Four Blue Devils to be Inducted Into New England Basketball HOF
Four Blue Devils will be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in Worcester, MA, on June 22, 2013. Former Athletics Director Charles "CJ" Jones, head women's basketball coach Beryl Piper and former men's basketball standouts Rick Mickens and Corsley Edwards will ne inducted at the DCU Center in Worcester. All four inductees are also member of the CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame.
Mickens and Edwards will be inducted for their contributions as collegiate players during their time with the Blue Devils. Each was a member of the 2000 Northeast Conference Champion basketball team that brought the Blue Devils to the Division I NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Edwards went again in 2002.
Piper is being inducted for her contribution as a high school coach. Piper was the head coach at New Britain High School for 19 seasons prior to becoming the head coach at her alma mater in 2007.
Jones will be inducted in the Administrator category for his tenure as the Athletics Director at his alma mater. Jones, who spent 44 years working at CCSU, retired in 2009 after 14 years in his most recent role.
Mickens helped lead the Blue Devils to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in its Division I history in 2000. He was the 1999-2000 Defensive Player of the Year in the NEC and is the school's all-time leader in steals with 266. He also scored 1,632 points, grabbed 448 rebounds and had 263 assists in his four seasons. Mickens played in 111 games in his career and is sixth all-time in career points.
Edwards is the third all-time leading scorer in school history and was the 2001-02 NEC Player of the Year for the Blue Devils. He is one of only two players in school history to go to the NCAA Tournament twice, in both 2000 and 2002. He has 1,731 career points and 967 career rebounds in 123 career games. He started 115 of those games. His 198 blocks are second in school history, and his 652 field goals ranks fifth.
Piper spent 19 seasons as the head coach at New Britain High School before returning to CCSU as the head women's coach. Piper guided the Golden Hurricanes to three state titles, compiling a 289-151 record. New Britain won its first in 1998 and added back-to-back championships over her final two seasons. Beginning in 1998, Piper also won seven consecutive Central Connecticut Conference South Division championships. She added two north division crowns in her last two seasons there.
Piper was named the Connecticut High School Coaches Association 2007 Coach of the Year. Additionally, she was presented with the 2007 Merit Award by the CIAC Girls Basketball Committee and was named the 2007 Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance Doc McInerney Coach of the Year in a female sport.
In six seasons at CCSU Piper has led the Blue Devils to 82 victories, four NEC Tournament appearances, three NEC Tournament Semifinals and the 2009 Women's National Invitational Tournament. Piper is second in wins and Division I wins in CCSU women's basketball history and she holds the best winning percentage of any CCSU women's basketball coach. She is responsible for three of the top-five single-season win totals since the program went to Division I, with the second (19 wins, 2010-11), third (18 wins, 2008-09) and fifth (16 wins, 2012-13) spots.
Jones holds his undergraduate and master's degrees from CCSU and spent 44 years associated with the University. He was a student, coach and administrator during his time with the Blue Devils, spending the last 14 years as the Director of Athletics. He was instrumental in getting the Blue Devils into the Northeast Conference in 1996. Central teams won 47 conference championships during his tenure.