Walker honored by House

Published 11:59 pm Thursday, March 25, 2010

LORMAN — Former Alcorn State women’s basketball coach Shirley Walker was already a coaching legend in the state.

But now she has the stamp of approval from the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Walker was honored by the House on Tuesday, where a resolution was passed honoring Walker’s accomplishments on and off the basketball court.

“I was very surprised,” Walker said of receiving the honor. “It was breathtaking and it brought back some wonderful memories.”

In Walker’s 30-year tenure at Alcorn State, the Lady Braves won 11 regular season SWAC championships, seven SWAC tournament championships and participated in the NCAA tournament three times.

Walker, an Alcorn alumnus, won 492 career games and was named SWAC Coach of the Year 10 times.

In addition to her accomplishments as head coach, Walker also played an important role as a member of several different NCAA committees.

As a member of the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee, Walker worked to help secure an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for the champion of the SWAC tournament.

“A lot of people don’t know about that,” Walker said. “I’m the one that worked hard and opened the door for SWAC women’s basketball to have an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.”

Walker also served on the NCAA Council, which is the highest ranking NCAA committee, as well as the NCAA Minority and Opportunity and Interest Committee, the NCAA Basketball Officiating Committee and the NCAA Special Event Committee.

The House’s resolution congratulated Walker on her on court and off court accomplishments.

“It would be resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Mississippi that we hereby to commend and congratulate Shirley A. Gibbs Walker and extend best wishes for continued success in her future athletic endeavors,” the resolution said in closing.

Walker received a plaque to commemorate the honor, and said her day at the State Capitol was a once in a lifetime experience.

“When I got there I didn’t know what to expect,” Walker said. “But it was just breathtaking and amazing.”