Jessica Hill-Graham Named to RHSSHOF

Thursday, August 4, 2016
Jessica Hill-Graham.(courtesy photo)

Lady Cougar multi-sport standout Jessica Hill-Graham will join the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2016. Known as a standout athlete and scholar, she was also selected as Miss Rector of 2003.

Graham was an impact player on both the hardwood and diamond throughout her high school career, lettering in basketball and softball in 2002, 2003 and 2004. She was also selected to the All-NEA team in 2003 for play in the annual tourney.

Jessica was also selected as All-Conference in basketball in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and was an All-Conference softball selection in both 2003 and 2004. Her senior season as a Lady Cougar softball player she was also named as an All-State selection, and was selected to play in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Game.

On the basketball court as a Lady Cougar, she averaged 17.6 points per game, and recorded an average of 5.5 assists per game. She's remembered as an outstanding shooter, often double-teamed by opponents using the "box-and-one" defensive strategy. Still, she would manage to get open -- and score.

During her senior year she had a number of strong outings, and was held to single digits in scoring only three times. On the other hand, she torched both Corning and Campbell (Mo.) for 29 points, had 22 against Riverside, 20 against Walnut Ridge and dropped 19 on CRA, just to mention a few of the double-digit games.

At the 2002 RHS awards banquet coach Shane Robinson presented several statistical awards to the senior high team, including a number to Jessica. As a sophomore she was recognized for Best Offense, Best Field Goal Percentage and Most Assists. On the diamond her sophomore year she was named to the CRA All-Tournament team, and was recognized for having the best batting average on the fast-pitch softball team.

In addition to her outstanding high school career, she was also selected All-Conference in basketball all three years of her junior high career.

Graham also distinguished herself in the classroom, and the community, during her time at RHS. In addition to being selected Miss Rector 2003, at the annual Labor Day Picnic, she was also the RHS valedictorian of 2004, with a 4.0 grade point average. Jessica was also selected as a Wendy's High School Heisman Award winner for achievements in both athletics and academics in 2004.

An article from June of 2004, in the Clay County Democrat, noted -- "During the recent high school season Jessica was the leader of the team. Being a senior she tried to set an example for the younger players, and by both word and deed she motivated her younger teammates showing them that the game is played with the head as well as the body."

In a pre-season article on the softball season to come, coach Shane Robinson offered, "one position we can count on is Jessica in center field. She solidifies our outfield as she can catch just about any ball she can get to."

She was also recognized as the Female Athlete of the Year at RHS as a senior, and the presentation remarks noted, "Jessica Hill has always brought grace and intelligence to the playing field. Possessing those attributes, along with her athletic ability, makes her a memorable RHS athlete. She was also Most Outstanding Player in basketball as a senior and earned the Best Offense Award and Field Goal Percentage Award. During her senior campaign she averaged 14.4 points per game and 4.1 assists per game."

She will join former RHS athletic standouts Jimmy W. McKeel and Dana Adams-Wilson, along with former Clay County Democrat editor and co-publisher, Wendell H. Crow, as members of the RHSSHOF class of 2016, with the induction ceremony set for Saturday, Sept. 3.

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