Former Tiger Honored By Hoops Hall of Fame

Auburn star Ruthie Bolton-Holifield is now a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Knoxville, Ala.--Ruthie Bolton-Holifield was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Knoxville, Tenn., becoming the first Auburn player to receive that recognition.

"I am so thankful for this great honor and this moment is so special to me," said Bolton-Holifield. "I thank God for letting me be a part of this 2011 class, and I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given."

Ruthie Bolton-Holified

The guard played in a record 132 contests for the Tigers and holds the record for games started in a season at 35 and steals in a game with 10. She ranks 21st all-time at Auburn in scoring with 1,176 and is fifth all-time in assists with 526. She is also considered one of the top defensive players in women's basketball history.

In four seasons at Auburn, Bolton-Holifield led Coach Joe Ciampi's Auburn teams to a combined record of 119-13, which included three Southeastern Conference Championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances and two runner-up finishes (1988 and 1989).

A native of McLain, Miss., Bolton was known for her work ethic on and off the court. She was a key player in Auburn's half-court and full-court defensive alignments.

An Olympic Gold Medalist in 1996 and 2000, Bolton-Holifield was USA Basketball's Female Athlete of the Year in 1991. She scored more than 2,000 points in the WNBA and is the only Sacramento Monarchs player to have her jersey retired. She was also a star player in Europe in a pro career that lasted 15 seasons.

She is part of the 13th class of inductees into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Also in the Class of 2011 are Val Ackerman (contributor), Vicky Bullett (player), Muffet McGraw (coach), Pearl Moore (player) and Lometa Odom (player). Ciampi, also a member of the Hall of Fame, was in Knoxville for the ceremony.

Current Auburn head coach Nell Fortner coached Holifield-Bolton when she was a member of Team USA. Fortner also attended the ceremony. "I am so excited," Fortner said. "It is so amazing when you walk in here and see all of the history. I am very proud of Ruthie. It was a honor to work with her on the Olympic team and I am very proud of Auburn to have a Hall of Fame athlete like her."

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