By: Luke Feliciano ~Staff Writer~
Xavier welcomed five newcomers to the Athletics Hall of Fame on Jan. 7. The inductees included Stanley Burrell, Amber Harris, Ta’Shia Phillips, Louis Witte and Andrew MacWilliams.
Burrell was an ‘08 graduate of the men’s basketball team. He was known mainly for his adept defensive skills, despite averaging nearly thirteen points a game as a freshman. Burrell continued to have offensive success in his sophomore year, increasing his points per game average to 14.4 while also collecting All Second Team A10 (Atlantic 10) honors.
Burrell ranks 13th on Xavier’s all-time scoring list with 1,612 career points. Burrell was a major part of the 2008 Xavier team that marched its way to the Elite Eight. Burrell received the most recognition as a senior, being named the Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Since his departure from Xavier, Burrell has landed a roster spot for a professional team in Poland.
Harris played on the women’s basketball team and graduated in 2010. She played on the team that saw one of the most successful stretches in program history. In 2010, the team made it to the Elite Eight, one of the deepest runs into the postseason for the program. Harris captured all-team honors for the Atlantic 10 Conference, including being named the 2009-2010 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.
In 2011, Harris became the highest drafted women’s player in Xavier history after being selected fourth in the WNBA draft. She holds the second most points of all time for the program with 2,205 points. In her time at Xavier, Harris helped guide Xavier women’s basketball to four Atlantic 10 titles.
Phillips played on the same team as Harris. During her time at Xavier, Phillips was a two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year winner. She is Xavier’s all-time leading rebounder at 1,552 rebounds and recorded a remarkable 77 career double doubles while only failing to reach double-digit points in 28 careers games. Phillips was placed on the First Team All Atlantic 10 team in her last three seasons at Xavier.
Witte was a pitcher on the baseball team, graduating in 1999. He holds the most wins in Xavier history with 35. In his sophomore season, Witte broke the record for the most single season wins with 12. He holds the career strikeout record with 345 and also pitched a record 36 complete games. Witte was named to the First Team All Atlantic 10 squad in his sophomore and senior seasons, with perhaps his biggest honor being named the A10 pitcher of the year in 1997.
After his time at Xavier, Witte was drafted by the New York Yankees.
MacWilliams was not an athlete for Xavier but rather a commentator. Longtime Xavier fans would know that MacWilliams called one of the most memorable games in Xavier basketball history in 1996, when the Musketeers defeated the University of Cincinnati, who were ranked No. 1 in the country at the time.
MacWilliams announced the play-by-play for Xavier men’s basketball from 1983-1998. He began his career as a television announcer and then transitioned to radio. Since 2001, MacWilliams has contributed to Xavier basketball news websites as a columnist and currently hosts a Xavier basketball pregame show at the Cintas Center before home games.