Jordan, Hamm top athletes in ACC history

Nine UM stars in top 50, including three in top 10

March 13, 2003|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Two former North Carolina stars - basketball legend Michael Jordan and women's soccer great Mia Hamm - were honored last night as the top male and female athletes in the 50-year history of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Nine Maryland athletes were named among the top 50 male and female athletes, respectively, with three in the top 10.

Hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah, who turned his Olympic glory into an NFL career, was honored as the 10th-best male athlete, and linebacker Randy White was No. 6 on the list. Lacrosse star Jen Adams, who is currently the assistant women's coach at Maryland, was No. 8 among the women.

The other former Terps who were honored during a gala event at the Greensboro Coliseum were men's basketball stars Juan Dixon, John Lucas and the late Len Bias, as well as women's basketball stars Vicki Bullett and Tara Heiss, and field hockey star Carla Tagliente.

Dixon, who led Maryland to its first men's basketball national championship last season, was one of two players from Baltimore who were honored.

The other was former Duke golf star Jenny Chuasiriporn, who, as a collegian, finished second in the 1998 U.S. Women's Open.

"It's hard to put into words," said Chuasiriporn, who has returned to her hometown to teach golf and try to resurrect her playing career.

"I love Duke and the ACC. To be named as part of this elite group of athletes is an honor."

Said Nehemiah: "Even though I was in a minor sport, I tried to make a major difference."

The 1974 ACC tournament men's basketball final between Maryland and North Carolina State was chosen as the greatest single game in the league's history.

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