Six new members will be inducted into the 2017 Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame on August 5th in Jackson. One of those to be honored, the late great Eugenia Conner.
She helped build a high school basketball dynasty at Harrison Central High School. From 1978 through the 1981 season the Red Rebelettes captured four straight Class 2A State titles.
6-foot-2 Conner was the key player who propelled Harrison Central under the win column. She dominated inside the paint, netting 20 points and 12 rebounds per game.
In those four championships seasons, the Red Rebelettes piled up 155 wins and only 9 defeats.
Harrison Central girls head basketball coach Nancy Ladner was a teammate with Conner. She was a sophomore when Eugenia started as a freshman.
"She was just a good person as she was a player, "said Coach Ladier. "She was very sensitive, always thinking of other people. I can remember at practice if she would knock somebody down, she would almost come to tears. She was a pleasant person, great person to be around at all times."
Ladner says in the state tournament the newspaper in Jackson described Conner as a Mack truck.
Ladner said, "That really hurt her feelings and some of our supporters, we had good backing of supporters that followed us at that time, went out and had shirts made on the back that said...We Love Our Truck. And that just made her feel real good and she was that type of person who would think of others before herself."
Conner continued her basketball career at Ole Miss where she was named All-SEC four years running from 1981 through the 1985 season.
After four years of playing pro basketball in Europe she returned home to Gulfport to help children and the poor and did that until she passed away at the age of 30.
Despite dying at a young age, she influenced many people.
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