Williams, Chesson highlight Duke Hall of Fame class
Two-time national player of the year Jason Williams is among seven former athletes chosen for induction into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame, which was announced on Monday.
Williams, who played for the Blue Devils from 1999-2002, is joined by Matt Andresen (fencing), Wes Chesson (football), Julie Exum Breuer (tennis), Jay Heaps (soccer), John Rennie (coach) and Dr. Georgia Schweitzer Beasley (basketball).
The seven will be inducted at the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony Oct. 11 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The following day, they will be honored at halftime of the Duke-Navy football game at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Williams, now a college basketball analyst for ESPN, helped Duke to a 95-13 record during his three seasons, including the 2001 NCAA championship. After winning the ACC Tournament most valuable player award as a freshman in 2000, he averaged 21.6 points per game as a sophomore on the national championship team. The National Association of Basketball Coaches named him national player of the year.
As a junior in 2001-02, Williams won the Naismith and Wooden awards as national player of the year.
The No. 2 overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2002 NBA draft, Williams’ pro career was cut short by injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident. His No. 22 jersey hangs in the Cameron Indoor Stadium rafters.
“I thought my jersey being retired was a great honor, but being inducted into the Duke Hall of Fame trumps that,” Williams said.
Rennie coached the Duke men’s soccer team to the 1986 NCAA championship, the school’s first national championship. In his 29 years at Duke, the Blue Devils won 410 games including 27 winning seasons, 20 NCAA Tournament berths, five College Cup appearances and five ACC championships.
Chesson played four seasons of professional football after this college career and has been an analyst on the Duke radio network since 1982. An Edenton native, Chesson starred as both a wide receiver and punter.
In 30 career games from 1968-70, he caught 164 passes for 2,399 yards and 10 touchdowns while punting 153 times for 5,553 yards and a 36.29 yards per kick average.
As a senior in 1970, Chesson established ACC single-season records for both pass receptions (74) and receiving yardage (1,080) en route to earning first team All-ACC and honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press. The 74 catches stood as a school single-season record for 42 years until both Conner Vernon (85) and Jamison Crowder (76) eclipsed the standard during the 2012 campaign.
Heaps, currently the head coach of Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution, earned national player of the year honors from the Missouri Athletic Club in 1998 as a member of Duke’s soccer team. A two-time All-American, four-time All-ACC and four-time All-ACC Tournament selection, he helped the Blue Devils to a four-year record of 61-23-1 by totaling 127 career points on 45 goals and 37 assists.
Andresen, a Chapel Hill native, was a four-time All-America pick as a member of the Blue Devil fencing team from 1989-93.
Beasley was twice named the ACC Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001 while helping the Blue Devils to 111 wins, four NCAA Tournament berths, three conference regular-season championships, two league tournament titles and an appearance in the 1999 national championship game.
A first-team All-America pick by both Kodak and the United States Basketball Writers of America as a senior, she became the first Duke player to notch 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists and 150 steals.
Beasley, who served as an assistant coach at Duke after her WNBA career, graduated from Duke Medical School in 2008. She is a general surgeon at Duke University Hospital and currently is working in cancer research.
Breuer was a two-time All-American and two-time National Collegiate Clay Court singles champion while helping the Duke women’s tennis squad to 92 victories, a perfect 29-0 ledger in ACC regular-season action and four ACC Championships.