Basketball's Boone an Award Finalist

April 16, 1998

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Anthony Boone, a senior forward on the 1997-98 Ole Miss Rebel basketball team, has been named one of seven finalists for the prestigious Chip Hilton Award, the Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.

The Chip Hilton Award, now in its second year, is given to a player who has demonstrated personal character both on and off the court similar to the fictional Chip Hilton character depicted by Hall of Fame coach Clair Bee in the classic Chip Hilton Sports Series. The award will be presented at the Basketball Hall of Fame's collegiate Awards Dinner on May 16 in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of basketball. The seven finalists are judged on the following criteria: athletic skill, excellence of effort, fair competition, team spirit, personal discipline, respect of the University and athletic authority, personal integrity, service to others, team leadership and accountability to family, coaches and the University.

"This is another great honor for Anthony to be named a finalist for the Chip Hilton Award," said Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes. "Anthony has represented himself, the basketball program and the University in an outstanding fashion on and off the basketball court. He is a person with a big heart who perseveres and continues to be successful on the court and in the classroom.

"It is also a tremendous honor for our basketball team that we have a person who is a quality individual and is a leader for the University. This is another honor that shows the types of student-athletes who are a part of the Ole Miss basketball program. It is a well-deserved honor because Anthony has done everything that he has been asked to do and more."

A four-year letterwinner at Ole Miss, Boone completed his collegiate career this past season, and received two outstanding honors, as he was inducted into the Ole Miss Hall of Fame and had his basketball jersey number retired. Boone was inducted into the University's Hall of Fame, which is the school's highest honor for a student, last fall. Prior to his final home game versus Auburn on Feb. 28, Boone had his jersey number (No. 41) retired, becoming only the second student-athlete in Ole Miss history to receive this distinction. Archie Manning's No. 18 is the other retired number.

The West Helena, Ark., native played in 27 of Ole Miss' 29 games and averaged 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds this year. Boone missed two contests as a result of suffering a left knee injury (torn cartilage) in the Rebels' Jan. 10 game at Alabama. After having his knee scoped on Jan. 14, Boone returned to the court only 10 days later and played 20 minutes in the Rebels' 81-77 double-overtime win over Mississippi State on Jan. 24. He recorded season bests of 14 points in the season-opening win over Louisiana Tech on Nov. 19 and 12 rebounds in Ole Miss' victory over Alabama on Feb. 7.

Boone, who is president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the M-Club, finished his career with 674 points and 448 rebounds in 94 games and was an integral part of Ole Miss' back-to-back Southeastern Conference Western Division titles and consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 1997 and 1998. An SEC All-Freshman Team pick in 1995, Boone underwent four knee surgeries, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions on both knees, in his Rebel career. He was also named to the conference's Academic Honor Roll twice in his four years at Ole Miss.

The other six finalists for the Chip Hilton Award are Navy's Hassan Booker, Northwestern's Evan Eschmeyer, Notre Dame's Pat Garrity, Kansas' Raef LaFrentz, American University's Nathan Smith and Massachusetts' Tyrone Weeks.

The Rebels finished the 1997-98 season with a 22-7 overall record and a 12-4 mark in SEC play.

 

 

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