Angela Buckner Born: May 21, 1982 (Wichita, Kan.)
Drafted: Wichita State University, 2003
Angela Buckner almost never saw out her four years as a Wichita State Shocker. The coach who had recruited her, Darryl Smith, had just been fired as head coach of the program, giving Buckner doubts on returning for her final season.
But the former 6-foot-2 center cemented her legacy as both a Wichita State and Kansas sports legend by returning her final year, with her induction into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame well-deserved for her dominant four-year stretch as a Shocker.
A Wichita native, graduating from Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School, Buckner was a stalwart for the Shocker’s offense from 2001 to 2004. She finished her career with a monstrous 1,297 rebounds in 101 career starts, which still stands as a Wichita State record, as well as the second-best mark in Missouri Valley Conference history.
But she didn’t stop just there.
Buckner also owns the school and MVC record for career double-doubles (67), ranks eleventh in Wichita State history in blocking (54), eighth in all-time scoring (1,382) and fifth in career free-throw attempts (703).
“I’ve set my mark,” Buckner told The Wichita Eagle following her final game. “If I can’t do anything else, I can rebound. You can guarantee I’ll do that every night, and bust my butt doing that. And I hope people remember me for that.”
Although perhaps most importantly, the Shockers weren’t losing a fantastic point scorer and rebounder, but a local hero who had an infectious and warming personality. Her 3.66 grade-point average was also no laughing matter.
Even before her college career, Buckner dominated the Wichita high school scene. Perhaps providing a quick glimpse as to what was to come in the future, Buckner stands as the second-best rebounder in the history of the state of Kansas, collecting over 1,200 boards during her high school year. That number was capped by a historic 400 rebounds during her senior year alone, which also stands as the second-highest single season total in the state’s history. Her efforts earned her a first-team All-State selection her senior year, as well as being named the 2000 5A Player of the Year.
“Her success, both athletically and academically, set new standards for women's basketball and brought national attention to Wichita State with her rebounding ability,” said Wichita State then-Assistant Athletic Director Larry Rankin ahead of Buckner’s Shocker Athletics Hall of Fame induction.
Buckner’s induction into the KSHOF will be the third hall of fame she’ll be inducted into, after being inducted into the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Shocker Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.