WEST PLAINS, Mo.– Officials at Missouri State University-West Plains inducted former Grizzly Volleyball standout Anna Dmowska and former Grizzly Basketball standout Tyrone Brazelton, Jr., into the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame during the annual Grizzly Sports Banquet Tuesday night, April 12, at the West Plains Civic Center Magnolia Room.
Approximately 150 family members, friends, Grizzly Booster Club members, students, faculty and staff attended the event.
Dmowska, a 6-foot outside hitter originally from Warsaw, Poland, joined the Grizzlies in 2002 and helped guide the team to two of its most successful seasons ever, earning back-to-back second place finishes in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women’s National Volleyball Championship Tournament. She is seventh all time in career kills (923) and in career points earned (1,136), and she was a two-time NJCAA Division I Women’s National Volleyball Championship Tournament all-tournament honoree and a second team NJCAA All-American honoree in 2003.
After graduating from Missouri State-West Plains in 2004 with an Associate of Arts in General Studies degree, Dmowska transferred to Florida International University in Miami, where she helped turn the Panthers from a 3-23 record team to a 15-13 record team. She was a two-year letterman in the sport at FIU and received the Sun Belt Conference’s Sportsmanship Award in 2004. She finished her career at FIU fourth all time in kills per game with 3.43.
Dmowska graduated from FIU in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy degree and is now attending NewCourtland School of Practical Nursing in Philadelphia, Pa.
Although unable to attend the ceremony in person due to her nursing studies, Dmowska sent written comments to the event through her Adopt-A-Grizzly parents, Gene and Nancy Poppe. In the comments, read by Nancy Poppe, Dmowska encouraged current and future Grizzlies to embrace the athletics program at Missouri State-West Plains. “No matter where you go after West Plains, you will never find a better program, more dedicated coaches and faculty, or a more loving and supportive community,” she said.
“I must express my pride and overwhelming gratitude to be a part of the Grizzly family,” she continued. “I thank each and every one of you for your effort and dedication in making this program so exceptional. I personally want to thank my fiercely motivating, yet loving, coaches, Trish Knight and Paula Wiedemann, and their families; my wonderful and encouraging host parents, Gene and Nancy Poppe; my devoted tutor and friend, Rogers Taylor; and my excellent former teammates. Thank you all for being in my life and helping me to become a better volleyball player, a better student and a better person.”
Brazelton, a 5-foot, 11-inch point guard from Chicago, Ill., heralded a new era when he joined the Grizzly Basketball team in 2004 as the first freshman recruit of the team’s second head coach, Brian Ostermann. He came to the Grizzlies a proven winner after he helped lead his high school team, Rich Central High School, to an SIC South Conference title, regional and sectional titles, and the championship of the Big Dipper Holiday Tournament, one of the biggest holiday tournaments in Chicago.
Brazelton became the foundation of Ostermann’s first two Grizzly teams and helped lead the program to seven wins over teams ranked in the top 15 of the NJCAA. He recorded numerous double-double performances throughout his career and proved he could be cool under pressure when, on several occasions, he hit key buckets to keep the Grizzlies in games at the end of regulation. Some of his biggest scoring performances came against ranked teams, including a 32-point performance against the then No. 1 University of Arkansas-Fort Smith on Nov. 5, 2005.
He finished his freshman season averaging 11.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds to earn All-Region 16 Team honors, and he finished his sophomore season averaging 18.3 points, 4.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds a game to earn Region 16 Player of the Year Honors and first-team NJCAA All-American honors. He is tied for second all time in assists for a game (12), fourth in free throws made in a game (16 vs. Mineral Area College, Feb. 11, 2006), and third in career assists (289).
After receiving his Associate of Arts in General Studies degree, Brazelton transferred to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green where he helped lead the Hilltoppers to their first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in March 2008 after winning the Sun Belt Conference regular season and post-season tournament titles. He led the Hilltoppers in assists during his two seasons there (133 in 2006-07, 134 in 2007-08) and was second in scoring (12.8 points per game and 14.4 points per game, respectively). He also earned second-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors in 2007-08.
Brazelton earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in criminology from Western Kentucky in 2008 and currently plays professional basketball in Europe.
Brazelton, also, was unable to attend the ceremony, but his parents, Tyrone Sr. and Gloria Brazelton attended and accepted the award on behalf of their son. “I have to say thank you to West Plains on behalf of my son and my family,” Tyrone Brazelton, Sr., said. “His first year was a rough one, and he was having trouble adjusting to the pace of life in West Plains, but West Plains embraced him well, and he grew to appreciate what he had here. When he left and went to Western Kentucky, he pulled a Michael Jordan and wore his West Plains shorts under his practice uniform.”
This is the ninth year of the Grizzly Athletics Hall of Fame. Grizzly Hall of Fame Selection Committee members include Chairman Ron Shemwell, Kim Dake, Russ Gant, Bill Hutchings, Grizzly Hall of Fame member Eric Judd, Chuck Kimberlin, Carolyn Smith, John Williams, Missouri State-West Plains Dean of Student Services Dr. Herb Lunday and, as ex officio members, Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker and Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann.
FORMER GRIZZLY Volleyball standout Anna Dmowska was inducted into the Grizzly Hall of Fame by Missouri State University-West Plains and Grizzly Booster Club officials during the annual Grizzly Sports Banquet/Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Tuesday evening, April 12, at the West Plains Civic Center Magnolia Room. Although she was unable to attend the event, Dmowska sent words of appreciation which were read by her Adopt-A-Grizzly parents Gene and Nancy Poppe, who also accepted the award on her behalf. From left are Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chairman Ron Shemwell, Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann, and Nancy and Gene Poppe. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)
FORMER GRIZZLY Basketball standout Tyrone Brazelton, Jr., was inducted into the Grizzly Hall of Fame by Missouri State University-West Plains and Grizzly Booster Club officials during the annual Grizzly Sports Banquet/Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Tuesday evening, April 12, at the West Plains Civic Center Magnolia Room. Although Brazelton was unable to attend, his parents, Tyrone Sr. and Gloria Brazelton, attended and accepted the award on his behalf. From left are Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chairman Ron Shemwell, Tyrone Sr. and Gloria Brazelton, and Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)