2003 Xavier athletic hall of fame class announced

Basketball’s Jamal Walker, soccer’s Amanda Gruber and golf’s David Von Haefen to be inducted | August 4, 2003

Jamal Walker, the high-flying point guard who led the men's basketball team to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 1990, along with Amanda Gruber-Creech, the first All-American soccer player in Xavier history, and golfer David von Haefen are being inducted into the University's athletic hall of fame this year.

The hall of fame awards dinner take place during homecoming on Friday, Nov. 14, at 6:00 p.m. in the Cintas Center banquet facility.

This trio will bring Xavier’s total number of inductees to 86 for its hall of fame, which was chartered in 1980.

Walker is well known for his big shots, big passes and the frentic pace with which he dribbled the ball up court. In the 1988 preseason NIT, Walker weaved his way around the University of Louisville's all-American Pervis Ellison and dished the ball to Tyrone Hill for the buzzer-beating game-winner against the then fourth-ranked Cardinals. Walker also hit the game-winner at the buzzer in the wild 115-113 win over Loyola Marymount in 1990 at Cincinnati Gardens, as well as the overtime game-winner, a three-pointer, in the 90-88 win over crosstown rival Cincinnati in 1990. He also engineered the upsets of Georgetown in the 1990 NCAA Tournament and of Nebraska in the 1991 NCAA Tournament. He was named CBS/Chevrolet game MVP for both games.

Walker, a 1991 graduate, is now the athletic director at Cincinnati’s Woodward High School and the popular announcer of the city’s summer basketball league. He was a four-year starter who helped Xavier average more than 24 wins per season during his career as a Musketeer. Xavier compiled a 97-31 (.758) record during Walker's four seasons, including four NCAA Tournament bids and the University’s first-ever berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1990. Xavier recorded its two best season records when Walker was a junior (28-5 in 1989-90) and a freshman (26-4 in 1987-88).

Walker, a 1991 Midwestern Collegiate Conference first team and all-tournament team selection, still ranks second on Xavier's all-time assist chart with 639 assists and 18th on the all-time scoring chart with 1,333 points.

Gruber, who came to Xavier after a standout career at Cincinnati’s St. Ursula Academy, re-wrote the Xavier soccer record book during her career. The 1998 graduate still holds school records for most goals in a season (24 in 1997) and career (67), most points in a season (59 in 1997) and career (160), and most shots in a season (112 in 1997), while standing second on the University’s all-time lists for most assists in a career (26) and most shots in a career (339).

Gruber became the first men’s or women’s soccer all-American in school history when she earned 1997 NSCA third team all-American honors as a senior. Gruber also earned a long list of other honors, including 1997 Atlantic 10 player of the year, three-time A-10 first team all-conference selection and three-time A-10 all-academic team selection.

Gruber also has the distinction of completing the first family duo to be inducted into the Xavier athletic hall of fame. Her father, 1967 graduate and former baseball standout Jim Gruber, also is a member.

Von Haefen, a 1994 graduate who came to Xavier after a standout career at Lakota High School, was a member of four straight Midwestern Collegiate Conference Championship teams. Before von Haefen’s arrival, Xavier had never won a conference golf championship. During his tenure, they never lost a conference championship, taking over the perennial power mantel from then MCC power Notre Dame.

Only five Xavier players qualify to play in the conference championship each year. Not only did von Haefen qualify, he earned first team all-Conference honors as a freshman, a sophomore and a junior. His junior year, he also won the 1992 Conference Championship medalist honors. Von Haefen finished his career with a then-University record 19 Top 10 finishes, while helping Xavier capture nine team championships in his four-year career.

For information or tickets for the awards dinner, call 513 745-2970.