FAIRFIELD, CONN. (January 16, 2014)—Former Sacred Heart women's basketball star Amanda Pape has been selected to the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame announced by the league Thursday morning. Along with Pape, the NEC's fourth induction class includes Robert Morris men's basketball player Myron Walker and Robert Morris football coach Joe Walton.
"I would like to extend my congratulations to Amanda, on behalf of the Sacred Heart community, on her selection to the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame," said Bobby Valentine, Executive Director of Athletics at Sacred Heart. "She played an integral part of the evolution of our women's basketball program and helped lead us to our first NCAA Tournament appearance. We are very proud of Amanda and she is forever part of the Pioneer Family."
Amanda Pape was a Pioneer in the truest sense of the word.
It was her arrival at Sacred Heart that propelled the women's basketball program to new heights and a lofty status in the NEC that the Pioneers still enjoy to this day. Fast forward ten years and she now holds the distinction of being the youngest member of the NEC Hall of Fame.
A local product out of Stamford, Conn., Pape led Sacred Heart to its first NEC Tournament championship in 2006 and a pair of NEC regular season titles in 2005-06 and 2006-07. The Pioneers compiled an 87-34 overall mark and incredible 59-13 record in conference play over her four years.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to hear of Amanda Pape's selection to the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame," said current Sacred Heart women's basketball coach Jessica Mannetti. "Since arriving here on campus, Amanda's legacy of excellence, sportsmanship, work ethic and character have helped to build our program into the success it is today. While I never had the pleasure of coaching her, to see the way that the Sacred Heart community embraces her with the most sincere admiration and pride shows what she has truly meant to our Athletic Program and our University. What a much deserved accolade for such an accomplished and classy young woman!"
Pape was named the NEC Rookie of the Year in 2003-04 and the NEC Player of the Year as a junior in 2005-06. She wrapped her career as a four-time All-NEC honoree, including first team accolades in her final three seasons. Pape was also tabbed the 2006 NEC Tournament MVP after a 25-point, 14-rebound performance in the title game win over Quinnipiac.
She closed out her career as Sacred Heart's all-time leading scorer and ranks third in NEC history with 2,045 points. Pape also established new Sacred Heart school career records for steals (362), field goals (709), free throws (587) and scoring average (16.9 ppg), as well as single-season marks in points (620 in 2006-07), free throws (173 in 2005-06) and steals (107 in 2006-07).
Following her senior campaign, Pape received the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance Gold Key as the Hank O'Donnell Female Athlete of the Year. She was inducted into the Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
"I am so excited that Amanda has been elected to the NEC Hall of Fame," said Ed Swanson, who was the head coach at Sacred Heart during Pape's tenure. "Amanda lifted Sacred Heart University's women's basketball program to unprecedented heights, culminating with the 2006 NEC Championship! Amanda was the greatest competitor that I have ever coached. Her ability to rise to challenges and make others better still sets her apart. She was a complete team player. Sacred Heart University and all her former teammates and coaches are very proud of Amanda Pape! She was a once in a lifetime student-athlete for this coach. Congratulations Amanda!
"I couldn't be more pleased to learn of Amanda Pape's election to the NEC Hall of Fame," said former Sacred Heart Director of Athletics and fellow NEC Hall of Famer Don Cook. "Her accomplishments on the court are well documented. I'm certain the numbers were important in her election. Who could debate the numbers (SHU all-time leader in points, assists, steals, field goals, free throws, career scoring average, etc.)? However, in my view there's so much more to her Hall of Fame worthiness. Amanda, the person, takes Hall of Fame validation to another level. As important as the numbers were, she meant far more to Sacred Heart by the way she lived, not just by how many points she scored. She was exemplary in all phases of her life, a credit to her team, the University, her family, and most of all to herself. Amanda embraced a special quality, whether on the basketball court, the classroom, or at home with her family. She's among a special breed whose passion for her sport, as important as it was, was always in perspective. She saw life to be bigger than the game. Yet, few athletes in any sport could match her ability, competitiveness, accomplishments, and resolve to achieve at the highest level. I couldn't be more pleased as Sacred Heart's former Athletics Director to see someone of Amanda's character and skill be elected to the NEC Hall of Fame."
Pape, who played professionally in Greece following her graduation, currently works at Icon International, Inc., a marketing firm in Stamford, Conn.