Courtesy: UNCWSports.com Prolific center Gwen Austin will have her jersey retired during halftime ceremonies on Feb. 23, 2014
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Gwen Austin will be the first women’s basketball player in UNCW history to have her jersey retired when the Seahawks bestow the honor on the former hoops standout in late February
The ceremony will take place during halftime of UNCW’s matchup with Towson on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Trask Coliseum. The contest will also serve as the program’s annual alumni game in conjunction with homecoming week festivities.
A dominating center for the Seahawks in the early 1980’s, Austin joins former men’s basketball greats Brett Blizzard (11), Brian Rowsom (35) and Bill Mayhew (35), former Director of Athletics and Baseball Head Coach Bill Brooks (47) and former pitcher Carl Willis (42) as the only individuals in UNCW’s history to reach the pinnacle.
“We’re very pleased to honor Gwen for her outstanding career at UNCW,” said Jimmy Bass, UNCW’s athletic director. “Gwen had a spectacular career with the Seahawks and her records have stood the test of time. Honoring her in this fashion is long overdue.”
A four-year star with the Seahawks from 1981-85, Austin averaged a double-double of 18.9 points and 11.8 rebounds over 109 games, shooting a remarkable 52 percent from the field.
The Wallace, N.C., native capped off a brilliant career in her senior season, earning First-Team All-ECAC and ECAC South Player-of-the-Year accolades in 1984-85 after averaging 20.4 points and 12.8 rebounds. She also enjoyed a stellar junior campaign, collecting career highs of 21.0 points and 13.0 rebounds to establish new single-season marks in both categories and propel the Seahawks to their first 20-win season in program history (22-6).
Austin remains UNCW's career leader in scoring (2,056), rebounding (1,290) and blocked shots (222). She also holds school records for career scoring average (18.9 ppg), career rebounding average (11.8 rpg) and owns 16 records overall.
Austin was recognized by the Colonial Athletic Association in 2009 as one of the league's legends during its annual program to honor past greats of the game. She was also inducted into the UNCW Athletic Hall-of-Fame in 2010.