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Athletes of Distinction

BJ Graber Award
1999 Betty Jo Graber Award Winner Yalika Barnes

A standout floor leader for the 1999 NJCAA Women's Basketball National Championship for Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals, Yalika "Boo" Barnes was named the 1999 Betty Jo Graber Female Student-Athlete of the Year by the National Junior College Athletic Association. 

In her two years as a Lady Card, Barnes led her team to an unprecedented 71-1 record.  Losing only in the 1998 National Championship finals, Barnes vowed to end her NJCAA career with a national championship in 1999.  She did just that, and along the way was named the national championship Most Valuable Player.

Hailing from Carver High School in Montgomery, Alabama, Barnes made an immediate impact as the starting point guard for the three-time national champion Lady Cards in 1998.  She was an All-Conference, All Region and national championship All-Tournament Team selection, as well as being honored as the Region XIV Freshman of the Year and NJCAA 2nd Team All-American.

In leading her team to a perfect 36-0 mark in 1999, Barnes averaged 16.5 point, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.  In addition, she was named the Region XIV Most Valuable Player, an NJCAA 1st Team and Kodak All-American, and the Rawlings WBCA Junior College Player of the Year.

Barnes finished her collegiate career at the University of Alabama.






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