/Tiny Debbie Brock, a coach’s daughter, played huge role in women’s hoops history

Tiny Debbie Brock, a coach’s daughter, played huge role in women’s hoops history

Brock also recalled that they were playing Ole Miss Oxford. It was just before the game, and we were just warming up, shooting around. Lucy (Harris), and I were the only ones at one end. It must have been funny. She was 6’3″ and I was 4’11”. Lucy made two of us. Then, one fan shouted loudly: “Hey, number 22, that’s me – did they bring over here in the glove box?” Brock replied, “I laughed.” “I laughed and laughed. It’s still about the most funny thing I have ever heard.” 43 years later, Brock laughs again as she recounts the story. She actually has the last laugh as she will be inducted into Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame this June. As we’ll see, she is highly deserving. She is the smallest ever inductee into the Knoxville shrine in Tennessee. It was established in 1999 by Pat Head Summitt, the great Tennessee coach. Brock compensated for her small stature with her ball-handling skills, court savvy and determination. Van Chancellor, a Hall of Fame coach, said that although Debbie was small, she was a hard worker. She’s an old-time player who can still play today. You could hear her speed and it was evident that she was a natural coach. She was very excited. She was able to understand the game. It’s amazing to see how intelligent she was on the basketball court. Chancellor said, “Delta State had several girls who could shoot and they also had Lucy who was a great player at the post.” “Debbie was the ideal point guard for that team. She was able to get the ball to where it was needed. She passed the ball to her teammates in the correct spot on the floor. They couldn’t press her, she would dribble by herself through the press.” Chancellor paused and said, “Delta State wouldn’t have won those three championships if not for Debbie Brock. It’s a fact. Brock grew up in the home of Coach James N. “Dump”, Brock, who is a Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Famer. James Brock was a coach at Forest Hill for the boys. His daughter, still in elementary school at the time, entertained Forest Hill fans at halftime with her ball-handling abilities. She could throw the ball between her legs and behind her back, while simultaneously twirling a baton. She spent hours shooting at the Brock house’s goal, honing her shooting skills with either one of her hands. She kept notebooks detailing her shooting sessions. Debbie said that she can recall one instance when she was shooting while Daddy was at practice. “I had taken about 15 shots consecutively and then, as he was driving up, I missed one. He got out of his car and went into the house. He said, “I don’t know how we’re going about your shot.” The little girl worked even harder. She said, “Everything that I did, I did it to please him and make his proud.” “I wish he was here for this.” Coach Brock passed away last September. He was aware that his daughter had been nominated to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Debbie stated, “He was so excited.” He was supportive of everything I did. My mama was the same. “I feel like they are looking down now, and I know that they are happy,” Debbie Brock stated. Her first reaction to the news was shock. She said, “I was so shocked.” It’s been 43 years that I last played. It was so exciting to be nominated and I can’t believe this. I’m proud, but I’m also proud for Delta State, my teammates, and for what they accomplished.” Harris was the first Lady Statesman from that era to be elected, as well as Margaret Wade, and Lady Statesmen. These were not small college championships. Young people need to know that. It wasn’t Division II. It wasn’t Division II. The Lady Statesmen beat Tennessee and Summitt in the semifinals, and then defeated LSU in the finals. They beat UCLA and other teams regularly. They owned Ole Miss and Mississippi State, as well as Southern Miss. Chancellor said, “This is just so wonderful.” He rose to national prominence at Ole Miss before coaching the Houston Comets to their first four WNBA championships. These teams from Delta State were true pioneers in the sport. They raised the sport. They were a positive influence. They don’t know what it was like to ride in vans and eat at McDonald’s while on the road. Teams now charter jets to travel to games, stay in the best hotels, and fly first class. This wasn’t always the case. It’s great to see someone who made an impact in the sport get recognized.”