A basketball star who was part of a WNBA title team, a runner who competed in 13 Boston Marathons, and a leading scorer for the Davidson College Wildcats in basketball will be among six new members of the Fayetteville Sports Club Hall of Fame.
Members of the Class of 2023 include Courtney Willis Colborne, Rachel Yepez Rogers, LaToya Pringle Sanders, and Kenneth “Kenny” Wilson, all in the Traditional Hall of Fame; and Marsha Kouba and Gary Weller in the Legends Class
The inductees were announced Tuesday.
This year’s banquet will be held on Wednesday, March 29, at Highland Country Club. Tickets are $65 each and can be purchased by contacting Ashley Petroski at 910-323-9195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support continuing the tradition of the annual banquet, the club is offering memberships in friends of the Sports Club Hall of Fame. For $100, individuals will receive one ticket to either this year’s or next year’s banquet and will be recognized during the awards ceremony.
Here are capsule biographies of each of the 2023 inductees:
Courtney Willis Colborne
Willis was a star athlete at Terry Sanford High School, lettering all four years in volleyball, basketball and soccer. She was honored as the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s Athlete of the Year in 2000.
She went on to star at East Carolina in basketball. As a senior in 2004, she was among the NCAA leaders with 18.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. She left ECU as the fifth-leading scorer in school history and first team in Conference USA.
She was invited to a couple of WNBA training camps but decided to play pro basketball in Europe, spending most of her career in Italy. She made the Italian All-Star game three times and twice led teams to the semifinals of the Italian championship.
Kouba, a prolific distance runner, has run more than 120 marathons and at least one in every state.
In addition, she has run on all seven continents and participated in five of the six world major marathons. She was training for her sixth major marathon in Tokyo when a hip ailment forced her to withdraw.
She has competed in 13 Boston Marathons, including 2013, when the race was marred by a terrorist bombing.
Rachel Yepez Rogers
Rogers was such a prolific scorer in soccer for Terry Sanford High School that her coach required her to kick only with her left foot after she scored three goals in one game. The coach wanted to keep the score down.
She finished her career as a Bulldog with 166 goals. She was twice named conference player of the year.
She went on to star at Louisiana State. In 2007, she scored 31 points and 14 goals for the Tigers. She is among the career leaders in games played with 83 and finished with 33 goals.
Rogers was a National Player of the Week in 2009.
LaToya Pringle Sanders
Sanders, who starred at Seventy-First High School, is one of the most accomplished basketball players, male or female, in Cumberland County history.
She led the Falcons to back-to-back state 4-A championships in 2003 and 2004. She pulled down a whopping 28 rebounds in the 2003 championship game with Charlotte Vance.
She was heavily recruited and chose to play for Sylvia Hatchell at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a key player for the Tar Heels, scoring 1,208 career points and averaging 5.7 rebounds. Pringle and North Carolina made the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2006 and 2007.
She was the 13th overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft, going to the Phoenix Mercury. She went on to play for the Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks, then spent her last six years with the Washington Mystics.
In her final season, 2019, the Mystics won the WNBA title. She started all 34 games during the championship season.
Weller enjoyed two successful stints as head football coach at Pine Forest High School.
He spent a total of 15 seasons as head coach, his career with the Trojans briefly interrupted when he joined the staff of the late Ed Emory at East Carolina from 1980-82.
In his 15 years at Pine Forest, Weller had only two losing seasons and averaged nearly seven wins per year with a career record of 98-61.
His two best records were 11-2 in 1978 and 12-1 in 1980.
Weller suffered multiple serious injuries in 2004 when he was run over by a driver in a stolen van.
After extensive surgery and therapy, he recovered and eventually became a motivational speaker, using his own story to inspire others.
Kenneth “Kenny” Wilson
Wilson ended his high school basketball career as the third-leading scorer in South View High School history with an average of 20.8 points. He was All-State and All-East, made the East-West All-Star game, and led the Tigers to the final eight in the state playoffs.
He went on to Davidson College, where he became one of the top scorers in school history.
He finished his career ranked fifth all-time in scoring for the Wildcats with 1,573 points. He played in all but one game in his career and scored in double figures in 52 of his last 56 games.
He led the team in scoring his final two seasons with 17.4 and 18.3 points per game, respectively.
He was twice All-Southern Conference and had one of the best shooting percentages in school history, 53.4%.
Earl Vaughan Jr. is on Twitter: @EarlVaughanJr.