By Bert Borgmann, Colorado High School Activities Association
In short, no single girls’ basketball player has displayed the offensive skills that Ridgway High School’s Tracy Hill did from 1980-83. And, if one wants to question that assertion, let’s line up some facts in support. Her name is listed in the record book an astounding 40 times on the scoring side, including ranking at the top of 10 categories.
Still not convinced? Hill accomplished all this before the three-point line and the women’s ball. Not enough? She only played a single half in many of her games. Tracy’s team was so far ahead many times, the coach, her father, Steve, sat her for the rest of the game.
Hill loved to play, but understood what it meant to be team player, everyone deserved to play.
“I wanted to play, but I also knew that for the team to be effective others on the team had to play. So, I worked hard on my game in the first half to three quarters,” she said.
Hill holds the Colorado career scoring mark (2,934 points), highest three season points per game averages (44.2 as a senior), three of the top eight individual season totals. She has the best three season scoring totals, too, scoring 928 as a senior, 889 as a junior and 735 as a sophomore. She once scored 59 in a game, second in the book and her 32.2 PPG is the best in state history. The stats run into each other after a while.
She’s Dr. Tracy Hill now and back in her old Western Slope stomping grounds as RHSí athletic/activities director, and the journey back was magnificent.
After a collegiate career that included stops at Missouri, Central Wyoming and Montana State, she went on to play professionally in Australia. She was a JUCO All-American, prep All-American as well as being named Colorado Player of the Year, all-state, all-region, all conference teams while playing at Ridgway.
“Basketball afforded many opportunities. The sport shaped who I am today,” she said. “It instilled the life skills I try to teach my son and my students. I am a walking advertisement for the benefits of participation.”
A member of the CHSAA Hall of Fame (1993), she was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in 2012. Awards are no stranger to Hill, she was the Fred Steinmark Female Athlete of the Year (1983), and a finalist for the Colorado Sportswoman of the Year and Converse National Player of the Year.
After Hill’s stellar professional and collegiate careers, she returned to coach Nucla to the 1998 girls’ state basketball championship and was named 2A Coach of the Year. She coached, both genders in basketball and track, as well as volleyball, for nearly 15 years before moving into administration and has been teaching since 1988. Just like sports, she has a collection of teaching honors, as well.
I wanted to play, but I also knew that for the team to be effective others on the team had to play. So, I worked hard on my game in the first half to three quarters.