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2014 Circle of Champions Inductees

2014 Circle of Champions Inductees

 

Jessica Davenport
Abby Johnston
Jim Paxson
John Paxson
 

 

Jessica Davenport has made her mark in basketball, beginning at Columbus Independence High School. She was a two-time All-Ohio selection and played in the 2003 McDonald’s All-American Game. From there she became a standout at Ohio State, helping the Buckeyes to their best four-year run in school history with a 108-22 record that saw the team win three Big Ten regular season titles, a Big Ten tournament championship and make four NCAA tournament appearances. Jessica became the first Big Ten player in history to finish with 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 300 blocked shots and is the Buckeyes’ first player to earn first team All-America and Big Ten Player-of-the-Year honors three times. She has been in the WNBA for seven years and was a member of the Indiana Fever’s 2012 WNBA championship team. Leg surgery forced her to miss the 2013 season along with the opportunity to play in a current league overseas. Jessica earned her degree from Ohio State in consumer affairs and in 2012 has been inducted into the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
 
Abby Johnston is an Upper Arlington native. She was a two-time OHSAA state champion in 1-meter diving, finished second as a sophomore and helped the Golden Bears win three state championships. Abby went on to compete at Duke University, where she became the school’s first diver to qualify for the NCAA Championships in 2009. She earned All-America honors three times, was the NCAA 3-meter diving champ in 2011 and also captured five ACC diving titles. The highlight of Abby’s young career came at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London when she teamed with Kelci Bryant to win a Silver Medal in synchronized 3-meter springboard diving. This ended the United States’ 12-year Olympic medal drought in diving and gave the U.S. its first medal in synchro. Abby was unable to complete her senior season at Duke last winter due to a left shoulder injury, but she graduated with a degree in psychology in May. She has been awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and will enroll in medical school next fall. 
 
Jim Paxson was a basketball standout at Kettering Archbishop Alter High School under legendary coach Joe Petrocelli. While playing for the Knights, Jim was first-time Class AAA all-state as a senior in 1975 and helped Alter reach the state tournament. He went on to have an outstanding career at the University of Dayton, where he was a second team All-American as a senior and earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. A first-round pick by the Trail Blazers in 1979, Jim spent nearly nine years in Portland, where he was a two-time NBA All-Star and left as the team’s all-time leading scorer. His final two-plus years were spent in Boston until he retired in 1990. He scored over 11,000 points during his career and had a per game scoring average of 14.3. Jim has remained active in the NBA. He was part of the coaching and administrative staffs for Portland; moved to Cleveland, where he spent his last six years as the Cavaliers’ general manager, and since 2006 has served with the Chicago Bulls, where he is currently director of basketball operations. He lives in the Phoenix area.
 
Jim’s younger brother John Paxson also starred at Archbishop Alter High School. He was first-time Class AAA all-state as a senior in 1979 and helped the Knights win the state championship in 1978.  John went on to have an outstanding career at the University of Notre Dame, where he was a two-time second team All-American, averaged 17.7 points per game as a senior when he was also named Academic All-American and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. A first round pick by the Spurs in 1983, John was in San Antonio for two years before spending the last nine seasons of his 11-year career with the Chicago, where he helped the Michael Jordon-led Bulls to NBA titles from 1991 through 1993. John hit the winning 3-point basket with 3.9 seconds left in game six of the finals at Phoenix to clinch Chicago’s third consecutive championship. John has been part of the Bulls’ organization as a player, coach, broadcaster or a member of the executive staff since 1985. In his only year as an assistant coach in 1995-96, he helped the Bulls to an NBA-record 72-10 mark and the 1996 World Championship. Before being promoted as the team’s executive vice president for basketball operations prior to this season, he spent six years as the Bulls’ general manager.
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