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Redbird great, Olympian Charlotte Lewis selected for Valley Hall of Fame

Former Illinois State basketball star and Olympian Charlotte Lewis was selected as one of six inductees in the 20th Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Hall of Fame class, revealed by MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin Wednesday.

Former Redbird athlete Charlotte Lewis

Former Redbird athlete Charlotte Lewis

Lewis, a native of Peoria, Illinois, joins the MVC Hall of Fame in the Institutional Great category, which recognizes coaches, student-athletes, and administrators who represented a current league school, when their institution was not a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.

Lewis is the 11th Illinois State representative in the MVC Hall of Fame, joining Kenneth “Buzz” Shaw (1998), Doug Collins (1998), Cathy Boswell (2003), Will Robinson (2003), Jill Hutchison (2008), John Coughlan (2009), Linda Herman (2014), D.A. Weibring (2015), Dave Bergman (2016) and Sue Daggett Miller (2016).

Lewis was a four-year letterwinner in women’s basketball from 1974-78 at Illinois State. During her career, ISU recorded 63 wins and won four-straight AIAW State Championships. During the 1976-77 season, Lewis led the team to a 20-6 record, which included a 3-0 state championship run, and an 11th place AIAW national finish. She is one of only three players in Illinois State women’s basketball history to have her jersey retired.

She holds Illinois State basketball records for most rebounds in a single game (27), most rebounds in a season (345) and highest rebounding average (13.3) and also has the second-most rebounds in a single game, with 22.  Lewis set the single-season rebounding record as a junior, helped along by four games that rank in the top-10 on the Redbird single-game rebounding list. She had 12 double-doubles during the 1977-78 season, which ties for the fourth-most double-doubles in a single season and scored the fourth-most points in a game with 37 against Wisconsin LaCrosse (Feb. 5, 1977).

A Kodak All-American and Wade Trophy finalist in 1977, an award that goes to the nation’s top female athlete, Lewis was also a two-time Street & Smith’s First-Team All-American. She represented Illinois State and her country on the international level as well, as she was a member of the 1975 Pan-American Games team, the 1976 Olympic team and the 1977 World University Games team.

Notably, the 1976 Olympics marked the first year women’s basketball was a part of the Olympics, and the team won the silver medal. She also won medals at the Pan-Am games and the World Championships.

For the 14th time in 15 years, the league will conduct its annual Hall of Fame ceremony as part the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Championship next March 2-5. The March 3 festivities will begin with an 8 a.m. breakfast, followed by the induction ceremony at 8:30 a.m.

Tickets to the 2017 Hall of Fame event–scheduled to be held in the Peabody Opera House which is adjacent to Scottrade Center–can be obtained by calling the league office at (314) 444-4300. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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