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GWU Celebrates Runnin’ Bulldog Basketball with All-Star Panel

Gardner-Webb’s History Makers Talk about Heritage and Future of the Game

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—To tip off the Big South Tournament (March 1-6) at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C., a panel of Gardner-Webb University basketball greats discussed the program’s past victories and future possibilities. Moderated by President William Downs, the all-star athletes relived their glory days, talked about rivals, signature moves and gave tournament advice to the Runnin’ Bulldog teams.

The discussion was recorded live, and the program is available for viewing below and on the Gardner-Webb Facebook Page and YouTube channel and linked on the University’s Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter platforms.     

Downs introduced the evening by describing Gardner-Webb’s rich basketball heritage that includes over 18 conference titles. “Over the years, our Runnin’ Bulldog women’s teams have beaten the likes of UNC, Purdue—and in Coach Alex Simmons’ very first game—the Florida Gators,” he recalled. “On the men’s side, our teams have knocked off some equally big names—Kentucky at Rupp Arena, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, DePaul and so many others. In 2019, after taking down Radford to win the Big South Tournament, our guys went toe-to-toe with No. 1 seed Virginia, led the Wahoos at the half and almost took out the eventual National Champion in an arena that was full of loud GWU fans.”

GWU President William Downs, left, and the panelists, left to right, Fredia Lawrence-King, Linda Cody Shelton, George Adams, Ed Cook and Christian Turner.

The guest panelists included:

  • George Adams – Inducted into the GWU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991. Adams competed between 1969-1972 and finished as the program’s leading scorer and rebounder. He was drafted in the third round to the 1972 NBA world champion Milwaukee Bucks. The team consisted of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Oscar Robinson and many other outstanding players. Adams spent his remaining career with the ABA San Diego Conquistadors coached by the late Wilt Chamberlain and K.C. Jones.
  • Ed Cook – Competed with the national powerhouse and nationally top-ranked Runnin’ Bulldogs (NAIA) in the late 1970s under legendary basketball coach Eddie Holbrook.
  • Fredia Lawrence-King – The only female basketball player to have her jersey retired, Lawrence-King was inducted into the GWU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. She competed with the ‘Dawgs between 1988-1992 and finished her career as the program’s leading scorer and rebounder.
  • Linda Cody Shelton – A pioneer in women’s basketball at GW and was one of the first women to compete in the 1970s when Title IX opened up opportunities for female athletes.
  • Christian Turner – As part of the first men’s basketball team to reach the NCAA tournament, the Atlanta, Ga. native, Turner was known as a steady defender, accurate passer and a smart protector of the ball for the 2018-’19 Big South Champions. Currently, Turner is a Graduate Assistant manager for the men’s team he once played with.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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