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RODDY ROCKS

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Carolyn Bush Roddy named to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

By Jason Perry

The road Kingston resident Carolyn Bush Roddy started down as a young athlete has been a long one. It has taken her throughout Tennessee, America and the world.

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Saturday night, it took her to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville as one of the Class of 2019 inductees.

Seeing her Kingston Lady Jackets basketball jersey on display in the Hall of Fame along with a newspaper story from The Roane County News about her induction into the Hiwassee Hall of Fame along with some other exhibits, Roddy summed up her thoughts.

“It gives a sense of pride, elation and most of all joy,” she said. “Knowing the road that I have traveled to get here is a special blessing.

“It’s phenomenal for me to know that I am going to be a part of this, a part of history, for the rest of my life and the years to come after.

“For the first 13 years I either was coached by or was coached against everyone that has been inducted.

“That in itself is a unique experience.”

Only two years into the integration of schools in 1964, Roddy joined the Roane County High School Lady Jackets basketball team as a freshman, becoming the first African American on the team in 1966.

It was her talent along with support from Coach Freddie Paul Wilson, his assistants and teammates that helped her to improve and mature as a ball player.

After a successful high school career, Roddy graduated and moved on to Hiwassee College and then to Wayland Baptist University and the Flying Queens, where she racked up accolades and milestones.

She finished with 1,090 career points, good enough to be number eight on the all-time scoring list for Wayland Baptist.

Her prowess on the basketball court led to numerous honors.

Roddy won a number of MVPs, was recognized as a rookie of the year, played on a Pan-Am team, was a multiple All-American, a top scorer and rebounder, a professional player and a coach.

She played with and against a who’s who of the top names in women’s basketball and became friends with them, one of which was legendary Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt.

Through it all, Roddy has lived a full life and found time for family and friends.

Her commitment to God, sports and family has served her well and even now she has stayed  humble despite everything.

When she was notified as one of the finalists for this year’s hall of fame ballot in January, it has been a source of excitement waiting for the day to arrive.

With induction and subsequent enshrinement in the hall now past, Roddy is able to look back on her accomplishments on the hardwood.

The latest in her list of honors is perhaps the greatest and is a culmination of a combination of hard work and talent.

“I tell the young people that to achieve their dreams and goals you have to be willing to work hard for it,” Roddy said. “If something pops up, in failure or in your victory that is all in how you handle it and how you handle yourself.”