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The Wallace State women’s basketball program has a winning tradition. The Lady Lions have won six ACCC/Region 22 conference championships and have advanced five times to National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I tournament.
Wallace State’s women’s basketball team added another successful chapter during the 2016-2017 season, finishing with a 22-10 record and surpassing the 20-win plateau for the fifth time under coach Ron Burdette.
The Lady Lions advanced to the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) tournament semifinals in 2017, finishing one game short of reaching the ACCC championship game for a third straight season.
Sophomore Kelsey Houston was named a 2nd-team All-ACCC Region 22 selection after leading the conference with 87 3-pointers made and averaging a team-high 11.3 points per game. Houston, a guard from Tanner, was also named to the 2017 All-Tournament team.
Joy Sadler, a freshman from Gardendale, was a 2nd-team ACCC All-North Division selection for the Lady Lions after she posted averages of 8.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
Burdette wrapped up his sixth season at Wallace State in 2016-2017 and has compiled a 136-60 record with the Lady Lions during his tenure. He has earned Coach of the Year honors in all but two seasons with Wallace State, including being named the 2015 co-ACCC North Division Coach of the Year. Along with his 2015 recognition, Burdette was named the ACCC North Coach of the Year in both 2014 and 2013 and the 2012 ACCC Coach of the Year. His teams have finished conference tournament runner up four times (2016, 2015, 2013 and 2012).
The 2014-15 season under Burdette was one of the program’s best. The Lady Lions advanced to their fifth National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament and made history by winning the program’s first opening-round game in Salina, Kansas. The Lady Lions finished the campaign with 28-6 record, qualified for the national tournament as the ACCC/Region 22 runner-up (as an at-large zone bid qualifier) and earned the Alberta Lee Cox Sportsmanship Award for the first ever time at the national tournament. It was the team’s first national tournament appearance under Burdette, and he won his 100th game vs. Eastern Arizona.
Among the sophomores on 2014-15 team was forward Morgan Smith, a Cullman graduate. She became the first player in women’s basketball history to be named a 2nd-team NJCAA All-American. Smith, who was also named the 2015 ACCC Player of the Year, led the team with an average of 16.1 points per game and was also first on the team in steals (93), second in assists (94) and third in rebounding (5.6 per game). Smith was a All-Region 22 second-team member as a freshman and a first-team All-North Division member.Read more...
Burdette, a former University of Alabama basketball walk-on, has been part of the Wallace State family for more than a decade, serving as an assistant coach under Larry Slater beginning in 2002, and playing a strong role in the program winning two conference championships (2003, 2011).
Burdette was also the men’s interim head coach during the 2004-05 campaignBurdette led Wallace State to an ACCC North Division championship during the 2013-14 season, which saw the Lady Lions compile a 27-5 record. Wallace State was a perfect 13-0 at home during the regular season, won 18 of 19 games at one point, made a conference-best 265 3-pointers and earned a top seed in the conference tournament.
Wallace State women’s basketball has produced more than 120 NCAA Division I players upon transferring and holds claim to a strong collection of NJCAA All-Americans and NJCAA Academic Athletes of Distinction in its history.
Burdette, who lives in Cullman and holds a degree in marketing from Alabama, coached at Monrovia Middle School and Randolph High School in the 1990s, prior to his arrival at Wallace State.
Former Wallace State guard Jessica McBrayer served as an assistant for a third season.
For more information about the program, contact Coach Ron Burdette at 256-352-8350 or email Ron.Burdette@wallacestate.edu.