ODU Athletics

Hightower-Boothe, Harmison White to be Inducted into Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame

July 31, 2017
By ODU Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. – Former Old Dominion University Field Hockey great Yogi Hightower-Boothe and former ODU administrator Debbie Harmison White will be inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 23 at Norfolk Scope. Admission is $65 per person, or $400 for a table of eight. Reservations can be made by calling 757-823-4299.

Hightower-Boothe was a vital part of Old Dominion University's rise as a national power in field hockey.

In 1982, she helped lead the Lady Monarchs to their first NCAA national championship.

During her four seasons at ODU, Hightower earned All-American honors twice and was a two-time member of the NCAA All-Tournament squad. In 1980, the Lady Monarchs placed fifth in the AIAW nationals. As a junior, she helped lead ODU to third place in the NCAA Championships. That year, she led the team with 20 assists and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament squad. As a senior in 1982, the Lady Monarchs compiled a 20-1 record and she led the team in assists with 19 and was third in scoring with 25 points. Hightower repeated as both an All-American and NCAA All-Tournament team selection.

Hightower's field hockey career didn't stop after her ODU playing days were over. After graduating from ODU, Yogi was a member of the United States national field hockey team. She competed in the 1987 Pan American Games, was an alternate on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team and was one of seven former Lady Monarchs to represent ODU in the 1988 summer games.

She was inducted into the ODU Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. She is also a member of the Virginia Sports Halls of Fame.

White joined the staff at ODU in 1979 as the assistant sports information director, and was promoted to sports information director the following year, playing a key role in the national exposure that both the men’s and women’s basketball programs enjoyed in the early 1980's. During her tenure as SID, Debbie served on the 1981 and 1982 United States Olympic Sports Festival media staffs, and represented the United States as one of four sports information directors on the media coordination team at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

After a one-year journalism teaching stint at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1984-85, Debbie returned to Old Dominion as an assistant athletic director, and was promoted to associate director in 1995 and senior associate in 2003.  She was a member of the NCAA Communications Committee, NCAA Basketball Marketing Committee, and the Creative Content Committee for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. She also served as a member of the media liaison team and as press moderator at the NCAA Women’s Final Four from 1986-2006. 

The College Sports Information Directors of America recognized her in 2006 with the Trailblazer Award for her pioneering efforts in the profession, and she was inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 2017.

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