CHADRON, Neb. — July 16, 2018 — The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference held its annual Hall of Fame Ceremony and Awards Banquet Friday evening, at the Colorado Springs Marriott. More than 200 were in attendance as superlatives were presented to athletes and coaches, and two teams and six individuals, including Chadron State College women’s basketball player Tricia Lukawski, were enshrined among the league’s all-time greats.
Lukawski gave a 10-minute induction speech upon receiving her award. She thanked her mother, brother and two sisters, along with her sister-in-law for traveling from the Chicago area to attend. She also acknowledged a “trio” of ladies she knew from high school basketball, who surprised her with their attendance.
“Always make the right decisions,” she addressed her nieces and nephews, “no matter what, even when noone’s looking. Always remember that your character, not your other accomplishments, is how others will remember you.”
CSC Hall of Famer Shauna Smith, a teammate of Lukawski’s was also in attendance.
“One of the questions I always get is, ‘how does someone from East Chicago, Indiana, end up at Chadron State College?’ As my basketball career played out and came to a close, and definitely as the years have gone by, I recognize it as a life-changing decision, guided by providence, that has brought me happiness beyond comprehension.”
The Eagles legend was an invitee in 1989 to a high school all-star game in Oklahoma between players from the Hoosier and Sooner States. There, she ran into former CSC coach Kip Cady, and later committed to his program without having even visited Chadron.
To Coach Cady, she said, “I hope you know this by now, but you changed my life. I am convinced God made our paths cross because he knew that you were the person that I needed, at the time, to help me step out of my comfort zone. It is a gift that has continued to fill my heart well beyond basketball ever since. The confidence you have in me, gave me confidence to utilize my talents to the utmost ability. You made me a better person on and off the basketball court. I could never thank you enough for believing in me. I am so grateful for the relationship we have today.”
She also had comments of gratitude for Coach William “Bunny” Rider, who later took over the head women’s basketball coaching position and led CSC to its first RMAC Championship in any sport, as well as all of her teammates and Con Marshall, longtime information director at CSC.
Earlier in the ceremony, the CSC football team was awarded the Brechler Award for highest football team GPA in the league during the 2017-18 academic year.