On April 14, UAFS welcomed four new members to its Lions Athletics Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony at the Stubblefield Center.
The 2019 Hall of Fame Class is Sonny Weems, a former men's basketball player; Heidi Luks-Stojanovic, a former volleyball player; Mary Beth Sudduth, a longtime athletics booster, friend of the program, and former university administrator; and Louis Whorton, former women's basketball coach.
Fan-favorite Weems, ’06, was known for his flying dunks but also shone as a defender. He played for the Lions from 2004-2006, and as a sophomore he was ranked the No. 1 junior college player in the country by Rivals.com and Street & Smith’s magazine. He played two seasons at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, and he played professionally for the Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Luks-Stojanovic, ’13, led UAFS to an 87-15 overall win-loss record and a 32-4 regular-season record against conference opponents over three years at NCAA Division II level. “She sets the bar for all others and is arguably the best player ever to wear a UAFS uniform and play in the Heartland Conference,” said UAFS volleyball coach Jane Sargent.
Sudduth has been a friend of the athletics department for more than 20 years, working behind the scenes to support players with meals, snacks, and honors and contributing financially to help make UAFS golf and tennis realities. The former administrator was a key figure in the institution’s move from a community college to a four-year university.
Wharton, who studied at Westark Community College starting in 1971, coached the Lady Lions basketball team for 30 years, starting in 1986. During 23 seasons at the junior college level, he compiled a record of 538-195 for an average of 23 wins per season. His junior college teams had 16 20-win seasons and six 30- win seasons. He led teams to an Arkansas JUCO Conference championship, three Arkansas State Tournament championships, seven Bi-State East Conference championships, and seven Region II championships.