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NCAA to honor Tampa leaders at Final Four Legacy Celebration

4 Living Legends to be recognized for breaking barriers and furthering inclusion efforts

During the NCAA Women’s Final Four week, the NCAA office of inclusion and human resources will honor four leaders as 2019 Living Legends for their significant contributions in the Tampa, Florida, area and for furthering inclusion within athletics.

The NCAA hosts a Legacy Celebration at its Women’s and Men’s Final Fours as an opportunity to recognize former student-athletes, coaches, administrators and community leaders who have had significant achievements on or off the court of competition and who have positively influenced intercollegiate athletics or sports in general. Past events have included public and private receptions, on-court recognitions and award presentations. 

The NCAA event also provides a platform to promote diversity and inclusion as an imperative in intercollegiate athletics in cities that host NCAA tournament games and Final Fours. The Tampa honorees will be recognized at a private event in the city.

“It is an honor to celebrate the lives of these four women who are activists, educators, community leaders, role models and former athletes,” said Darryl A. Peal, NCAA managing director of external engagement and community partnerships.

“These honorees represent fortitude, excellence and commitment as women who have broken barriers and led the charge for change and inclusion. Their lives and work are worthy of celebration.”

NCAA inclusion and human resources provides resources, programming and initiatives that support environments of excellence for NCAA student-athletes. The division, which includes external engagement and community partnerships, is committed to the work that furthers diversity, inclusion and gender equity among student-athletes, coaches and administrators at NCAA colleges and universities and in related communities.

The 2019 Living Legends are as follows:

Wanda Guyton

In 2009, Guyton was inducted into the University of South Florida Athletics Hall of Fame. She has been an ambassador for the South Florida women’s basketball program for many years. She was a member of the women’s basketball team, playing primarily as a center, but she also showed her skills playing at forward. Her dominance of the South Florida record books is unparalleled. While Guyton helped the South Florida program gain recognition, she also made a name for herself on a national level as a two-time WNBA champion and standout in the Italian and German leagues. She played her high school ball at Tampa’s Hillsborough High where she led the Terriers in scoring in her three seasons at the school. She was the first female basketball player to break the 1,000-point scoring threshold in becoming Hillsborough County’s girls all-time leading scorer in her senior year. She led her team to its first Florida High School Athletic Association Girls Class 4A State Basketball Championship final in 1984, earning state runner-up honors.

Gwen Martin Miller

Miller was born in Tampa and received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Florida A&M. She was an elementary schoolteacher for Hillsborough County for 13 years and was the school district’s human relations specialist for 24 years. She was also a Tampa City Council member and became the first black woman to serve as chair. She accomplished another first by becoming the first black woman to be elected to an at-large City Council seat (District 1) in 2003. In 2011, the Woodland Terrace Park Community Center in East Tampa was named the Gwendolyn Miller Community Center in her honor.

Judy Genshaft

Genshaft is president of the University of South Florida and a vocal advocate of higher education. In 2010 as president at South Florida, Genshaft became the first woman to chair the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. She also is a past chair of the Big East Conference and American Athletic Conference Councils of Presidents. In 2016, Genshaft was honored by the organization then called the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators with the Dr. Claire Van Ummersen Presidential Leadership Award.

Carolyn House Stewart

A Tampa native and attorney, Stewart graduated from South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in history and social science education. She continued on the path of success, graduating with a law degree from South Carolina and then beginning her impressive 39-year legal career. Stewart is noted as the first African-American partner at Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, one of Florida’s oldest law firms. She was also the 28th international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.