#MountTop20 : Vanessa Blair Joins NEC Hall of Fame for Number 17 Moment

#MountTop20 : Vanessa Blair Joins NEC Hall of Fame for Number 17 Moment

Emmitsburg, Md. (July 1, 2013) – Vanessa Blair's career numbers for the Mount St. Mary's women's basketball team speak for themselves: first all-time in blocked shots (242), third in rebounds (849), sixth in steals (241) and seventh in points (1,488). On Jan. 24, the Northeast Conference announced Blair had been selected to the Conference's Hall of Fame, which is No. 17 on the 2012-13 Top 20 Moments.

The 1992 Mount graduate joined legendary men's basketball coach Jim Phelan and Olympic track and field athlete Peter Rono as the school's representatives in the NEC Hall of Fame, which was founded in 2010.

During her playing career in Emmitsburg, Blair was a member of the Mount's first Division I team in 1988-89 and helped the squad put together an 80-31 mark that included three NEC Regular Season Championships and two NEC Championship game appearances in her four seasons.  

Following one season as a Division I independent, the Mountaineers transitioned into the NEC where Blair quickly became one of the dominant forces in the conference. In three seasons in the NEC, Blair was a three-time All-Tournament team selection, two-time First Team All-NEC pick and two-time NEC Player of the Year (1990-91, 1991-92).

She continued to collect awards for her Mount career by being named NEC Player of the Decade (1985-95) as well as earning a place on the NEC 20th and 25th Anniversary Teams.

After graduating from the Mount, Blair began her professional playing career, spending two seasons in Sweden before returning to the U.S. and focusing on her coaching career. From 1996-98, she served as an assistant at the Mount under her college coach, Bill Sheahan. In 1998, she took over the program following Sheahan's retirement.

The Upper Marlboro, Md. native spent nine seasons at the helm for her alma mater with a 120-135 record. She guided the Mountaineers to two NEC Regular Season Championships and took home NEC Coach of the Year honors in 1999. She became the first person in NEC history to win Player of the Year and Coach of the Year accolades.

Blair recently completed her fifth season as the Head Coach of Bethune-Cookman's women's basketball team, a Division I program in Daytona Beach, Fla. In her second season with the Wildcats in 2009-10, Blair was voted Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.  

Upon her induction into the NEC Hall of Fame, Mount St. Mary's Director of Athletics Lynn Robinson commented, "Mount St. Mary's is very proud that Vanessa Blair has been selected as a member of the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame. Vanessa is among the all-time greats in the history of the Mount St. Mary's women's basketball program. She was instrumental in the Mount's early success in Division I and Northeast Conference competition, leading the team to three consecutive NEC regular season championships in our first three years in the league.

"Vanessa has earned many accolades during and since her distinguished playing career at the Mount. She will long be remembered not just for her legacy as an incredible basketball player but for being a wonderful coach, colleague and friend. We congratulate Vanessa on this tremendous honor and much deserved recognition."

Throughout the summer, the athletic department will recap the top 20 moments of the 2012-13 season. Fans can follow along on MountAthletics.com and through social media (Facebook / Twitter). Use the hashtag #MountTop20 to give us your thoughts on the top 20.

2012-13 Top 20 Moments Release Schedule

20. Alicia Mirando Scores Twice to Beat FDU, Continues Mount's Strong Season 
19. Emmit S. Burg Arrives on Campus
18. Mount Athletics Celebrates Women in Sports 
17. Vanessa Blair Joins NEC Hall of Fame
16. July 3, 2013
15. July 5, 2013
14. July 8, 2013
13. July 10, 2013
12. July 12, 2013
11. July 15, 2013
10. July 17, 2013
9.   July 19, 2013
8.   July 22, 2013
7.   July 24, 2013
6.   July 26, 2013
5.   July 29, 2013
4.   July 31, 2013
3.   August 2, 2013
2.   August 5, 2013
1.   August 7, 2013