DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Gillom heads Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

 At last, a vote that people can agree with!!

And the beneficiary is Xavier Prep basketball coach Jennifer Gillom.

On Wednesday (Aug. 10), the former Phoenix Mercury star and Olympic gold medalist (as a player and coach) was one of six people to be voted by the public into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held Nov. 1 in north Phoenix.

Gillom said on Thursday (Aug. 11) that she was told by an official from the Arizona Sports Commission, the driving force behind the Hall of Fame, that she was the top vote-getter.

“It was overwhelming learning about this honor, and getting all of those votes was special in itself,’’ said Gillom, 58.

Xavier Prep basketball coach Jennifer Gillom, who will be join the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 1.

Other inductees include former Arizona Cardinals star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, late sports journalist Pedro Gomez, formerly of The Arizona Republic and ESPN, former Northern Arizona University basketball player Peggy Kennedy, long-time Chandler Seton Catholic girls basketball coach and former Arizona State player Karen Self, and sports philanthropist Michael Kennedy.

Among the previous inductees, Gillom is very pleased to join late former XCP and pro golf star Heather Farr (2013), current Xavier vice principal for activities and athletic director Sr. Lynn Winsor (2018), and former WNBA colleague Ann Meyers Drysdale (2021) in the prestigious Hall of Fame, which will grow in number from 126 to 132 with the newest selections.

A native of Mississippi who studied and played at the University of Mississippi, Gillom has made Arizona her second home for about 25 years.

“To be recognized by people in my second home has become quite an honor,’’ she said. “This is huge, and what a blessing.

“People are showing how they feel about you as a human being. My mother (in Mississippi) was ecstatic about this when I called her.

“All the things that have happened here with the Mercury and Xavier (separate coaching stints from 2004-10 and again from 2017 through the present day). I have been inspired in my life and I want to inspire others, be a positive influence.  It has been great coaching the girls here at Xavier.’’

Tickets for the event can be purchased beginning  Sept. 1 at

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