Hall of Famers return to their alma mater


Rosha'e Gibson

Wolf Pack Hall of Fame inductee Amy Danielson, A’98, is the first soccer player to recieve the honor. Danielson embraces Athletic Director Brett Simpson during the halftime ceremony on Jan. 26. Photo credit: Rosha’E Gibson

RoSha'e Gibson

Achievements both in and out of the classroom have remained a staple for Loyola athletics, and the time came to honor those who have fulfilled the values of the program.

The Loyola Wolf Pack held their annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 26 in between the men and women’s basketball games.

More than 200 people filled the stands in The Den. Loyola alumni, staff and past inductees came to welcome the newest members of Loyola’s Hall of Fame: Amy Danielson, A’98, Garkeiva Council, A’12, Gina Gill, A’11, and the 1994-1995 men’s basketball team.

Danielson was honored as one of the most successful and decorated women’s soccer players in Wolf Pack history. She holds the record for most career goals, 30, and ranks ahead of the next-best student-athlete by 17.

“It’s truly an honor, but it was also a complete surprise,” Danielson said.

As the first soccer athlete in the Hall of Fame, she credits the culture at Loyola as the reason why she was so successful.

“I just wanted to go to school where I felt like a person, and Loyola gave that to me,” she said. “It allowed me to play soccer without dictating what I was doing day in and day out.”

Council has her name in the basketball record books with some of the highest career totals in points, rebounds, assists and steals in school history. The former guard holds the Loyola record for highest scoring average in a season with 23.1 points per game.

Council was proud of the honor but feels it isn’t an individual award.

“It really feels surreal to say the least,” Council said. “But it’s like what I tell my teammates — it’s not an award for me, its an award for us, for teammates, for family and more importantly God.”

Council gives credit to the people that surrounded her during her time as an athlete at Loyola, especially her family.

“They were always my biggest support system, my cheerleaders,” she said. “My mom had kidney failure, and it never stopped her from raising three kids herself. My brother currently has cancer. He has three children, and he never makes an excuse. My twin sister has always had her foot on my back and my neck, so I could never make excuses with her.”

Gill ranks high among Loyola volleyball players, finishing her collegiate career third in kills, third in total attacks. Her 1,593 career kills and 4,329 total attacks trail only two other hall of famers.

The 1994-95 men’s basketball team featured three future hall of famers and an appearance in the national tournament — the first time a Wolf Pack basketball team had done so since Loyola won it all in 1945.

Gerald Hernandez, head coach of the inducted basketball team, said that the induction is the greatest thing to happen to him in his 45-year coaching career.

“To be honored by Loyola, along with my players and my assistant coaches, is the biggest honor that I’ve ever had,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said that the greatest memory, in general, that he has is how many of his players actually love the game.

“We had seven of them that actually went into coaching and there’s five of them that are still coaching 22 years later,” Hernandez said.

Men’s basketball Head Coach Stacy Hollowell mentioned how pleasant it was to have the Loyola alumni present at the ceremony.

“It’s really nice to have the gym filled with our alum, and I thought we had great support tonight,” Hollowell said. “It was nice to see some familiar faces of people that came through.”

Hollowell also praised the new inductees on their most recent achievements.

“That ’94-’95 team is a group of guys about the same age as me,” Hollowell said. “We came in the Metro New Orleans Area, and then to see Gina and Garkeiva be inducted — they were here as student athletes when I was here so that was really a nice touch.”