NORMAL - Citing her determination, passion for the game and dedication to the Illinois State women's basketball program, senior guard Megan McCracken has been the recipient of the 2006 Jill Hutchison Endowed Scholarship by Coach Robin Pingeton.
"Megan embodies everything that this program is about, and she's an excellent role model for our players and other Illinois State student-athletes," Pingeton said. "There isn't a player who works harder than Megan. Injuries have limited her to some degree at the start of each season, but Megan has overcome those obstacles to help lead her teammates and set a good example with her work ethic."
The award is named for Hutchison, the former Redbird basketball coach who was a pioneer and advocate for women in sports throughout her coaching career. Hutchison compiled a 461-323 record in her 28 seasons in Normal.
"What a great honor," McCracken said. "Coach Hutchison is such an incredible coach and an incredible person. She's really a role model for all female athletes being such a pioneer for women's athletics. I'm just honored to receive an award that is associated with her and the legacy she's left here at Illinois State."
In her first season as a Redbird, McCracken played point guard role despite being a true wing player. At the 2005 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, she averaged 15 points per game while leading the Redbirds to three wins in 45 hours en route to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1989.
n;After missing the first eight games due to injury last season, McCracken hit seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 25 points in her season debut at Illinois. The Rock Island native currently ranks No. 7 in career 3-point field goals and No. 7 in career 3-point field goal percentage in the ISU women's basketball record book.
Anderson earns scholarship
ISU women's golfer Hilary Anderson has been named the 2006 recipient of the Helen Cushman Endowed Scholarship.n;
"Hard work and dedication has really paid off," said Anderson. "ISU has helped me in so many ways the past three years."
A recreation major and Decatur native, Anderson has helped bring ISU two Missouri Valley Conference titles. Maintaining a stroke average of 77.5 for the 2005-06 seasons, Anderson tied for 10th at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship with a 232 total.
"Hilary has been a key part of our athletic success since she arrived on campus as a freshman," said ISU coach Ray Kralis. "Her commitment to this program over the years makes her the obvious choice for the Helen Cushman Endowment."
The Helen Cushman Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 1995 with a substantial gift from Nina Chesebro and the late Pat Chesebro to benefit ISU's women's golf program and to honor their close friend, Helen Cushman. The pair decided to establish the fund prior to Pat Chesebro's death in appreciation of Cushman, who had introduced them to the game of golf. Since 1995, it has been awarded to a Redbird women's golfer who demonstrated a passion for the game.