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Class of 2008 Inductees
Ronald "Ron" Allen - Football
Allen, a standout member of the Rutgers secondary and return specialist from 1988 to 1991, was inducted into the Rutgers Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Allen was a three-year starting cornerback for the Scarlet Knights program as they embarked on their first season in the BIG EAST Conference in 1991. Allen earned First Team Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) All-Star Honors as a senior with a team-high three interceptions and seven passes defended in seven games. That season, he helped guide RU to a 6-5 record in its inaugural season in the BIG EAST Conference. Nicknamed "Rocket," Allen also served as a return specialist where he averaged more than 25 yards per return to rank 14th in the nation his junior season in 1990. He had three career touchdowns on kickoff returns. Against West Virginia as a freshman in 1988, he returned a kickoff 92 yards and later that season, returned a kickoff 94 yards against Cincinnati for a touchdown. During his junior season in 1990, Allen returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown against Colgate. Allen received First Team Associated Press All-EAST honors along with First Team ECAC All-Star laurels as a return specialist his junior season. The versatile athlete was the recipient of the program's 12th Man Award as a junior, honoring him as the special teams player of the year. More than 15 years later on the eve of his induction into the Hall of Fame, Allen still ranked fifth in Rutgers history with 1,283 career kickoff return yards, and seventh with 51 career kickoff returns.
John Hanley - Men's Track & Field
Hanley's name is etched throughout Rutgers' record book in track. A 1969 team captain, the sprinter was a member of both the 4x200 and 4x400 school-record relay team that qualified for the NCAA Championships. His team's mark in the 4x200 relay stood as a school-record for 35 years. Hanley was the 1968 and 1969 Metropolitan Conference Champion in the 400-meter hurdles. He was also a member of the 4x400 relay team that captured the "Met" title in both 1968 and 1969. The sprinter was an IC4A and NCAA finalist in the 400-meter hurdles in 1968 and was crowned an IC4A champion in the event in 1969. He was also a member of the 4x400 relay team that qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1968. Hanley was named a First Team All-American after a blistering school-record time of 50.9 in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships in 1969 ' a record which still stands, 39 years later.
Lino DiCuollo - Men's Soccer
Recognized as one of the nation's premier forwards, Lino DiCuollo was a 1989 First Team All-America choice following a year in which he was also named Atlantic-10 East Division Player of the Year. DiCuollo scored 17 goals and added six assists his sophomore season in 1989 to lead Rutgers to its first-ever Final Four appearance and first ever 20-win season. In his four years, he led Rutgers to a 71-15-8 record, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and two Final Fours. He wrapped up his Rutgers career among the Scarlet Knights' all-time leaders in games played (92), points (122), goals (48), assists (26) and game-winner (15). A high school standout at nearby Scotch Plains-Fanwood, DiCuollo was a three-time Star Ledger First Team All-State selection and led his team to the 1987 Group III state title. Chosen as one of the 'Players of the Decade" (1990-99) by the Star Ledger, DiCuollo's 105 career goals rank among the top 30 in state scholastic history. Following his career at Rutgers, DiCuollo played professionally in Germany and had his Rutgers jersey number retired.
Natasha "Tasha" Pointer - Women's Basketball
Tasha Pointer led the Scarlet Knights to their first-ever Final Four appearance as a junior captain in 2000. The Chicago native earned a number of accolades during her time at RU including being named the 1998 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and garnering All-BIG EAST first team honors in 1999 and 2001. In 2001, Pointer was also tabbed an Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention. Pointer was named to two NCAA all-tournament teams, selected to the 1999 Midwest Region to the 2000 West Region squads. At the conclusion of her career, the point guard set Rutgers' all-time assists and steals records - men's and women's - with 839 assists and 292 steals, respectively. In addition, Pointer scored 1,456 career points. She recorded the first triple-double in Rutgers basketball history against Providence during her senior campaign. Pointer had four triple-doubles in her illustrious career, which was the most in BIG EAST history. Following her time "on the banks", Pointer was drafted by the WNBA's Portland Fire in 2001 and in 2003 she was named to the BIG EAST 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Team.
Alexis Jemal - Women's Fencing
One of the most decorated fencers in Rutgers history, Jemal captured the 2003 individual national championship in saber in Colorado Spring, Colo. as a senior. She was a three-time All-American and a member of the U.S. National Team. Jemal was named New Jersey's "NCAA Woman of the Year" in 2003. A team captain, Jemal finished her senior season 33-2 and ranked as the No. 5 fencer in the nation. She finished 10th at the 2002 NCAA Fencing Championships her junior season. Her success in competition was equaled in the classroom as she achieved a 4.0 grade point average her senior year. She was the 2003 recipient of the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey (CAANJ) Division I Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as a First Team Verizon Academic All-America University Division At-Large selection. Jemal was a distinguished member of several prestigious academic clubs, including the International Honor Key Society and Phi Beta Kappa. She was also honored with the President's Award at Rutgers. During her time at Rutgers, she worked as a coach and a mentor to the Peter Westbrook Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing inner-city minority youth into the sport of fencing and encouraging academic success.
Shawnetta Stewart - Women's Basketball
Shawnetta Stewart is one of the most prolific players in Rutgers basketball history. She concluded her career as the 10th all-time leading scorer despite playing only three years. Stewart compiled 1,346 points and 629 rebounds while also nailing 144 career three pointers. Stewart was named All-BIG EAST following her junior and senior seasons in 1999 and 2000. She led the team in scoring, rebounding and steals in each of those campaigns. Over her final two seasons, the Philadelphia, Pa. native averaged 14.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game as the Scarlet Knights combined for a 55-14 record. In 2000, Stewart was named an honorable mention Associated Press All-American selection and named the NCAA Tournament West Region Most Valuable Player. In addition, she was chosen Player of the Year by the New Jersey Collegiate Basketball Coaches Association and the Metropolitan Basketball Writers' Association The previous season, she was named to the Midwest Region All-Tournament team and was tabbed the MWBA Player of the Year. She was selected a member of both the 1999 and 2000 BIG EAST all-tournament teams. Stewart was the first player to commit to C. Vivian Stringer's first recruiting class at Rutgers and was drafted by the WNBA's Orlando Miracle in the third round in 2000.
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