And One: Delmonica DeHorney, Arkansas legend

Delmonica DeHorney. (photo courtesy of Razorbacks Athletics Communications)
Delmonica DeHorney. (photo courtesy of Razorbacks Athletics Communications) /
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Delmonica DeHorney. (photo courtesy of Razorbacks Athletics Communications)
Delmonica DeHorney. (photo courtesy of Razorbacks Athletics Communications) /

That brings us to DeHorney’s senior year. She had established herself as one of the best players in the country, and Arkansas as a team came back ranked in the top ten for the first time.

The No. 8 Razorbacks went 9-2 in their non-conference schedule, beating nationally-ranked Mississippi and Rutgers along the way, and their road through conference play was unmarred except for a one-point loss on the road at Baylor midway through the season. They officially took the conference crown, beating Texas twice.

Finishing 15-1 in the SWC, they were champions on their own that year, and DeHorney was once again named the conference’s Player of the Year after she led the team in scoring, shooting from both the field and the free throw line, and of course, in blocks.

“Delmonica DeHorney led the Lady ‘Backs…”

“DeHorney’s 26 points paced Arkansas…”

“Delmonica sparked Arkansas to a SWC win…”

Arkansas was a balanced team, adding junior guard Amber Nicholas (12.4 points per game) and sophomore forward Blair Savage (11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game), but it was clear with every article written about them that their star was imposing her will on the inside.

And it was clear DeHorney and her team were dead-set on making the most of her final year.

“We’d have shed blood to win that game,” she told the press after their regular season finale 90-74 win over Baylor.

DeHorney led the Razorbacks to three wins in four days to earn their first SWC Tournament Championship, and she was named a finalist for both the Wade Trophy and the Naismith Award.

After a first-round bye as a three-seed in the 48-team NCAA Tournament, the Razorbacks kept things rolling on the back of a 31-point performance — that included 11-of-11 from the free throw line — from DeHorney, beating Northwestern 105-68.

Arkansas looked poised for a deep run, but they met No. 24 Lamar in the Sweet Sixteen, and the Cardinals were red-hot. They shot over 60% from the field to overcome DeHorney’s 33 points and six rebounds, and the senior center’s college career came to an end in disappointing fashion.

Despite being bounced early from the tournament, there was no denying Delmonica’s impact on the Razorbacks and women’s basketball across the country. She was named the program’s first All-American, joining the likes of Daedra Charles, Dawn Staley, Sonja Henning, and Andrea Stinson that year.

Her senior stat line reflected the balanced nature of that team, but it is no less impressive: 18.2 points on a career-best (and Arkansas record) 63.2% from the field, adding 5.5 rebounds and just over three blocks per game. She continued to earn over 25% of her points from the free throw line, making 129 of 177 of her attempts.

She left Arkansas as its most dominant player, without a doubt. The only Razorback to earn three separate conference honors, she had six games with at least 30 points and 18 with at least 25. To this day she is the Razorbacks career leader in field goal percentage (60.9%), free throw attempts (648), and blocks (235).

She is also third all-time in field goals made (667) and free throws made (451), fourth in points (1,785), and tied for sixth in scoring average (15.5 points per game).

As Arkansas made their transition to the Southeastern Conference, DeHorney was cemented as one of the best out of Fayetteville and in the SWC as a whole. In 1992 her jersey was retired at Arkansas, and she was named to the SWC All-Decade First Team.

She went on to play professionally for one year for Japan Airlines and then briefly in France. In 2000, DeHorney was enshrined in the University of Arkansas Razorback Hall of Honor, and in 2011 the SEC commemorated her playing career as the Arkansas SEC Legend.

As for the Razorbacks, they made the transition to the SEC, where they have struggled to put together consecutive winning seasons. They made an improbable run to the Final Four in 1998 under Gary Blair, and their improbable run to the SEC Tournament Championship game this year has demonstrated the potential is there to take the program to the next level, led by Dungee under Coach Mike Neighbors.

As for Delmonica, she now goes by Delmonica DeHorney Hawkins and works as a juvenile probation officer in Baltimore, according to the University of Arkansas.

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