Xavier welcomes new inductees

Photo courtesy of sbnation.com | Former Xavier guard Tu Holloway headlines the 2017 Xavier Hall of Fame induction class. Holloway played for Xavier from 2008-12 and is currently the program’s sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,833 points.

The 2017-18 Xavier Athletic Hall of Fame class will be inducted this Saturday during halftime of the men’s basketball game against the University of Colorado.

This year’s class includes former basketball players Tu Holloway and Rashid Abdul-Rahim (formerly known as Mark Daniels), former volleyball player Jill Hampton, former football player Michael Conaton and former rifle team member Matt Bykowski.

Holloway, the most recent graduate in this class, played for Xavier from 2008 to 2012. He remains one of the best players Xavier basketball has ever had, ranking sixth on the all-time scoring list with 1,833 career points and third on Xavier’s all-time assist list with 550 in his career.

He also holds the best free-throw percentage in program history at 85 percent. He’s also one of the winningest players ever, capturing 100 career victories and reaching three Sweet-16s and four NCAA tournaments.

Abdul-Rahim, who went by Mark Daniels during his career, graduated from Xavier in 1979. He stands at 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1,690 points after being passed by Trevon Bluiett earlier this season. He’s also fourth on Xavier’s all-time steals list with 202.

He helped lead Xavier to several big victories, including the team’s first holiday tournament win in 1978. Abdul-Rahim was selected by the Kansas City Kings in the 1979 NBA draft but never played a regular season game for the team.

Hampton, now Jill Bakker, helped lead Xavier volleyball to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 2001. That season, she led Xavier to a 25-6 record and an A-10 title to clinch the tournament berth.

She is one of Xavier volleyball’s best all-around players, ranking in the top 10 in multiple categories. Hampton ranks eighth in kills at 1,358 for her career and fourth in career attack attempts at 3,930.

Conaton, after whom the Learning Commons is named, was an impactful offensive lineman for three seasons. He helped lead Xavier to multiple big wins, including victories over nationally-ranked Boston College and Louisville.

However, Conaton’s impact on Xavier goes well beyond the football field. He served as interim president of the university before James Hoff was hired. He also served as the chairman for the Board of Trustees from 1985 to 2004 and was given an honorary doctorate by Xavier.

Bykowski had a stellar athletic career, competing for the NCAA title in air rifle three consecutive years from 1988 to 1990. He was named a team captain twice and helped lead Xavier to its first NCAA championship in the 1990 season, when the team finished ranked fifth.

Bykowski was an NRA Collegiate All-American selection his senior year and was named Xavier’s top male student-athlete in 1990. He was also an all-conference performer each of his four seasons at Xavier.

By: Donnie Menke ~Staff Writer~