Bettye Fiscus Dickey - Hall Of Honor
Bettye Fiscus Dickey The first of the true greats in Lady Razorback history, Bettye Fiscus set the definition by which all other Arkansas women’s basketball players are judged. In a career of firsts, Fiscus received perhaps her final and most unique honor in 1994 when she became the first female athlete inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor.
Fiscus was the first player to score over 1,000 points in a career and broke the school record in only two seasons. She went on to score over 2,000 points, and until Razorback all-American and NBA standout, Todd Day in the early 1990s Fiscus was the University’s all-time leading scorer. Also, one in a long line of Arkansas prep legends to play for the Lady Razorbacks, she led her hometown of Wynne, Ark., to the AAA state title and was named player of the year by the Arkansas Democrat.
Her jersey number — No. 5 — was the first to be retired by the University of Arkansas — male or female — and hangs in the Lady’Back trophy case, as well as in Barnhill Arena. When she completed her career, she not only was the all-time leading scorer but the leader in rebounds as well with 785.
This honorary display featuring Bettye can be seen at the north entrance to the Razorback stadium near the first floor SEC club seating area.
One Stillwater resident has been breaking down walls for women’s basketball since 1979.
Bettye Dickey, who is a Stillwater Realtor®, was honored at the University of Arkansas Feb. 19 with the unveiling of a banner in Bud Walton Arena. Dickey’s achievements in basketball include many firsts, and even her introduction into the sport was a first in her hometown, Wynne, Arkansas.
“I did not grow up dreaming of playing basketball because we did not have basketball,” she said.
Before her ninth-grade year, Wynne High School didn’t have a girls’ basketball program. Dickey said that summer, she and her friends tried out for the team as a group. Ron Triplett helped build the program and was the girls' basketball coach when Dickey played there.
“I saw this girl who could jump, and she could shoot off the 10-foot backboard,” he said. “I knew at first that she was gonna be a great player, and she had a great attitude. She’s a really strong player and really strong person.”
He said Dickey had a lot of pride in her skills and talents, and he could count on her when it was crunch time.
“I worked her tail off,” he said. “I was mean to her when I had to be, and I was nice to her when I had to be.”
He said Dickey went to practice and worked hard. She said she just wanted to win, and that’s exactly what she did. While in high school, her team won multiple state championships, and she was elected women’s basketball MVP in Arkansas among many other honors and awards.
Along with her other achievements, Triplett said Dickey was a key component to the creation of the basketball program at Wynne High School.
“She was the very start of it,” he said. “Everybody followed.”
“People look up to her, and little girls wanted to be like her.”
- Ron Triplett
She brought her athletic talents to college at the University of Arkansas, which she attended from 1981 to 1985.
“Title IX finally got to the state of Arkansas to bring it back, lucky I was the right age at the right time,” she said.
Title IX is a law passed in the early 70s that requires gender equality in every educational program that is federally funded.
The law mostly focused on the creation of sports programs for women, which worked out well for Dickey.
“It’s amazing to think what life would have been like now without it in my life,” Dickey said.
Dickey continues to gain recognition for her many achievements. In 2006, she was named a Southeastern Conference Great. She is also a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor.
“She was kind of famous in Wynne,” Triplett said. “People look up to her, and little girls wanted to be like her.”
Two of Bettye's children are Oklahoma State University graduates.
Bettye's son was the manager of OSU Women's Basketball.