- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 9, 2011

With six seasons in the WNBA, three ACC championships at Maryland and an Olympic gold medal, Vicky Bullett has had plenty of highlights over the course of her basketball career.

Her favorite?

“Actually being able to walk after playing for so many years,” she said with a laugh.

Bullett will be one of six icons inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, becoming the third Terrapin to achieve the milestone. She also played with the Washington Mystics for three seasons, making her one of the most prominent women’s basketball names in the area.

“I’m just really nervous,” she said Thursday, hours before heading to Knoxville, Tenn., for the induction ceremony. “It just makes you reflect on all the time that you put into playing the sport. Being inducted to the Hall of Fame is like the last accomplishment that you can make, so this recognition means a lot.”

Bullett’s career has taken her all over the world, from her childhood courts in Martinsburg, W.Va., to the 1988 and 1992 Olympics in Seoul and Barcelona. She even played professionally in Italy and Brazil before coming home in 1997 to help pioneer a new women’s basketball league: the WNBA.

“She’s just a shining example of what life is all about,” said Christy Winters-Scott, who played with Bullett for three years at College Park. “She went after her dreams, and she achieved them.”

As “the twin towers,” the pair drove Maryland to ACC titles in 1988 and 1989, including a Final Four appearance in their last season together. Winters-Scott, who was a year younger and didn’t have any sisters at home, still refers to Bullett as her big sister.

“She was always driving us to be our best — especially me,” Winters-Scott said. “There was never a time when we didn’t want to be on the court. We would finish study hall and just go out and shoot, even until midnight sometimes. When the lights came on, we would just stay out there and play.”

This work ethic made Bullett strong in every aspect of the game, from both ends of the court to her leadership in the locker room. She played three positions effectively and finished her WNBA career with balanced excellence, notching over 1,100 rebounds and 250 blocks and also recording more than 250 assists and 350 steals.

Bullett wasn’t all business, however, and her hilarity off the court easily matched her discipline on it. Memories of her singing, dancing Stevie Wonder impression and stories of summer pick-up games against the football players make Winters-Scott laugh to this day.

“She’s as competitive as they come, but she also has a gentle spirit,” Winters-Scott said. “I was just glad she kept me in line and taught me so many wonderful things, not just about basketball but about life in general.”

Bullett will try to hold on to those funny moments before she takes the podium Saturday evening. Between the career highlights video that will be shown before her speech and a large contingency of family, friends and mentors in the audience, Bullett knows that it will be hard to keep it all together.

“I know what to expect, but it still doesn’t take away the butterflies,” she said. “I had to write a speech — if not, I’d probably cry the whole time.”

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