Over the next week, GoDuke.com will honor the seven 2013 Duke Athletics Hall of Fame inductees with their own Hall of Fame Spotlight, a seven-question interview that covers their time at Duke, the people that most influenced their remarkable careers, their advice to current student-athletes, and more.
Next up, legendary Duke women's basketball player, Dr. Georgia Schweitzer Beasley. Beasley was twice named the ACC Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001 while helping the Blue Devils to 111 wins, four NCAA Tournament berths, three conference regular season championships, two league tournament titles and an appearance in the 1999 national championship game. A first team All-America pick by both Kodak and the United States Basketball Writers of America as a senior, she became the first Duke player to notch 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, and 150 steals in a career and finished her career with 1,620 points, 533 rebounds, 428 assists and 171 steals. Beasley propelled Duke to its first appearance in the NCAA Final Four in 1999 by capturing East Regional MVP honors after scoring 22 points with five rebounds as the Blue Devils defeated three-time reigning national champion Tennessee. A two-time first team All-ACC choice, she helped the Blue Devils to a 59-5 record in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
GoDuke.com: Why did you choose Duke?
Dr. Georgia Schweitzer Beasley: I came here as a junior and walked through Cameron. With the history and all the great games that have been played here, it’s pretty easy just to get a vibe right away when you walk through the gym. And then I watched Coach G[oestenkors] and the team play a game and I watched her coach. I knew it would be a really good fit for me. And then I knew I wanted to think about going to medical school and this was the perfect place to play basketball and get ready for the next part of my life.
GoDuke.com: What was your proudest sports-related moment at Duke?
GS: The obvious answer is when we beat Tennessee in 1999 and they were the three-time defending national champion. We pulled off this huge, huge upset. That was a game I’ll never forget and none of my teammates will ever forget. It was a really special moment and it’s at the top of the list.
GoDuke.com: What was your fondest memory of Duke outside of sports?
GS: The time that I spent shadowing Dr. Henry Friedman over at the Brain Tumor Center. That’s really where I got inspired to go into medicine. I was already thinking about it but my time and experience with him really launched my interest and my current career.
GoDuke.com: Who had the most influence on you during your time at Duke?
GS: It’s really hard to pick one person, but obviously the head coach, Gail Goestenkors, really pushed me beyond what I thought I could do and certainly taught me to be a leader and taught me to make the decision to be the best.
GoDuke.com: What advice do you have for current Duke student-athletes?
GS: Just to give it 110 percent while you’re here. Keep your eyes on the student part. I’m so glad that I did all the pre-med work and really prepared for my life after basketball, at the same time while really dedicating myself to the sport. I made sure I had prepared for the next step.
GoDuke.com: What separates Duke from other schools athletically?
GS: I think there’s very much a commitment here, not just from the people that work in athletics, but from the entire Duke community for excellence in athletics. And not just to win games, but to really be the best you can be. It’s the whole support system that really seems to have that common goal and wants people to be successful. I think that really sets us apart. People here, they don’t just work here – they really want Duke to be successful.
GoDuke.com: What is your reaction when you hear your name and Duke Athletics Hall of Famer in the same sentence?
GS: I really couldn’t believe it at first. I was asking if they had the wrong person or something. Never in a million years, certainly when I came here as a freshman, I never could have imagined I would end up in the Hall of Fame. I was just hoping to get some playing time and contribute to the team, so it’s certainly a wonderful honor.