The Duke women’s basketball program is proud to announce it will retire Elizabeth Williams‘ No. 1 jersey at halftime of the Blue Devils’ Dec. 29 contest against Kentucky at 7 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Williams will become just the third player in Duke women’s basketball history to have her jersey retired, joining Alana Beard (#20) and Lindsey Harding (#10).
Williams completed a storied career at Duke in 2015, graduating as a four-time All-America selection. She was the first player from the ACC and only the eighth player in the NCAA to garner All-America distinction from the Associated Press in each of her four years. Williams was also the first player in ACC history to total over 1,900 points, 1,000 rebounds and 400 blocks for her career.
During her four seasons, Williams averaged 14.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game over 136 contests. She was named to the All-ACC first team for four straight years, becoming only the second player in the ACC to accomplish the feat. The Virginia Beach, Va., native was also a four-time pick for the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and the 2015 National Defensive Player of the Year.
An imposing presence in the paint, Williams rounded out her collegiate career ranked ninth in the NCAA and second at Duke and in the ACC in blocks (426). She also graduated ranked fourth all-time in program history in points (1,955) and second in rebounds (1,078).
Williams went on to be the fourth overall pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft and has excelled professionally for the Connecticut Sun and the Atlanta Dream. In two WNBA seasons, she has averaged 8.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over 55 regular season contests. This past year, she was tabbed the 2016 WNBA Most Improved Player after leading the Dream in rebounding and blocks.
No stranger to the international basketball scene, Williams led USA Basketball to three gold medals as a member of the U19, U17 and U16 World Championship teams.
“I believe that any student-athlete, former or present, would affirm that one of the most rewarding aspects of being a student-athlete is in the relationships that we develop,” Williams said. “My time at Duke was so valuable. The people are so valuable. I am forever grateful to this institution and all who have supported me within it.
“For me to sit here and say that my jersey is going to be retired is so surreal. It’s really difficult to put into words what it will mean to have my jersey hanging in the rafters among Duke basketball legends. The credit goes to every single teammate, staff member and coach that I encountered in my four year career. This may be a basketball achievement, but its meaning extends far beyond the lines of a court. From the nine-year old awkward basketball player to the young woman in her second year of professional basketball, I thank any and every one that made my dreams possible and led me to this moment.”
“Elizabeth has impacted Duke women’s basketball and Duke University in a remarkable way,” said head coach Joanne P. McCallie. “Her talents, work ethic, and academic focus combined with her enormous individual success on the court separate her from so many other student-athletes across the country. All of us at DWB are so excited for this very special, rare, and unique recognition. Elizabeth joins two other very special former Duke women’s basketball players in a very elite fashion as her No. 1 is raised in Cameron. This truly is the highest honor possible and certainly well-deserved. Congratulations, Elizabeth – we all are so grateful for your commitment to Duke University and Duke women’s basketball.”
For tickets, visit GoDuke.com/tickets or call (919) 681-BLUE.