Honoring excellence: Basketball standout alumna chosen for Valley Hall of Fame
Former Illinois State All-American women’s basketball player and all-time leading scorer Kristi Cirone ’09 has been selected for induction into the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Hall of Fame.
Athletics Director Larry Lyons praises Cirone as “one of the best women’s basketball players in Valley history, who rewrote the record books at Illinois State.” She is one of only three women’s basketball student-athletes to have her number hanging from Redbird Arena’s rafters.
While at ISU, Cirone led the team to two MVC regular-season championships and three post-season appearances. A member of the MVC All-Centennial and 25th Anniversary Teams, Cirone was a three-time MVC Jackie Stiles Player of the Year, a four-time All-MVC selection, and a three-time MVC All-Defensive Team selection.
Cirone was a John Wooden nominee as one the nation’s best players; and was also in contention for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate point guard. A standout in the classroom, Cirone was a two-time MVC Scholar-Athlete First-Team selection and was a Second-Team selection as a sophomore in 2007.
She is Illinois State’s all-time leader in points (2,139), three-point field goals made (229), free throws made (512), assists (681), and assists per game (5.3). Other honors include 2006 MVC Freshman of the Year, and the 2008 and 2009 Jill Hutchison ISU Female Athlete of the Year awards. She was inducted into ISU’s Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame in 2015.
Cirone played professionally in Greece and Poland following graduation, and in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun and Chicago Sky. She was head women’s basketball coach at Judson University, and is now head girls’ basketball coach at Ridgewood High School.
Other Redbirds in the MVC Hall of Fame include Kenneth “Buzz” Shaw ’61; Doug Collins ’73; Cathy Boswell ’83; Will Robinson; Jill Hutchison, M.S. ’69; John Coughlan; Linda Herman, M.S. ’72, Ed.D. ’83; D.A. Weibring ’75; Dave Bergman ’78; Sue Daggett Miller ’97; Charlotte Lewis ’78, ’01; and Christian Goy ’03, MBA ’06.