Huntsman Center’s Greatest Athletes

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Huntsman Center’s Greatest Athletes

University of Utah women's gymnastics junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the floor in a duel meet vs. The University of Georgia Bulldogs at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, March 16, 2018.(Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah women's gymnastics junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the floor in a duel meet vs. The University of Georgia Bulldogs at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, March 16, 2018.(Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah women's gymnastics junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the floor in a duel meet vs. The University of Georgia Bulldogs at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, March 16, 2018.(Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah women's gymnastics junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles performs on the floor in a duel meet vs. The University of Georgia Bulldogs at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, March 16, 2018.(Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Assistant Sports Editor

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In the last 50 years, there has been some superstar talent that has graced the Jon M. Huntsman Center floor. Whether it be hitting a buzzer-beating shot or scoring a perfect 10, the Huntsman Center has been the place for some of the best athletes in the game. Here are my top 10 Utah athletes that have competed in the Huntsman Center. 

 

10. Kim Turner — Volleyball, 2000-2003

During her time at Utah, Turner racked up quite the reputation. She had 81 solo blocks, 589 block assists, 1620 kills and had a hitting percentage of .326 during her time at Utah. She was also the first Utah Volleyball player to be named an AVCA All-American. In October of 2019, Turner’s jersey became the first volleyball jersey retired in Utah history. 

 

9. Michelle Plouffe — Women’s Basketball, 2010-2014

Plouffe ranks second in school history in points scored with 2,100. She holds the title for total rebounds with 1,171, as well as the record for the most defensive rebounds with 895. Plouffe also is the school leader in free throws made with 447. Plouffe was the No. 19 pick in the 2014 WNBA draft and currently plays for Lyon in the Ligue Féminine de Basketball.

 

University of Utah senior outside hitter Adora Anae (14) spikes the ball over Purdue redshirt sophomore middle blocker Blake Mohler (17) in an NCAA volleyball match vs. the Purdue Boilermakers at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. (Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

8. Adora Anae — Volleyball, 2014-2017

To this day, Anae holds the record for back-to-back seasons with 500 or more kills. During the 2015 season, Anae’s 592 kills were the most in the conference and No. 6 in the nation. Her career ended holding the record for the most kills (1,920) and attempts (4,915). She is third in school history for digs (1,319) and seventh all-time in matches played (128). She is also tied for first place in all-time sets played with 483. 

 

7. Kim Smith — Women’s Basketball, 2002-2006

Smith is the leading scorer in Utah women’s basketball history with 2,281 points in her career. She ranks second in school history in offensive rebounds with 341. She made the second-most field goals in school history with 831. Smith was drafted 13th in the 2006 WNBA draft to the Sacramento Monarchs. She now plays in France for USO Mondeville in the Féminine de Basketball. 

 

6. Missy Marlowe — Gymnastics, 1989-1992

Marlowe was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team who then brought her talents to the Huntsman. In 1992, she won the Honda Broderick Cup, which recognizes the best female athlete in all of the NCAA. The same year, she was given the highest honor in the NCAA when she was awarded the 1993 Top VI Award. She was a five-time NCAA Champion and a 12-time All-American, and she helped the Red Rocks win national titles in 1990 and 1992. 

 

Andre Miller shots the ball for the Washington Wizards. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

5. Andre Miller — Men’s Basketball, 1995-1999

Miller was one of the key pieces of the Utah Final Four team in 1998. He ranks second in school history with 721 assists and averaged 5.4 assists per game which also ranks second. Miller is the school leader in steals, with 254 during his career. Miller also played in more games than any other player with 134. He is tied with some of his teammates from the 1998 season for the most tournament games played at 15. Miller was drafted No. 8 overall in the 1999 NBA draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He retired from the NBA in 2016. 

 

4. Theresa Kulikowski — Gymnastics, 1999-2003 

This one might be what some would call a hot take, but hear me out. Kulikowski not only was a beast on the competition floor, but she was also a beast in the classroom. She was the first gymnast to win the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, an award that is given out annually to the best student-athlete, male or female, who also thrives in the classroom. She was named a 2004 Top VIII Award winner. She was named 2003 AAI Senior Gymnast of the Year as well as being a three-time NCAA Champion and a 14-time All-American. She graduated from the U Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA. 

 

Ashely Postell competes for Utah Gymnastics. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

3. Ashley Postell — Gymnastics, 2005-200

Postell is the only gymnast in NCAA history to win the maximum 20 All-American awards at the NCAA Championships. Postell was the 2007 NCAA Champion on the beam. She is a three-time NCAA All-Around runner up. She holds the most career wins in Utah history with 120. She also holds the record for the most wins in one season with 47. She was inducted into the 2008 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. 

 

Andrew Bogut (6) dunks the ball during a Milwaukee Bucks game. Image via Wikimedia Commons

2. Andrew Bogut — Men’s Basketball, 2003-2005  

In the 2005 NBA draft, Bogut was taken No. 1 overall to the Milwaukee Bucks. Before he played in the NBA, he put up some insane numbers for the Utah Basketball team. He ranks 27th in school history in points scored with 1,126. He ranks second in field goal percentage (60.3%), and he is tied for fourth place in the blocks category with 109. He is the third player to reach the 1,000 point mark in two seasons. Bogut is currently playing in Australia for the Sydney Kings. 

 

1. Keith Van Horn — Men’s Basketball, 1993-1997

Van Horn is the all-time leading scorer in Utah men’s basketball with 2,542 points. He is also a member of the 1,000 point-1,000 rebound club, where he boasts 1,074 rebounds. He is second in school history in field goals made with 891. His 554 free throws made is second in school history, and he holds the school record for defensive rebounds with 839. Van Horn was taken No. 2 overall in the 1997 NBA draft to the Philadelphia 76ers. He was traded to the New Jersey Nets shortly after. Van Horn retired from the NBA in 2006. 

 

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