Venessa Corbett, a native of Caswell County who went on from high school sports to become a highly decorated basketball player at Elon University, will be honored once again on Sunday, Feb. 16, 1 p.m., when her jersey from Elon will be retired and formally displayed before the team’s game against Northeastern at Schar Center.
She is a Caswell County native and graduated from Bartlett Yancey Senior High School in 1978.
She is the daughter of Cordie Corbett and the late Sandy Corbett.
Of upmost importance to her is the fact that she is a five-year cancer survivor who hopes to be released by her doctor in the next few weeks. “Surviving cancer is great and awesome and I enjoy celebrating it with other survivors. Retiring my jersey at Elon is also great and fantastic!” she said on Tuesday.
In the past years, she has participated in a number of cancer survivor charity events.
She worked as a Detention Officer for Guilford County for more than 30 years. “I want to spend my time now being thankful!”
Corbett credits her family and friends for being a strong support system to allow her to achieve what she did in basketball. “I had a full scholarship to Elon to help take some of the load off my family. My high school coach was an Elon graduate….”
She fondly remembers her mother “always being in the stands.” “My father was supportive too, but he didn’t travel as much as my mother.”
Sunday will feel like a family reunion as family, friends, people from the community, and former teammates gather to see her be honored in this manner.
Elon University Director of Athletics Dave Blank shares, “Venessa set the standard for excellence in Elon women’s basketball, and we’re honored to commemorate her accomplishments by retiring her jersey. Venessa’s countless program records, hard work, humility, and the class with which she carried herself have inspired the generations of Elon student-athletes who followed her. We are honored and humbled to place her jersey in the rafters of Schar Center.”
Corbett’s 2,430 career points still stands today as the most by any athlete in program history.
The ceremony to honor her accomplishments at Elon is set to take place before Elon’s 1 p.m. game against the Huskies on Feb. 16. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats early prior to the game to share in the celebration of Corbett’s career before enjoying Elon’s annual Play4Kay game.
Arguably the most decorated player in Elon women’s basketball history, Corbett was a member of the program from 1977-82 and is the only player in program history to hold five career records including points, points per game, field goals made, field goals attempted and rebounds per game.
One of two players in program history to surpass the 2,000-point mark, her 2,430 career points has stood for 37 years, standing 410 more than second-place Ali Ford (‘13) and 813 more than third-place Nuggie Dixon (‘82). In addition to the five top spots, she is second in career rebounds and is just one behind teammate Jeannie Hairston (‘82) for the top spot. On top of being the program’s leading scorer, she also holds records in six individual season categories and four single-game categories.
An All-American in both 1980 and 1981, Corbett is one of only three women in Elon women’s basketball history to earn All-America honors and is joined only by Susan Yow in 1975 and Lakia Hayes honorable mentions in both 1997 and 1998.
A two-time conference champion and a 1982 AIAW district champion, Corbett was named the Carolinas Conference Player of the Year in 1982 and went on to receive the Stein H. Basnight Award as Elon’s outstanding female athlete of the year.
Just ten years after leaving Elon, Corbett was inducted into the Elon Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992.
For tickets to the game to reserve your seats to the game, please visit elontickets.com, visit the Schar Center Ticket Office or call (336) 278-6750.