NC State's 2012 Hall of Fame Class: Genia Beasley
RALEIGH, N.C. - "I'm sorry," answered the receptionist. "Ms. Beasley is currently unavailable and is in a meeting with her staff, but she will be glad to call you back after the meeting breaks up."
Beasley scored a record 2,367 points (18.5 ppg) and grabbed 1,245 rebounds during her four years under the late legendary coach Kay Yow. Her 9.7 rebounds per game mark, 60 career double-doubles and 185 blocked shots are also school bests, as was the 73 blocks she recorded in a single season.
Beasley led Yow's teams to the 1978 regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference title as well as the 1980 regular-season and tournament championships.
On the international scene, Beasley was a member of the USA Select National Team in 1977 and '78. Those teams won Gold Medals at Pan American Games, Senior Pan American Games and World University Games.
"I was honored to be a member of the first Hall of Fame class," she noted. "I wasn't expecting it. And I look forward to being in Raleigh on October 5th for the induction ceremony."
Beasley, who was inducted to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, started playing basketball in the small community of Meadow in Johnston County. She learned to play initially against both guys and girls. Title IX was in its infancy when she played high school basketball at South Johnston, near the town of Benson.
Her junior high days in Meadow were filled with development of fundamentals and plain fun. Even at that level, her will to win was exceptional.
"I was always competitive. I don't care what game I was playing. I played to win (within the rules). That's the name of the game. I didn't like to lose. "
The former All-ACC and All-America player says two special places attributed significantly to her recruitment at NC State - Campbell College's summer basketball camp and her association with the Elon College program.
That's where her relationship with Yow was born. That's where she learned to play the game through Yow's meticulous cage drills.
"I was 6-foot-1 when I was 14 and doing those drills helped me develop my skills. Kay was very down to earth and polite to everybody," Beasley remembers.
"She always thought out of the box. Women's basketball in North Carolina was just getting started and there were some good teams. High Point was Division II National champions. Peace was competitive under coach (Nora Lynn) Finch.
"Kay wanted to play the top teams in the country. [Athletic Director] Willis Casey said `let's do it' and he got us the funding to travel."
One of the things which Beasley was extremely proud of was the team's record against rival North Carolina. After playing a game in Chapel Hill, she said the Carolina coach only offered her a half scholarship.
Beasley was already committed to NC State because of Yow's full scholarship offer plus her relationship with the legendary coach. "But I made up my mind that we weren't going to lose to UNC and I'm proud to say we never did during my four years."
The Wolfpack women went 105-23 during her four years and 59-0 against in-state competition.
She was the first blue-chip recruit for Yow and the led the Pack to a 46-4 record in venerable William Neal Reynolds Coliseum where her retired No. 50 jersey hangs from the rafters along with six other Pack female performers.
Nationally, the Pack finished 10th, 3rd, 11th, and 10th during her collegiate career.
Billy Packer, former Wake Forest star guard and famed play-by-play broadcaster, once said, "Any guy would love to have the shooting form of Genia Beasley."
And Winston-Salem sports columnist Lenox Rawlings said in 1979 that she was "the closest thing to a legend in ACC women's basketball."
Beasley graduated with a degree in zoology in 1981 before playing professional women's basketball for the Nebraska Wranglers - winners of the WBL title.
Coaching was her next stop and she served as an assistant at Tennessee-Martin during 1982-83 then had a five-year assistant stint at the University of South Florida.
In regards to international play, Beasley is proud she was a member of the 1979 USA Select team - the first USA squad to beat the Russians.
"It was a great feeling to win the European championship," she noted.
During her childhood, Beasley had dreamed of being a children's doctor. From 1988-94 she altered that dream, obtaining a doctorate of optometry before working in Philadelphia at a pediatric clinic for vision therapy.
Today she works at a Vision Therapy Clinic, specializing in care for children.
By George Cox, GoPack.com