UH Circle of Honor's newest members will be inducted at basketball tonight
POSTED: Saturday, January 24, 2009
Heather Bown said one of the reasons she gave up competitive swimming for competitive volleyball was that it was hard to talk when swimming laps.
But when the two-time All-America middle blocker for Hawaii was told about being selected for the UH Circle of Honor, Bown was at a loss for words ... temporarily.
"It's surreal," Bown said in an e-mail from Italy, where she is playing professionally. "There's been so many great athletes that have passed through the athletic department that I would be humbled to even have a consideration for the Circle of Honor much less be chosen for it.
"I was bummed because I knew there was no way I would be able to be there to show my gratitude. It's such an honor to know that I made such an impact that I would be remembered from my early days as a young, obnoxious Wahine."
Bown is one of two Olympic volleyball players who are part of the 27th class. The other is former Warriors opposite Clay Stanley, who also missed yesterday's luncheon at sponsoring Bank of Hawaii because of playing commitments in Europe.
Joining the two are former UH athletic director Ray Nagel and, in the legends category, the late Jack Johnson, a four-sport letterman and captain of the 6-0 football team of 1934.
A four-sport letter-
man and captain of
the 6-0 Hawaii foot-
ball team of 1934
Stanley's father, Jon, also a two-time Olympian, said his son's selection capped "a pretty good year for Clay."
Clay Stanley's Russian club team won the European Cup, with Stanley earning MVP honors. He helped Team USA sweep host Brazil en route to the World League title then was named MVP of the Olympics as the Americans won the gold.
"They say you're only as good as your last match," Jon Stanley said. "But this honor is something that will last forever."
Nagel, the only honoree to attend yesterday's luncheon, was equally appreciative.
"This is very special, really fun for me to be here," Nagel, the UH athletic director from 1976-83, said. "I can't imagine anything that I've enjoyed more."
Helped the U.S.
team to the gold
medal in the
Alicia Bown said she was honored to represent her younger sister, a three-time Olympian who helped the U.S. to a silver medal in Beijing last summer.
"Hard to believe it's been 10 years since she played here," Alicia Bown said of the 1998 and 1999 Western Athletic Conference player of the year.
Bown read a note from her sister that read, in part, "The young girl that entered the Stan Sheriff Center years ago still lives in me. Every day I play for that little girl inside that fell in love with sport."
The four officially will be inducted during halftime of the men's basketball game tonight at the Sheriff Center.