the WWU single-game record and tying for third-most points in a game in GNAC history while setting the program record for points in a half with 27 points in the second half. She also set the WWU single-season record for free throws made and finished second for attempts in a season (159-for-187, 85.0%).
"I can say whole heartedly that my experience at WWU and the women's basketball program at the university have been life changing and hands down the best experience of my life," Peacocke said. "I owe every single piece of success to the program, the community, my teammates and my incredible coaches who have supported me throughout every step in my journey. I owe so much about the person and the player I am today to my coaches. I cannot express how grateful I am for their dedication, passion, knowledge and genuine care to not only develop me as a basketball player but as a strong, independent woman as well."
Peacocke concluded her collegiate career with 1,940 career points, ranking second in WWU history behind Jo Metzger (1,990 points, 1977-81) as well as second in GNAC history behind Simon Fraser's Erin Chambers (1,946 points, 2011-2015). Her career points total ranked eighth among active Division II players and her career scoring average of 16.3 points per game ranks second in WWU history behind Metzger at 18.3 points per game. She holds the GNAC record for points scored in league games with 1,244 points.
Following her senior season Peacocke was named a First Team All-American by both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Division II Bulletin, as well as a Second Team All-American by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA). After the season, she participated in the 20th Annual Women's Pro Combine and Free Agent Camp hosted at the University of Texas at Dallas during NCAA Final Four weekend.
"I came into the program expecting to leave a better basketball player but I left an even better person with a solid foundation that I will be able to build and lean on for the rest of my life," Peacocke said of her WWU career. "This program taught me the core values of selflessness, humility, family and the value and voice that us women athletes have in a society that is primarily male-dominant in the world of athletics. I won't always remember the wins or the statistics, but what I will always remember are the relationships I've been blessed with along the way, the values I've been taught and engrained within the framework of my own belief system, as well as the feeling of being able to represent a program and university that represents and values so much more than just athletics, but people and diversity as well."
Peacocke is a two-time First Team All-GNAC selection and three-time All-GNAC performer, including the 2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year, as well as a three-time GNAC All-Academic Team member. She was a three-time GNAC Player of the Week selection during 2016-17 and was named to four all-tournament teams, earning most valuable player honors at three of the tournaments. Peacocke was a co-recipient of the WWU Female Athlete of the Year honor following her senior year.
"None of this would be possible without my parents and my family's support throughout my entire life," Peacocke said. "They took me to every single practice, every travel tournament around the country, and worked around my sports schedule so they would never miss a single game. They pushed me to become the best that I could be and gave me a solid support system to lean on. I can never thank them enough for their sacrifices and support to ensure that I had every opportunity to play at the next level."
Peacocke recently graduated on June 10 and is part of a class of six graduating seniors from the program. The Vikings recorded the 34th 20-win season in the program's 46-year history, and ninth consecutive winning season during 2016-17. In addition to a 26-6 overall record, WWU placed 2nd in the GNAC with an 18-2 mark and reaching the GNAC Championships final before advancing to the NCAA Division II Tournament West Regional semifinal.
The Hall of Fame, which opened in 1999, is the only facility of its kind, dedicated to all levels of women's basketball. For more information on the Ring of Honor or the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame visit www.wbhof.com or call (865) 663-9000.
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