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Laney honors former stars

Laney girls basketball coach Sherri Tynes (left) and former player Qwedia Wallace at Wednesday night’s ceremony honoring Wallace along with Tamera Young, Kevin Whitted and Michael Jordan. (Photo by Mike Spencer)

It has been more than six years since the last time Qwedia Wallace played a basketball game at Laney High School. In the meantime, she played four years in the Atlantic 10 Conference and two years in front of large crowds in Spain.

Still, Wallace couldn't help but be a little nervous walking back into Michael Jordan Gymnasium to be honored with the hanging of her jersey on the gym's walls.

"It's good to get recognized and see our accomplishments," Wallace said. "I'm excited. I'm nervous. But overall I like it. It's good knowing that will forever be there."

Wallace, a 2007 graduate, was one of four former Buccaneers honored between Laney's girls and boys games against New Hanover on Wednesday night. Tamera Young, a 2004 graduate and current member of the WNBA's Chicago Sky, was also in attendance for the ceremony.

Laney honored the four players to play professional basketball in school history. Kevin Whitted and Michael Jordan, the most famous of the four, were also honored but were not in attendance.

Wallace played professionally in Spain for two years after graduating from Temple in 2011. She is the 12th leading scorer in Temple history and holds the school's career record for 3-pointers (162). She's been back in town recently and is coaching at Blizzard Athletics while she looks for another overseas opportunity.

"It's a lot of fun to be able to go see other countries and do what you love to do for a job," Wallace said. "It's very different, and I think everybody should get the chance to experience overseas."

Playing in Spain intrigued Wallace, who said fan support seemed better than it was in America.

"Here they struggle to get fans in the stands," Wallace said. "Over there, it's kind of like a big deal to that town or city."

Wallace played one season with Young, who scored more than 2,000 points at James Madison University before moving on to the WNBA. Wallace said it was fun to get to come back with Young to be honored and to have their jerseys on the same wall as Jordan, considered by many to be the best basketball player of all time.

"They're such good people: Good character, good role models for young women in the community," said Laney coach Sherri Tynes, who coached Wallace and Young. "They did so much for us when they were here, and we are really excited to have the opportunity to recognize them."

Vince Nairn: 343-2262

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