December 10, 2021
Three Rivers College announces 2022 class for Athletic Hall of Fame
Missy Whitney, Bill Swafford, Christy Deken, and the men’s basketball 1992 National Championship team are the 2022 inductees in Three Rivers College’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Located in the Libla Family Sports Complex, the Hall of Fame will be open for viewing during the basketball games at the annual Alumni Reunion on January 22. The Hall of Fame can also be viewed during events at the Libla Family Sports Complex.
On January 22, the women’s basketball game against State Fair begins at 5 p.m. The men’s basketball team will face State Fair at 7 p.m. Three Rivers College graduates and former students will receive free admission for these games as part of the 2022 Alumni Reunion.
“Three Rivers College has a long and storied history of excellence in intercollegiate athletics. The athletic programs provide opportunities for our student-athletes and fans of all ages to share and support a common goal,” said Dr. Wesley Payne, President of Three Rivers College. “We are proud to honor these individuals and their achievements.”
Three Rivers will host a banquet honoring the inductees on January 21 at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Poplar Bluff. Limited seating is available. Tickets are $60 per person. A reserved named table of 8 is $1,000. Advanced ticket purchase is required.
The last day to purchase tickets is January 10. Tickets are available for sale by contacting the President’s Office at 573-840-9698.
The 2022 inductees are:
Missy Whitney – Three Rivers College – Women’s Basketball – 2004-06
Missy Whitney was a two-time All-American in her basketball career at Three Rivers.
She is the seventh all-time leading scorer in Three Rivers history with 960 points. Whitney averaged more than 16 points per game, with a career-high of 33 points in a game. As a sophomore, Whitney averaged 16.7 points and 8.5 rebounds. She finished her career with 497 total rebounds, averaged 8.3 rebounds per game, and had a career-high of 18 rebounds in a game. In addition, the Charleston native holds the record for the most free-throw attempts in a season and is second all-time in made free throws in a season with a 76.1 percentage.
Whitney attended Southeast Missouri State University after graduating from Three Rivers.
Bill Swafford – Three Rivers College – Contributor
William D. Swafford and his wife Carol, local business owners, are avid Raider fans and stalwart supporters of Three Rivers College and the athletic department.
Swafford served on the Three Rivers College Board of Trustees for 18 years from 1988-2006. He joined the Three Rivers Booster Club in 1978, continues to serve as a board member of the booster club, and is currently the vice president.
Swafford and his wife are passionate about helping our students and the athletics program and have done both in numerous ways without seeking credit. Swafford has sold the radio ads for the Booster Club, which helps all Three Rivers teams.
“I was impressed with his business acumen,” said former Three Rivers men’s basketball coach Gene Bess. “His honesty is very apparent. He makes himself available and helpful as a 3R Booster Club member, as a TRC Board of Trustees Member, and as a supporter of our program.
“He has the respect of the community. Bill is my friend. The players love him. Bill is a behind-the-scenes supporter who helped our program achieve success. He’s a servant-leader — A person who gives without expecting anything in return. He’s great at raising money. He spent tireless amounts of time fundraising for the Libla Family Sports Complex. Without his efforts, we wouldn't have this beautiful arena. Bill and Carol have given so much to our athletic program and College. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.”
Christy Deken – Three Rivers College – Softball – 2001-02
Christy Deken was an NFCA All-American softball pitcher for Three Rivers in 2002 and a two-time Distinguished Academic All-American. She was named first-team All-Region and first-team All-Conference for both of her seasons as a student-athlete at Three Rivers.
A Twin Rivers High School graduate, Deken is ranked second with a career 1.08 ERA. As a sophomore, she had a 0.95 ERA, and is second all-time in career strikeouts with 379. Deken is tied for third in career fielding percentage and holds the top fielding percentage of any Three Rivers pitcher. Her 20 wins during her freshman season rank 11th all-time. After two seasons at Three Rivers, Deken transferred to Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla.
1992 men’s basketball National Championship Team
Mario Beamon, Anthony Beane, Brian Blackburn, Thomas Brundage, Isaiah Hart, Benjy Johnson, Shon Peck Love, Belvis Noland, Brian Price, Thad Rancher, Eric Schweain, Justin Wimmer, Todd Wulf, head coach Gene Bess, assistant coach Tom Barr, manager Todd Clanahan, manager Billy Lawrence.
Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit trcc.edu.