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DeHorney was a one-of-a-kind player

BY ANDRES FOCIL
DeHorney was a one-of-a-kind player

Delmonica DeHorney Hawkins became the second Razorback basketball player and the fourth overall inductee to the Arkansas Hall of Honor in September 2000. The first Kodak All-American at the University of Arkansas, DeHorney set the standard by which all future post players will be judged. The only player in Southwest Conference history to receive three player of the year honors during her career, DeHorney led Arkansas to its peak of domination of the SWC and onto the national stage as a top 10 team.

DeHorney exhibited her promise her first season at Arkansas, earning SWC Newcomer of the Year honors. Her sophomore season was limited due to injuries, but the 6-4 Poteau, Okla., product came back stronger than ever as a junior.

It was during the 1989-90 season that DeHorney and Arkansas became household words in the sports world. Leading Arkansas and the SWC in scoring and field goal percentage, DeHorney paced the Razorbacks to the first win over Texas by a conference opponent. The win at Texas broke a 183-game streak and the UT strangle-hold on the conference title. As the SWC co-champions, Arkansas was selected for the NCAA tournament. DeHorney stepped up her game, earning All-NCAA West Regional team honors for her back-to-back 30-point games at the Stanford-hosted tournament. Arkansas reached the Elite Eight with DeHorney leading the way.

For her efforts, DeHorney was voted the SWC Player of the Year in 1990 as well as one of the 10 players selected by the WBCA for the Kodak All-America team.

As a senior, DeHorney proved herself again. Repeating as SWC Player of the Year, she led Arkansas to an undisputed SWC crown with a pair of wins over Texas and a 15-1 conference mark. Arkansas added the 1991 SWC Classic trophy to its collection to become the first team besides UT to win the postseason conference tournament. Ranked as high as 8th in the nation, Arkansas received a first-round bye in the 1991 NCAA Tournament, but was upset in the Sweet 16 by Lamar.

In the storied history of the SWC, only one woman was voted by the league coaches to a player of the year honor three times in a career. DeHorney was the SWC Newcomer of the Year as a freshman in 1988. An injury limited her playing time as a sophomore, but she returned full force as a junior and a senior to lead the league in scoring and earn the 1990 and 1991 SWC Player of the Year award. The first player twice voted first team all-conference, DeHorney was chosen SWC Player of the Week three times and all-tournament once. Her career was remembered years later as she was the only women’s basketball player voted to the five-player first-team of the SWC All-Decade Team.

Immediately after her playing career at Arkansas, she spent a season in Japan in professional basketball, then a brief time in France.

She returned to Fayetteville for the retirement of her jersey in 1992, only the second in school history, before settling with her family in Baltimore. She was voted in the University of Arkansas Razorback Hall of Honor in September 2000.

The University of Arkansas’ Athletic Department recognizes its heritage and the countless contributions made by African-American student-athletes in all 19 of its varsity sports. The Razorbacks are proud to celebrate this great tradition and recognize some of the inspiring pioneers, great student-athletes and outstanding role models that have worn a Razorback uniform as a part of Black History Month.



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