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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

WNBA star Jonquel Jones among inductees into GW Athletics Hall of Fame

Raphael Kellner | Staff Photographer
Former GW star Jonquel Jones sits during the GW Athletics Hall of Fame induction.

The Athletics Department inducted athletes from seven different sports into the GW Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night.

The ceremony honored six individual athletes, including New York Liberty forward Jonquel “JJ” Jones, as well as the 1979 Atlantic 10 Championship baseball team. Current athletics teams, honorees’ teammates, coaches and families filled Betts Theatre to celebrate the inductees.

The Athletics Hall of Fame was founded in 1959 and now has 193 members with the newly inducted 2024 class. 

Jonquel Jones

The only individual inductee in the 2024 class with professional pedigree, 2013-16 GW forward Jonquel Jones was drafted sixth in the 2016 WNBA draft and named league MVP in 2021. 

“To this day, I’m happy that I chose GW,”  Jones said. 

Jones shouted out her former Head Coach Johnathan Tsipis and former Assistant Coach Diane Richardson who were in attendance. Jones said she lived with Richardson when she moved here from the Bahamas before Richardson became her assistant coach at GW. 

“I was never satisfied with where I was at the time,” Jones said. “I had a dream of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, but I always just took it one step at a time.”

She won A-10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year during her junior season in Foggy Bottom, just the fourth player in conference history to earn both accolades in the same season. Jones was also named an Associated Press All-American two seasons in a row. 

She played for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, leading her to fly to Turkey before returning to her native Bahamas. Jones will return to the Liberty next season, after losing to the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA finals last season. 

Andrea Bolognesi

A fellow All-American, men’s swimmer Andrea Bolognesi was also welcomed into the Hall of Fame. He came to Foggy Bottom from Italy in hopes of working in international affairs. 

Bolognesi led the Men’s Swimming and Diving program to their first A-10 Championship in the 2016-17 season, starting a run of success that has seen the Revolutionaries capture seven of the last eight conference titles. 

Carl Elliott

Men’s basketball point guard Carl Elliott, who is a two-time All-A-10 honoree, was also inducted. He helped lead the program to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances for the only time in program history from 2006-08.

Elliott also recorded the only triple-double in program history in 2007. In the 2005-06 season, the team was ranked sixth at its peak in the AP national poll. That season, he led the team in assists, averaging 3.9 per game. He is also second all-time in assists for the program. 

1979 Baseball Team

While Elliott played his home games at the Smith Center, the 1979 baseball team played on the Ellipse, a rectangular field between the White House and the National Mall. The inducted team won the ECAC championship and became the first team in program history to win an NCAA tournament game. 

Trustee and former baseball player Ave Tucker introduced the historic team, describing the unique venue which the baseball program once called home. 

“Games used to end for the President to land in deep left field, and I think the Christmas tree was in deep left field,” said Tucker. 

Athletic Director Tanya Vogel sat down with GW baseball alumnus and Athletics Hall of Fame member Mike Toomey to ask him about how the memorable season came to be.

“We had a good mix of younger players that got brought in,” said Toomey. “We had a lot of players that were juniors and seniors. We had some good junior college players that solidified this ball club. We had great camaraderie. We had great chemistry. We had baseball players.”

Darden Wilee

Women’s gymnastics star Darden Wilee began her time at GW in 1998, where she earned second place in the A-10 all-around championship as a freshman and sophomore. During her senior year, she took home first place, earning the championship for her team.

Wilee also took a minute to honor her former teammate Lindsey Ferris who passed away in 2006 at the age of 26. 

“She was the world’s greatest cheerleader of life, and I’m so indebted to her,” Wilee said. “So even though she’s no longer with us her legacy certainly lives on.” 

Wilee and Ferris were co-captains of the 2001 number 21-ranked team that won the A-10 team championship and placed fourth at the NCAA regionals in the duo’s senior season. At the 2001 A-10 championship, Wilee placed first overall in the all-around. 

Arnar Johannsson

Men’s soccer inductee, forward Arnar Johannsson, was part of the first team in program history to win an A-10 title, but he was perhaps best known for his goal scoring, tallying 40 goals over three seasons from 2001-03, third in program history. He credited his confidence for being able to score so efficiently. 

“That hasn’t really been a problem in my life, believing in myself,” said Johannsson. “Some people call that arrogance. I call that self-belief.” 

Autumn Taylor

Softball outfielder Autumn Taylor returned home once more to receive recognition for her collegiate career after serving on the sports medicine staff at GW. She now serves as head women’s basketball athletic trainer at the University of Illinois.

During her time playing for the Revolutionaries, she had 44 RBIs her senior year and was one of three players in program history at the time to be named to the NFCA Mid-Atlantic All-Region team.

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