Photo credit: Bryan Woolston/Philadelphia Inquirer
Among 33 nominees announced in May, 14-year soccer veteran Briana Scurry has been named as the first African American woman to be elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, according to Washington Post soccer reporter Steven Goff.
Beginning her career in Dayton, Minnesota as the only girl and only African American on her soccer team at 12-years-old, The Undefeated reports that Scurry continued her soccer career as a varsity player for Anoka High School before attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as a scholarship athlete.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
As a political science major, Scurry considered attending law school after college until she got a life changing call from the U.S. women’s national team coach in 1993 about playing goaltender for the team.
Two years later, the team placed third in the Women’s World Cup, and a year later they won gold in the five-game Olympic tournament in Atlanta. In 1999, Scurry along with her teammates competed against China for a historic World Cup match that went into an overtime shootout. According to The Undefeated, it was this moment when women’s soccer in the U.S. reached new heights as 90,000 people packed the Rose Bowl in California to watch the game live.
Photo credit: Jeff Bachner/ New York Daily News
As a gold medalist in the 1996 and 2004 Summer Olympics, Scurry retired from the game seven years ago after suffering a career-ending concussion.
While the Olympic-winning athlete has earned a spot in the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Title IX exhibit, Scurry says her most recent honor is truly humbling.
“It’s a fantastic honor to be inducted to the Hall of Fame. I remember watching the Olympics on the couch with my parents at 8 years old, dreaming of becoming an Olympian myself. It was with their help – and that of my coaches, teammates and countless others – that I was blessed to not only become an Olympian, but an Olympic and World Cup champion,” Scurry told U.S. Soccer.
“Soccer had already given me so much more than I could possibly give back. Now, to be inducted alongside the likes of Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly – I am truly humbled.”
Congratulations, Ms. Scurry! Thank you for blazing a trail and being an inspiration to present and future African American women soccer players.