Angela Buckner learned to love rebounding at an early age. She rebounded for her older sister during practices at Holy Savior grade school and at Kapaun Mount Carmel.
When it came time for Buckner to rebound for her own team, she did like it few others. Buckner, 26, enters Wichita State's Shockers Sports Hall of Fame today largely for her ability to grab the basketball over and over again.
"I loved being able to go up and get the boards," she said. "You've got to be in the right place at the right time and use your body. I always had a big body, and I used it."
Buckner, who played at Kapaun before coming to WSU, holds the school records with 1,297 rebounds and 67 games with double figures in scoring and rebounding. She was an All-Missouri Valley Conference pick three times and ranks No. 17 on the NCAA career list with an average of 12.1 rebounds a game. Her scoring total of 1,382 points ranks eighth at WSU.
Doing all that in front of family and friends made it even better. She will get a similar thrill during today's luncheon and tonight when introduced at halftime of the men's game against Indiana State.
"I'm a hometown girl," she said. "It's a big thing to me because I'm from here."
Buckner played at WSU from 2000-04 under coaches Darryl Smith and Jane Albright. Smith, who will attend today's ceremonies, coached with a loud voice and a lot of emotion. Albright's style differed greatly — she rarely yelled or showed anger.
"Both were exactly what I needed," Buckner said. "Coach Smith was on me, almost like a dad. He would say whatever he needed to to push me."
Buckner, director at Colvin Recreation Center, spent Friday afternoon working on her remarks for today. She wants to be sure to thank the many people who helped her through WSU.
"WSU's done a lot for me," she said. "It's going to come from my heart."