The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday announced the Class of 2021 for its annual Basketball Luncheon, and it’s quite the lineup for an event sponsored by USA Mortgage-Kitrel Region.
It features William Fontleroy, a standout guard on Missouri State’s 1999 Sweet Sixteen Team, as well as Jimmy Wright – a member of basketball table crews for MSU, the Blue & Gold Tournament and the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions – along with longtime coach and Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Executive Director Denny Hunt, Southern Boone prolific scorer Joyce Arnsmeyer Gillespie, the Walnut Grove Girls Basketball Program, Evangel University’s 2002 Men’s National Championship Team, the Lockwood Tigers Boys Final Four Teams of 1993-1996 and the undefeated Drexel High School Girls 1996 State Championship Team. Additionally, recently retired Evangel men’s basketball coach Steve Jenkins will be bestowed the Pinnacle Award for his lifetime of service.
CEO & Executive Director Jerald Andrews unveiled the lineup, noting that the ceremony is set for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 14 at the Oasis Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield.
Additionally, the Hall of Fame will recognize the Filbert Five Awards, a group of former high school and college standouts who made positive impacts on the game. The awards are named in honor of Gary Filbert, a Missouri Sports Legend (2011) who was a successful basketball coach before assisting legendary Missouri Tigers coach Norm Stewart and then founding the Show-Me State Games.
The Filbert Five women’s team is: Kyndal Clark (Branson High School/Webb City High School/Drake University), Kelsie Cleeton (Hillcrest High School/College of the Ozarks), Hannah Cook (Ozark High School/University of Alabama), Marla Douglass (Mountain Grove High School/Oklahoma State University/Missouri State University), and Katie Gariss Marsh (College Heights Christian High School/Missouri Southern State University).
The Filbert Five men’s team is: Anthony Shavies (Missouri State University), the Shultz Brothers – Roland Shultz (Glendale High School/Drury University) and Tom Shultz (Glendale High School/Vanderbilt University), plus Zach Towe (Nixa High School/Central Methodist University), and Nick Yocum (Republic High School/Drury University/Evangel University).
A sponsorship table of eight is $400 and includes recognition at the table and in the program, along with an event poster autographed by individual inductees. A head table ticket is $100 and includes the same perks. An individual ticket is $50 in advance, or $60 at the door. Numerous sponsorships are available, including associate sponsorships and congratulatory ads. Call 417-889-3100.
Steve Jenkins – Pinnacle Award
Coach Jenkins will receive the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s Pinnacle Award, bestowed on individuals for a lifetime of work in their respective sport. Jenkins spent 44 years at Evangel University, including 39 seasons leading its men’s basketball program, before retiring in the spring of 2021. His teams were 692-542 (.561), elevating Jenkins to No. 21 all-time in NAIA basketball history. He was fourth among active coaches entering his final game. Evangel won seven conference championships and made 13 NAIA national tournaments. Additionally, 33 players have been named NAIA All-Americans – including 10 since Evangel jumped to NAIA Division I in 2013. Along the way, Jenkins was voted Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year seven times and was the NAIA National Coach of the Year in 2002, when his team won the NAIA D-II national championship. That team is being inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, joining Jenkins (MSHOF 2016.)
William Fontleroy – Missouri State University
Fontleroy enjoyed a standout career for the Missouri State Bears basketball team from 1996 to 2000, as he played for coaches Steve Alford and Barry Hinson and was one of only two four-year starting guards in program history (the other was teammate Kevin Ault). Fontleroy was a key part of the Bears’ 1999 Sweet Sixteen Team (MSHOF 2014) that upset Wisconsin and Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament. He also helped the 1997 and 2000 teams to the National Invitation Tournament. In the Sweet 16 season, Fontleroy’s dunk against the University of Missouri highlighted a notable stat in Bears history, as they beat all four of the state’s other NCAA Division I programs. A native of Gary, Ind., Fontleroy’s 1,133 points and 471 assists rank 20th and second all-time in Bears history, respectively. He also played in 84 wins, which is third-most in program history. Fontleroy lives in Springfield.
Denny Hunt – Basketball Coach & MBCA Executive Director
Hunt is now in his 47th season as a basketball coach, with 40 at the high school level. A 1969 graduate of Summersville High School and 1974 graduate of Missouri State University, he has been a head coach of boys teams at Fair Play, Hartville, Republic, Buffalo, Central, Springfield Catholic and Crane. He also was an assistant coach at Kickapoo for 10 seasons, and a Kickapoo girls varsity assistant for the late Stephanie Phillips (MSHOF 2011). In all, he has been part of five Final Four boys teams – 1987 Hartville (Class 2 state runner-up), Kickapoo’s 2003 and 2006 Class 5 state champions and its 2005 state third-place team, and 2019 Springfield Catholic (Class 3 state runner-up). At Hartville, Hunt’s teams were 153-84 over 10 seasons. He also was an assistant coach at NCAA Division II’s Drury and Southwest Baptist universities for a combined seven seasons. Since 2011, he has been the Executive Director of the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, earning its Gary Filbert Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and induction in 2015. Additionally, he directs the Norm Stewart Classic, and in 2021 was honored by the National High School Basketball Coaches Association with the Court of Honors.
Jimmy Wright – Table Crew
Wright has been a key part of basketball table crews for 41 years – mainly for Missouri State Athletics but also for the Greenwood Blue & Gold Tournament and the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions. Overall, he has given his time for nearly 6,000 athletic events. An equipment technician in McDonald Arena for Missouri State University’s Health and Physical Education Department, Wright is on hand for the game-day staff for hundreds of MSU athletics home events each year. He manages various scoreboard and timing functions for men’s basketball, women’s basketball, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball, baseball and field hockey. He also has worked outdoor track and wrestling, and assisted with MSU Handball (MSHOF 2011). Additionally, he works basketball games for Greenwood Preparatory Academy, the Greene County League and Mid-Lakes Conference, as well as football and basketball for MSHSAA and Greenwood football. Wright is a graduate of Kickapoo High School and Missouri Southern State University. He also has been inducted into the Missouri State University and Missouri Southern State University Athletics Halls of Fame, as well as that of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Joyce Arnsmeyer Gillespie – Southern Boone High School
Southern Boone High School has long fielded competitive basketball teams, and one of its early stars was Gillespie. Playing long before the addition of the 3-point line, she scored 3,038 points between 1963 and 1966. That total stood as the state’s best until 1991, and still ranks No. 9 all-time. She still holds the state record for career scoring average (33.73 ppg). In the 1966 season alone, she scored 994 points, which held up as the state record until 1990 and remains sixth-best all-time. Additionally, Gillespie converted 1,207 field goals, 624 free throws and attempted 991 free throws. In order, those were state records until 2011, 2002 and 1969 – with her free throws now No. 4 in state history. She had a 74-point game in January 1964, as well as two 61-point games, scored more than 50 points eight times and scored more than 40 points twice. She later played AAU basketball for the Raytown Piperettes, whose 1967 team placed third in the national tournament. She went on to work for the University of Missouri for 30 years and retired in 2007 from the University Health Care Diabetes and Endocrinology Center.
Walnut Grove High School Girls Basketball Program
The Lady Tigers in Walnut Grove have been one of the top basketball box-office draws for more than two decades. Since 2004, they have advanced to 11 Final Fours. That includes Class 1 state championships in 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2020. Walnut Grove has been a runner-up three times (2004, 2012, 2017) and twice placed third (2016, 2021). Since the program began in the fall of 1973, the Lady Tigers are 769-485 (.613), including 384-79 since 2006. They have enjoyed 29 winning seasons, and 21 of those have featured at least 20 wins. Their first region title was in 1992 under coach Cindy Hoover. The 2001, 2003, 2011 and 2018 teams all reached the state quarterfinals, and the 1992 and 2006 teams advanced to sectionals. Darin Meinders coached the team from the fall of 2002 to March 2007, and Rory Henry has been the head coach since the fall of 2010. Overall, the program has won 17 district titles since 1992, and 12 conference championships since 2006. Additionally, 17 players have earned All-State honors – and most were multi-year recipients.
Evangel University Men’s Basketball 2002 National Championship Team
Coached by Steve Jenkins (MSHOF 2016), the Evangel University men’s basketball team won a national championship in March 2002 after an incredible run through the NAIA Division II Tournament. Then known as the Crusaders, Evangel stormed to a 35-1 record, going wire-to-wire as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team. In the national tournament, Evangel beat, in order, Saint Joseph 79-49, Black Hills 83-66, Holy Family 86-57, Northwestern 81-79 and Robert Morris 84-61. The team featured All-Americans in seniors Daniel Cutbirth and Bryan Osterloh, with Cutbirth named MVP of the national tournament. Junior Anthony Moore and sophomore Grant Curtis also earned All-Heart of America Athletic Conference honors. Evangel finished 20-0 in the conference and won the conference tournament. The team set NAIA D-II records with most consecutive wins (27) and with most consecutive wins in a season (27). Evangel’s roster also included seniors John Spears, Dimitrius Breedlove, Judd Broxson; juniors Wes Murphy and Andy Truesdale; sophomores Bert Capel (current head coach), Preston Ingram and Luke Arthur; and freshmen Luke Cooper and Chad Sleeper. Assistant coaches were Steve Shepherd and Steve Gause.
Lockwood High School Boys Basketball 1993-1996 Era
Lockwood Tigers Basketball enjoyed quite a run in the mid-1990s, advancing to four consecutive Final Fours in Class 1 under coach Dennis Cornish and posting a combined record of 115-10. The 1993 team (29-1) kick-started the run with a third-place finish. The 1994 team (30-1) won it all, while the 1995 Tigers (30-2) and 1996 Tigers (26-6) both finished as a state runner-up. The 1994 team beat Scott County Central 64-60 after trailing by 12 points after the first quarter. That remains notable in MSHSAA postseason history, as it’s the only time an opponent has beaten Scott County Central in its 19 state championship game appearances. At the time, it had not lost in 12 prior state title games. A year earlier, the Tigers won the sectional one year after falling in that round. In 1995, a 66-62 regional victory against No. 1-ranked Appleton City propelled the Tigers. In 1996, Lockwood overcame an 11-point deficit in the final five minutes against Rich Hill to win the sectional.
Drexel High School Girls Basketball 1996 State Championship Team
Coached by Brent Bartlett, the Drexel Lady Bobcats won the Class 1 state championship in 1996, finishing a perfect 31-0. Drexel beat Gallatin 60-45 in the championship game, capping a postseason in which their closest game was a 54-52 victory against Crest Ridge in the regional. In other playoff games, they had three blowout wins, won the quarterfinals by nine points and the semifinal by 10. The team featured BryAnn Cook Middleton, Jenny Still Wheeler, Lindsay Mills Douglas, Christi Russell Shannon, Stephany Dawson Spiker. Drexel’s roster also featured Tanya Bailey Thompson, Adrianne Cook Lane, Lesley Mayfield McClure, Brooke Hettinger Spinks, Amy Fink Basore and Amy Seuferling. Middleton and Spiker were named All-State and all-district. Drexel had placed third in Class 1 the previous season and then opened the 1995-1996 season with an 84-26 victory. The Lady Bobcats won 28 of their 31 games by an average of 35.1 points, with single-digit victories being a 54-50 regular-season win and a 54-52 victory in the regional and 57-48 victory in the quarterfinals.
FILBERT FIVE AWARDS
Kyndal Clark – Branson High School/Webb City High School/Drake University/University of Nebraska
Clark earned two varsity letters each at Branson High School and Webb City High School. She led Webb City to the Class 4 state championship in 2010, earned All-State honors and was a McDonald’s All-America, Gatorade Player of the Year and Miss Show-Me Basketball nominee. Clark was a four-time All-Central Ozark Conference selection, including first team twice, and Co-Player of the Year her senior year. She also received three consecutive All-District honors. At Drake, Clark was a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, an NCAA statistical champion (made 3-pointers per game) and a member of the WBCA Good Works Team. She set the Valley record for single-season 3-pointers (116), and Drake’s record for 3-pointers in a game (10). Clark finished her career at the University of Nebraska after suffering a season-ending injury her senior season. She now lives in Kansas City.
Kelsie Cleeton – Hillcrest High School/College of the Ozarks
Cleeton was one of the best basketball players to hit the Springfield scene, as she starred for Hillcrest High School. She was a three-time All-State honoree and led the Lady Hornets to the Final Four her senior season. College of the Ozarks retired her jersey in 2019, and for good reason. She was a two-time First Team NAIA All-American, and First Team All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Additionally, she was the National Christian College Athletics Association Central Region Co-Player of the Year and made the NCCAA Division I All-Region Five-Person Team in 2018. She also was the conference Player of the Year twice, the conference Defensive Player of the Year three times and the conference tournament’s most outstanding player. She helped C of O to an 118-16 record, including four trips to the NAIA Division II Tournament. She is C of O’s all-time leader in assists (542) and rebounds (1,320). She also is No. 3 all-time in steals, No. 9 in points (1,590) and No. 15 in career 3-pointers (142). She also has the program’s only quadruple-double – 14 points, 13 rebounds, 12 steals and 11 assists.
Hannah Cook – Ozark High School/University of Alabama
At Ozark, Cook started every game of her high school career and was a three-time Class 5 All-State selection (2012, 2013, 2014), plus was the Central Ozark Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore and junior. She helped Ozark advance to the 2014 district championship game, where she scored 30 points – 20 in the second half. As a senior, she averaged 20.5 points, 3.2 assists and 2.8 steals a game after averaging 15.6 points a game as a junior. Cook also competed in volleyball, track and tennis for Ozark. At Alabama, she finished with 1,468 points – No. 8 all-time in program history – after being the team’s leading scorer in each of her final three seasons. She also was fourth all-time in 3-pointers (262), first in 3-pointers attempted (781), first in games played and started (133, 126) and fifth in career steals (198). Cook, named to the 2018 Cheryl Miller Award Watch List, had five double-doubles and helped Alabama to three WNITs, or Women’s National Invitation Tournaments. She then played one season in Iceland.
Marla Douglass – Mountain Grove High School/Oklahoma State University/Missouri State University
Douglass led Class 3 in scoring as both a freshman and as a senior at Mountain Grove, as the 5-foot-7 guard scored a school record 2,426 career points and averaged 23.78 points and 4.66 assists per game for her career. As a senior, Douglass averaged 27.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and five assists per game. After two seasons at Oklahoma State, she finished her career at Missouri State, earning Second Team All-Gateway Conference as a senior, when she averaged 13.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists. She led the Lady Bears and the conference in free-throw accuracy at .868. Missouri State rebounded from a seventh-place league finish in 1986 to earn a runner-up finish in 1987 as the Lady Bears finished 18-10, helping MSU coach Valerie Goodwin-Colbert earn conference Coach of the Year. Douglass appeared in all 54 games during her two-year career and remains atop the Lady Bears’ career free-throw percentage (.860). She led the team in 3-point field goals in the first year of the 3-point line, and later was named to the Missouri State basketball All-Decade team in 1992. She later was a student coach and graduate assistant before working as a full-time assistant for Cheryl Burnett (MSHOF Legend 2015) from 1989 to 1994. Douglass was the first women’s basketball coach at the University of Tulsa from 1995 to 1999.
Katie Gariss Marsh – College Heights Christian School/Missouri Southern State University
Marsh emerged as one of the state’s top post players in the late 1990s and regularly appeared on the sports page of The Joplin Globe. At College Heights, she scored 2,000 career points and was Class 2 All-State in 1998. She then went on to play at Missouri Southern. There, Marsh finished with 1,230 points, which now ranks 10th all-time, and had 588 career rebounds. In 2001, she was an Honorable Mention NCAA Division II All-American and named a First Team All-MIAA and All-District. That came after she averaged 18 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. She also finished second in the MIAA in scoring and rebounds – plus had eight double-doubles that season. Marsh has since been inducted into the Missouri Southern Athletics Hall of Fame. She lives in Joplin and works at Mercy Orthopedics of Southeast Kansas.
Anthony Shavies – Missouri State University
A guard who played hard and contributed in numerous ways, Shavies became a fan favorite of Missouri State basketball fans in his two seasons with the Bears in 2004 and 2005. In fact, he helped the Bears reach the finals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in 2004 and 2005 despite the team being the No. 5 seed both years – with the 2005 team also reaching the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. The Bears beat No. 1 seed Southern Illinois in the Valley Tournament semifinals both seasons (80-74 in 2004, 65-61 in 2005). As a junior, Shavies was voted to the Valley’s All-Tournament team and, as a senior, he was voted to the Valley’s All-Defensive Team. In 2005, Shavies led the team by averaging 3.6 assists a game, and overall had an 8.8-point scoring average with 3.1 rebounds a game. He then went on to play professionally in Germany, Ukraine and Austria and now is a loan officer with Central Bank/Central Trust in Springfield.
The Shultz Brothers of Glendale High School
- Roland Shultz – Springfield Glendale High School/Drury University: In 1967, Shultz earned All-State honors for Glendale and finished his career with 825 points, an average of nearly 17 points a game over 49 games played. His scoring total ranks No. 25 all-time at Glendale, although 15 players ahead of him on the list all played during the 3-point era. At Drury, Shultz played on three conference championship teams and in three NAIA Tournaments. He was First Team All-District and all-conference his last three years, and was an NAIA All-American honorable mention his sophomore and junior years. He also led Drury in field goal percentage in three of his four seasons. Shultz is now No. 11 in Drury history in scoring (1,633 points) and 10th in rebounds (788). He later was nominated for the first United States Olympic Basketball Planning Program in 1970. He recently retired as a home builder in the Springfield area.
- Tom Shultz – Glendale High School/Vanderbilt University: One of the most-prolific scorers in Springfield basketball history during his three varsity seasons at Glendale, Shultz is the fifth all-time leading scorer in Glendale history with 1,452 career points. A two-time First Team All-State selection as a junior and senior, he averaged 23.1 points per game as a junior, and then posted an average of 26.1 points per game as a senior. Shultz, who is one of two former Falcons to have their jersey retired (No. 22) at Glendale, set the Glendale single-game scoring record (47 points, on 21-of-23 shooting) in January 1974, a mark that stood until January 2017. Shultz was later a four-year letterman at Vanderbilt, and currently is a doctor at CoxHealth.
Zach Towe – Nixa High School/Central Methodist University
Towe earned Class 3 All-State honors in 1999, when he helped the Nixa Eagles win the state championship. He was a four-year varsity starter and scored 1,398 points – an average of 12.94 points per game over 108 games. The point total includes 229 career 3-pointers (on 619 attempts), and he was a 79.8 percent career free-throw shooter. He also holds the Eagles’ career (571) and single season (195 in 1999) assists records. At Central Methodist, Towe was a four-year starter over 137 games and four-year letterman who earned NAIA All-American honors in 2003. That season, he also earned Player of the Year in the Heart of America Athletic Conference and his third all-conference honor. Towe ranks as Central Methodist’s No. 4 all-time leading scorer (1,859 points) and is No. 2 in career assists. He set school records for games played and started in a career and for single season assists (261 in 2003). He has since been inducted into Central Methodist’s Hairston Hall of Fame.
Nick Yocum – Republic High School/Drury University/Evangel University
Yocum was a three-year starter and a two-time All-State selection (2011, 2012) for Republic, earning first team honors his senior year. He scored 1,047 points in his career and twice earned All-District. In 2010, he helped Republic to the Final Four, a Blue & Gold Tournament championship and a district title. He also was All-District in golf. After an injury prevented him playing his freshman season at Southwest Baptist, he helped Drury win the 2013 conference title and reach the Elite Eight. At Evangel, Yocum scored 1,082 points (No. 29 all-time) and ranks third all-time in 3-pointers made (225). He helped the team win a conference title and reach the NAIA Sweet Sixteen. A three-time All-Heart of America Athletic Association selection, his 77 3-pointers in 2016 are fourth-most in a single Evangel season, and he also had 74 in both his sophomore and junior seasons – good for fifth on that list. He also had 100 assists in 2015.