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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Eileen Fenton’s New England Basketball Hall of Fame

Being inducted into the Beacon Hall of Fame is one of the greatest accomplishments for many UMass Boston collegiate athletes. Not many students get to witness their names etched into the history of an institution.
Well, Eileen Fenton isn’t most athletes, that’s for sure. The Women’s Basketball star is far from normal. Fenton holds countless records and awards within the basketball program. Those include the all-time single season points record with 490 (‘89-‘90), the 1990 conference Player of the Year, the second most single-season rebounds with 395; she stands 2nd on the Beacons career scoring list with 1,516 points, and 2nd on the school’s career rebounds list with 1,220 boards. Fenton’s vast accomplishments made her the first ever and only Beacon women’s basketball player to have their number retired. Similar to Larry Bird, the number 33 now hangs in the rafters of their home courts. Look up any statistic for UMass Boston Women’s Basketball, and it’s almost impossible to find a record without her name mentioned in the top three.
Fenton is one of the most iconic names in the history of the Beacon Athletics program. Not only is Fenton a member of the UMass Boston Athletics Hall of Fame, but she recently reached an even more impressive feat. Last month Fenton was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. Fenton’s name will stand the test of time among greats like Dana Barros, Patrick Ewing, Ray Allen, Frank Calipari, and many others.
“Over the years, there has been an amazing group of women athletes who have attended UMass. To have achieved this honor among this group who played basketball is truly among the greatest accomplishments of my life,” stated Fenton. “It is without a doubt one of my finer moments both personally and professionally … It’s no exaggeration to say that I am on cloud nine from (the NEHOF) honors”
Fenton is flattered to be amongst such great company, but as she admits, she never anticipated having so much success when she became a Beacon. “I have always been a basketball junkie and just loved the game. I was excited to be simply part of the team,” said the Hall of Fame recipient. “I never stepped on the court thinking I was going to score X number of points, or pull down X number of rebounds. Breaking records didn’t even occur to me. I simply showed up and worked as hard as I could to do my job as part of the team.”
What’s the secret behind all of Fenton’s success? Fenton referred to Bill Belichick’s famous line as she cracked a joke. “Just do your job.” Fenton believes that hard work and dedication go far beyond simply having talent. She also mentioned the large role her parents, Mamie and William, played in her success in basketball and throughout life. “I was very lucky that I grew up in a very loving and supportive family. I learned from day one that giving 100% was the only option. That didn’t mean being perfect but meant giving it your all.  This is all we saw growing up from my parents and I admire and love them very much for teaching us this.”
 
After college, Fenton went on to receive her Masters from Boston University, and later, a Law Degree from Suffolk University. Fenton is now 40 years of age,  but she still finds time to participate in one of Dorchester’s summer leagues. Most of the athletes she competes with are nearly half her age, but as she described it, she’s still “…got game. I do a pretty good job running with women who are almost half my age.  I figure I will give it another 20 years and then I will think about hanging up my High Tops.”