UMass Boston Alumnae Inducted into New England Basketball Hall of Fame
Former men's basketball coach Charlie Titus and women's basketball alumnae Andreen Gilpin '04 and Eileen Fenton '91 were honored by the New England Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Titus, who was inducted in 2009, received the newly created Icon Award at Saturday’s ceremony in Worcester. The award honors current hall members for their work in the community.
Gilpin and Fenton are the second- and third-highest scorers in program history, with 1,534 and 1,380 points, respectively. They are the only two Beacons to accumulate more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their careers. Both are members of the UMass Boston Athletics Hall of Fame.
Most people probably wouldn’t put a devastating injury at the top of their personal highlights list, butAndreen Gilpin is not most people. Gilpin can still remember how it felt when, as an athlete at Cathedral High School in Boston, she watched coaches from Division I schools walk out of the gym seconds after she tore her ACL in a conference tournament game. She said she was very discouraged until Rodney Hughes, a former assistant coach for the UMass Boston men’s team, called her up and said he had a job for her.
“It was a blessing in disguise—me being hurt,” Gilpin said. “I’m glad I didn’t go D1 because I think I would have changed as a person. I’m glad I was at UMass Boston because it was the right people who helped guide me, not just in basketball, but in life.”
She still remembers the day in February 1999 when she broke the Division III single-game record for rebounds (38), a mark she still holds today. The UMass Boston scorekeeper tipped off the coaching staff at the half that Gilpin had already recorded 29 rebounds, within 8 of tying the record. The coach told the rest of the team, but didn’t tell Gilpin.
“I remember thinking, ‘What’s going on with the bench?' I got a rebound and they’re all jumping on the bench. One time I got the ball stolen because they startled me,” she said.
Gilpin made her mark in other ways too. She still holds UMass Boston’s career rebound record (1,342). She’s also the only player in program history to record more than 400 points and 400 rebounds in a single season. Her 61 career double-doubles is the all-time mark for a Beacons player.
Gilpin was a biochemistry and pre-med major at UMass Boston. She’s in her tenth year at Boston Scientific, where she is the senior quality supervisor for nonconformance and quality notification. She has a 5-year-old daughter, a 10-year-old son, and two teenage stepsons who verified that Gilpin is the real deal when it comes to her skills on the court.
“They Googled me,” Gilpin recalled, and told her, “‘You’re for real, Miss Andreen.’”
The first women's basketball player to be inducted into the UMass Boston Athletics Hall of Fame,Eileen Fenton remains the only women's player to have her number retired by the university. Currently the all-time leader in points in a single season with 490, Fenton was a three-time Little East Conference All-Conference honoree, and was the 1990 conference Player of the Year.
“When I look back at my basketball days there, I never really played for the sake of breaking records,” Fenton said. “I never anticipated I’d be in the UMass Boston Hall of Fame. I just loved the game and showed up and played hard and worked hard.”
Fenton, who worked full-time while she went to school, says she remembers that the UMass Boston squad had only six or seven players for some games.
“Our record wasn’t always the best, but I think everyone on the team showed up and played really hard and really had their heart in the game,” Fenton said.
A sports medicine major at UMass Boston who became a physical therapist, the Dorchester native is now an attorney for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. And she hits the court every Tuesday night in a women’s league in Dorchester, where she’s still showing up and playing hard.