Mary Lowry Ward, who led Airline to the 1992 Class 5A girls basketball state championship, will be honored at her alma mater tonight in a ceremony at the half of the Airline-Haughton boys game.
Ward, now the head coach at Benton High, will receive a replica of her Airline jersey and have her name and number (21) displayed on a banner on the gymasium wall.
Ward is the first female player to be so honored by Airline. Mike McConathy and Larry Robinson received the same honor in 2011.
“Having your high school jersey retired is not just an honor for me, but for my coaches, teammates and family,” Ward said. “Without them it would not be possible.”
Ward scored 47 points in Airline’s 67-51 victory over Booker T. Washington in the 1992 title game.
She was named the Outstanding Player on the Class 5A All-State team her senior year and a Street & Smith All-American.
Ward was named first-team All-District 1-5A four straight years. She set the school record for career points for boys and girls.
Ward went on to have a successful college career at Baylor and Tulane.
She said winning the state championship at Airline is her most memorable sports moment in a career that included an AAU national championship, a 54-point performance at Baylor and a trip to the Sweet 16 at Tulane.