Two-time All-American’s No. 44 just second women’s basketball jersey retired at Ohio State
Sunday, The Ohio State University Department of Athletics paid tribute to one of the all-time greats to don the scarlet and gray when it retired the No. 44 jersey of two-time All-American Tracey (Hall) Yarbrough at halftime of a victory over Northwestern.
Hall is just the second women’s basketball player at Ohio State to have her number retired after Katie Smith’s No. 30 was retired in January 2001. Hall played for the Buckeyes from 1985-88, earning first team All-America honors in her last two seasons in becoming the Big Ten’s first two-time Kodak All-American.
“I feel honored that Ohio State has thought enough about me and the contributions that I have made to the women’s basketball program to recognize me with this great honor,” Yarbrough said. “This is an accomplishment that I would have never imagined. I will cherish this experience forever.”
Hall was the Big Ten freshman of the year and a second team All-Big Ten performer in 1985. She went on to claim the conference’s top honor in 1986 and ’87, while being selected first team All-Big Ten in 1986, ’87 and ’88.
“This has been a long time coming and it is with pleasure that we can bestow this honor on Tracey this year,” Miechelle Willis, senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator, said. “A two-time Kodak All-American and Big Ten player of the year, all you have to do is look in the women’s basketball media guide and see Tracey’s name in the top five of many of the all-time statistical categories. She was one of the early stars that helped put Ohio State women’s basketball on the national map.”
To gain a true sense of Hall’s dominance, however, take a look in Ohio State’s record book, where her impact has been long-lasting. The Cleveland Heights, Ohio, native ranks third on both the school’s all-time scoring ledger with 1,912 points and the career field-goal percentage list (.600). She still owns the school record for rebounds (1,115) and ranks third in field goals made (807), eighth in games played (122), fourth in steals (259) and fifth in blocks (109).
“Tracey was truly one of the all-time greats,” former Ohio State and current Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer said. “What a tremendous and well-deserved honor this is for Tracey and her family.”
During the 1986-87 campaign she recorded a then-single-season mark for field goal percentage, connecting on 62 percent of her attempts.
On the way to amassing these records, Hall started all 122 games of her collegiate career, scored double figures in 101 games, notched double-digit rebounding efforts in 50 and combined scoring and rebounding for 39 double-double performances.
With Hall’s talent and leadership, the Buckeyes compiled three consecutive Big Ten championships (1985-87) and a four-year conference record of 67-5. Ohio State’s overall mark during the Hall era was 102-20 (.836), which included four trips to the NCAA tournament and just one step away from the Final Four with berths in the regional finals in 1985 and ’87.
Hall went on to play internationally, competing for the ABA/USA Select team in 1986 and the World University Games team in 1987. She also was invited to the U.S. Olympic Team tryouts in 1988. Hall graduated in 1988 with a degree in communications and was inducted into the Ohio State Sports Hall of Fame in September 1998.
Hall began her professional playing career after graduating from Ohio State. She played for six weeks in place of an injured member on a professional squad in Parma, Italy. After the season, Hall was offered a contract to play in the league for another year on a team based in Bari, Italy. Hall turned down a second full year in the European league to concentrate on interests outside of basketball. The WNBA approached Hall when the league was coming into existence, but she declined the offer because of bad timing.
Hall is now living in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and working in the insurance industry. She is married to Resse and the couple has two sons, Tyrese and Dant.