Gael Duo Named MAAC Honor Roll Inductees
EDISON, NJ - In conjunction with the 2013 MAAC Basketball Championships at the MassMutualCenter in Springfield, MA, the MAAC announced the latest class to be inducted in the MAAC Honor Roll, in which honorees will be enshrined in The MAAC Experience exhibit at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Former men's and women's basketball standouts and Iona Goal Club Hall of Famers Kevin Hamilton and Celeste Grier-Johnathan will be the Gaels' representatives in this year's MAAC Honor Roll class.
"We are proud to have such fine representatives of Iona College in Kevin and Celeste selected to the MAAC Honor Roll," commented Iona College Director of Athletics Rick Cole, Jr. "Both are important individuals in the history of Iona College basketball and truly deserving of such an accolade."
Steve Burtt, Sr. and Patty Reynolds-Basile were recognized on the inaugural MAAC Honor Roll class in 2012. Dave Brown and Maggie Timoney were recognized at last year’s event.
"The tremendous response from the 2012 and 2013 honorees reinforced within the MAAC the value and honor of being associated with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with this event," notes Rich Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC. "The 2014 class of honorees is deep in basketball success, and the conference membership looks forward to their induction in March into the MAAC Basketball Hall of Fame Honor Roll."
Each member institution of the MAAC will have one male and one female of its basketball “family” as part of the 2014 induction class. A private dinner event will be on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Court of Dreams to recognize the Honor Roll inductees, and the Honorees will be added to “The MAAC Experience” exhibit.
Each honoree will be profiled in the game program for the 2014 MAAC Basketball Championships, and will also be featured in a video display at The MAAC Experience. The honorees will also be recognized at halftime of the men’s championship evening quarterfinal round.
Kevin Hamilton (1977-80) helped elevate the Iona basketball program into the national spotlight. In his four seasons at Iona, Hamilton helped guide the Gaels to an impressive 84-31 overall record, as well as Iona’s first two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Best known for his outstanding long-range shooting, Hamilton ended his career as the school’s fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,412 points. His .883 free throw percentage during the 1976-77 ranked as the best single-season performance by a Gael, until it was broken this past season by Lamont Jones.
In 1979, Hamilton scored a career-high 37 points in a win over Pittsburgh at the Nassau Coliseum. It is tied for the tenth-best single-game performance in the history of Iona basketball. During his senior season, Hamilton scored 32 points against Georgetown in front of a nationally-televised audience on NBC’s “Game of the Week.”
Hamilton was chosen in the fourth round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.
Celeste Grier-Jonathan (1978-82) is regarded as one of Iona College’s best-ever women’s basketball players. During her four-year career she was an integral part of some of Iona’s most successful teams ever.
Between 1978 and 1982 she helped lead Iona to a 59-52 record and two consecutive EAIAW Northeast Regional Finals. She averaged 13.0 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 43.4% from the floor during her 111-game career.
Grier-Jonathan is currently the fifth leading scorer in Gael history with 1,441 points and the fifth leading rebounder, corralling 737 boards. She also ranks in the top ten in other career statistical categories, including scoring average and field goals. Grier-Jonathan poured in a career high 28 points in a 72-56 win over New York Tech in the ’79-’80 season.