John Brown University alumnus, Sierra Shipley, has been awarded the honor of having her jersey hung from the rafters of the Ring of Honor at the Woman’s Basketball Hall of Fame. This marks the first time in the history of the JBU women’s basketball program that the team has had a player make it to the Hall of Fame.
The Ring of Honor has been a part of the Hall since it opened in 1999. From it hang the jerseys of high school and college-level athletes who have achieved memorable accomplishments within the past season. Shipley’s jersey, No. 22, can currently be found on the top row of the ninth rack.
“I was so excited when I first found out because it’s an incredible honor,” Shipley said. “It’s a pretty cool way to end my career on such a special season with a tremendous group of teammates and coaches. I’m extremely thankful for the honor.”
Head coach Jeff Soderquist expressed similar sentiment.
“This is such a great honor for Sierra and for the entire JBU women’s basketball program. Sierra had an outstanding career and finished it off with an awesome senior season,” Soderquist said. “I am so proud of her, and this honor is well-deserved. I would like to thank the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame for honoring Sierra in this way.”
The women’s basketball team had a record season with Shipley in the last year before her graduation, with her becoming JBU’s first Women’s Basketball Coaches Association-National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-America First Team recipient.
The senior guard did a particularly impressive job during her last season, setting the program’s highest score of recent times with 584 points. Shipley broke the previous single-season three-point shooting record, with 92 triples in the season. She finished sixth overall in the nation.
JBU made the All-Conference first team selection with 172 field goals, 148 free throws, 0.846 free-throw shooting, 235 rebounds and 59 steals. They started all 36 games.
On Nov. 19, 2013, Shipley surpassed the level of 1,000 career points, becoming the program’s 15th player to do so. She passed this goal in the Golden Eagles’ 72-64 victory over Evangel University.
She played a pivotal role in helping the team to achieve to its best record yet, 28-8, as well as its highest ranking of number 7, just within the final postseason poll.
JBU completed this record season when, for the first time, it reached Fab Four at the 2014 NAIA National Championships after achieving the team’s first national tournament victory against Lyon College in round 32. They then achieved victory against the number one team in the nation, Vanguard University, in round 16. They ultimately fell to the national champion, Oklahoma City, but nonetheless, they won 8 of their 10 games.