Mary Gaudreau Messer makes Basketball Hall of Fame 'MAAC Experience' exhibit
When Mary Gaudreau graduated from Drury, little did she know that her college basketball career would send her to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
"I'm so excited to join all the other outstanding athletes," she said. "It's been 33 years since I graduated from college. I figured I'm in the old archives now. but somebody saw me.
"Somebody dug deep enough to find me."
Mary Gaudreau Messer, who now resides in Slippery Rock, Pa. with her family, and former Siena men's basketball coach Paul Hewitt will be enshrined in "The MAAC Experience" exhibit at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame next month. Each team from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honors one male and one female from its basketball programs.
Each honoree will be profiled in the game program for the 2017 MAAC basketball championships and will be featured in a video display at the Hall of Fame.
Messer and Hewitt will join the other honorees at a banquet to be held on Oct. 15 on the Court of Dreams at the Hall.
"I can't wait. I'm excited. My brother actually lives [in Ludlow]. We get to see some family members. My family is coming as well," she said. "It's great to have a celebration with all of the wonderful athletes."
Messer, who is the director of Slippery Rock's Parks and Recreation Department, is married to Lee native Jeff Messer. He is the head baseball coach at Slippery Rock University. They have three children.
One of Jeff and Mary's sons, Billy, played for the Pittsfield Dukes of the NECBL in 2008. He was a teammate there, and at Slippery Rock, with current St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams.
Mary Gaudreau Messer played basketball at Siena from 1979-83. She is Siena's all-time leading scorer with 2,084 points. She also holds the school record for career field goals made (891) and is second in career steals (281).
"I never thought I would hold a scoring record, be second in steals and I know I'm up there in assists," she said, during an interview from her office in Slippery Rock. "What really helps out is when you're playing with a good nucleus of basketball players. I think on my championship team, there might have been seven 1,000-point scorers.
"All seven of us are in the Siena College Hall of Fame. That's unheard of."
Messer still holds the Siena single-game record with 41 points, scored in a 102-64 win over Molloy on Feb. 21, 1981. She averaged 18.4 points in a 113-game hoop career, and never averaged below 17.7 points per game.
Her resume includes being named the New York State AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) Division II player of the year. The AIAW existed before the NCAA began sponsoring women's basketball championships.
"I knew that when I went over as a freshman, there was a good chance that I'd get a lot of playing time right away," Messer said. "Other schools that I was recruited by, some Division I schools, I knew that I'd have to sit. Whereas Siena was an up-and-coming program, so it was a good opportunity to get on the floor and get playing right away."
She will be honored at the Hall of Fame along with Hewitt, who coached men's basketball at Siena from 1997-2000. He holds a .709 winning percentage, the best among any Siena basketball coach during the Division I era. He led the Saints to the MAAC Championship game in each of his three seasons.
"It's a great honor and I couldn't be more happy or thrilled," Hewitt said in a statement from the school. "Siena is a very special place for me and my family."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.