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Feb 06, 2019

Tigers to Honor Barbara Kennedy-Dixon

During Sunday’s game against North Carolina, the Clemson women’s basketball team will honor Clemson legend Barbara Kennedy-Dixon, who passed away in July of 2018.

Kennedy was a two-time All-American, a three-time First Team All-ACC selection and a two-time ACC Tournament MVP during her four-year playing career at Clemson, from 1978-82. She went on to serve the Clemson Athletic Department as an administrator or in a coaching role for 31 years.



Kennedy’s accomplishments on the basketball court are still recognized today, as many of her records still stand, not only in Clemson and ACC record books, but also nationally. Nearly forty years later, she still holds the Clemson and ACC records for career points (3,113) and career rebounds (1,252), as well as career field goals made (1,349) and attempted (2,688). She is also known for scoring the first-ever points in the inaugural NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, when the Lady Tigers played Penn State on March 12, 1982.

Kennedy earned All-America honors in 1981 and 1982, and was a three-time First Team All-ACC selection, in 1980, 1981 and 1982. She was also named the ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player two times in her career, in 1981 and 1982. She was a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2002 and was honored as Clemson women’s basketball’s ACC Legend in 2005.



More Thoughts on Barbara

“The Clemson Country Gentleman was created as a way to pay homage to the Clemson cadets who represented all that was good about them…character, honesty, caring, loyalty, etc. Barbara was the personification of The Clemson Lady. She not only was the greatest player, but more importantly, she was the greatest role model for hundreds of young ladies who became “her girls.” She provided a wonderful example of how to live life to the fullest. She mentored them and taught them life lessons.  They knew her story of overcoming, persevering, loving and succeeding.  She was a part of their hearts and will always be. Barbara Kennedy-Dixon was a Clemson Lady!” ~ Former Clemson Head Coach Jim Davis

“During my career, I have met many wonderful people and great athletes, but none more memorable or beloved than Barbara. She was one of the most outstanding athletes in ACC history, but her character, faith in Jesus Christ, and love for others were traits that distinguished her and that left an indelible impression on all who were privileged to be around her. I am abundantly blessed to have known her and thankful that she was my friend.” ~ ACC Senior Associate Commissioner for WBB Nora Lynn Finch

“Barbara was literally the “welcome wagon” for Clemson Women’s Basketball. She greeted everyone with a warm smile like she was bringing you into her living room.  She was one of the most accomplished Women’s Basketball Players in the history of the ACC on the court and a tremendous role model off the court.  Part of her legacy will be in scoring the most points and retrieving the most rebounds in the history of ACC Women’s Basketball.  Her most enduring legacy is how she treated and served others.” ~ College basketball analyst and former player Debbie Antonelli

“Barbara Kennedy Dixon was my mentor, but she was also so much more. I have been incredibly blessed by her wisdom and guidance. Barbara, who was SWA at the time, was one of my biggest supporters and always told me that I would succeed her in the SWA role someday. Since that day she provided me with countless opportunities to learn from her and share her knowledge, including passing on her three-ring binders. While it’s impossible to fill her shoes, I don’t feel like I’m doing this alone because she is always with me, walking side by side with me, in this role.” ~ Senior Associate AD for Sports Administration/SWA Stephanie Ellison-Johnson

“Barbara was the epitome of love manifested. She had a unique way of making a large room feel smaller. The way she encountered each individual without the slightest difference in enthusiasm, interest and authenticity; a true angel on Earth. Her passion motivated many, but inspired even more. Her faith was relentless as she battled life’s most difficult obstacles. We are all forever changed, and for that, better having known her.” ~ Former Clemson WBB player and Director of Operations Kanetra Queen