The newest members of the Kansas City Kansas Community College Athletic Hall of Fame were inducted in festive ceremonies during the annual Keith Lindsey Basketball Classic Friday night.
Dennis Tinnon, the nation's leading rebounder and fifth leading scorer in NJCAA Division I basketball, and the 1996-97 women's basketball team that finished 35-2 and fifth in the NJCAA Division I national tournament, are the 16th and 17th inductees into the Hall of Fame which was started in 2010.
While members of the 1996-97 Lady Blue Devil team have spread far and wide, some as far away as Sweden and Lithuania, head coach Leslie Crane and players Heather Horyna, Mellisa Washburn and KCKCC softball coach Kacy Tillery were present along with Don Malone, the father of starting point guard Maryam Malone, who now lives in Atlanta.
Lady Blue Devils unable to attend included starters Jurgita Kausaite, Rima Petronyte, Sonata Pranaityte, Erica Lewis and Maryam Malone along with Anne Shepherd, Mindy Roberts, Rasa Sukeviciute, Tanya Williams and assistant coaches Heather Mazeitis and Kathleen Waliczek.
In compiling a 35-2 record in 1996-97, the Blue Devils won a record 31 consecutive games, became the first Jayhawk Conference team to finish 18-0 and were fourth in the final NJCAA poll. Their only two losses were to the top two teams in the nation - Trinity Valley, the 1997 national champion, and Central Florida, the No. 1 seeded team in the national tournament which lost to Trinity Valley in the championship game.
Tinnon averaged double doubles in his two seasons at KCKCC. As a freshman, he shot 64 percent from the field while averaging 13.8 points and 10.7 rebounds as the Blue Devils finished 21-10. As a sophomore, he led the nation in rebounding with 13.4 a game, was fifth in scoring (23.4) and shot 61.7 percent from the field in leading KCKCC to an all-time best record of 25-7. The Blue Devils were also an all-time best second in the Jayhawk Conference (14-4) and were denied a first time ever championship by a pair of overtime losses to league champion Coffeyville.
After earning his AA degree at KCKCC, Tinnon played two seasons at Marshall University where he averaged double doubles, and then played professionally for three years in Germany. Now retired, he and his wife, Robin, own a clothing store in his home town of Green Bay, Wis. In addition to his wife, he was accompanied by their two children, Denyah, 7, and Dennis III, 3.
Previously inductees in the Athletic Hall of Fame:
2010 – David Segui and Kevin Young, baseball; Robert Russell, golf; Jurgita Kausaite, basketball; Al Heider, coach.
2012 – Bryan Scott, basketball; Aneta Kausaite, basketball; Nancy Allen, coach.
2013 – Stephanie Brown, basketball; Dinsdale Morgan, track; Steve Burleson, coach; 1976 baseball team (World Series qualifier).
2014 – Duane Shaw, Athletic Director; Keith Lindsey, supporter of KCKCC athletics.
2015 – Alan Hoskins, Sports Information.
They were smiles all around at 2016 KCKCC Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The honor court included (from left) KCKCC Athletic Director Tony Tompkins, 1996-97 team members Don Malone (father of Maryam Malone), Mellisa Washburn, head coach Leslie Crane, Kacy Tillery and Heather Horyna; inductee Dennis Tinnon, daughter Denyah, son Dennis III, former KCKCC assistant coach Bill Sloan, wife Robin and her father. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)