QUITMAN ALUMNI NAMED TO ALCORN HALL OF FAME
A former Quitman High School standout and pioneer basketball player for Alcorn State was recently nominated into the 2016 Sports Hall of Fame at Alcorn. Dorothy Bartee, who still lives in Quitman and plays basketball recreationally in her spare time, found out in June she would be selected to Alcorn’s hall of fame. It’s easy to see why: During her four-year career, Bartee averaged at least 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. There’s more to Bartee than the numbers, however, as she played basketball at Alcorn during a time where the program was trying to gain traction. Bartee came to Alcorn as a track and field signee out of Quitman in 1975, the same year the school decided to restart its women’s basketball program. After learning Alcorn would be the only school that would allow her to participate in both sports, Bartee decided to head to Lorman. Little did she know she would play an important role in the school’s history. “I just liked the game and played as hard as I could play,” Bartee explained. “None of that crossed my mind (about being a trailblazer). I was just out there doing something I liked to do.” Her performance on the court helped raise awareness about the sport both in the school and in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Though Alcorn was only playing less than 10 games a season her first three years, by her senior year, the schedule began adding games to more resemble how a modern-day schedule would look. “When we first started, we didn’t play a lot,” Bartee said. “Right before I left, the games started to pick up. Now they’ve increased tremendously. With us out there fighting to keep the program going, it led to what’s being done now.” That’s something for which Bartee said she’s grateful, since it helped allow other female athletes the chance to enjoy the game of basketball beyond their high school years. “We had to go through a lot,” Bartee said. “When we started, because the budget wasn’t great for women’s sports at the time, there were a lot of things we had to do that we normally wouldn’t have if it was funded like it is now.” Getting selected to the hall of fame as a Quitman alumna is an honor in itself, Bartee said, especially since her former Quitman teammates helped her earn the opportunity to play basketball in college. “We did it as a team,” Bartee said. “I was a center-forward, and without my guards getting the ball in there for me to do what I did, I would not have been able to accomplish all of these things. It was a whole team effort.” Bartee will be inducted into the hall Sept. 9 in Vicksburg in the town’s convention center. She said she was both honored and humbled to have been selected, and grateful for the time she spent in Lorman. “I’m very happy I was chosen; I can’t say enough about it. That turnaround jumper I had is paying off,” she joked.
Meridian Star | 8/31/2016
Meridian Star | 8/31/2016