Clark Honors Women’s Basketball MVP

By Becca Robbins in Sports

What does Clark’s first women’s basketball Northwest Athletic Conference championship get you?

A spot in Clark’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Lisa Fort and her 1989 teammates were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Feb. 28. Fort’s team was accompanied by Clark’s Track and Field Coach George Fullerton and Athletic Director, Coach and athlete Denny Huston.

Nominations for the Hall of Fame begin at the start of each year. Athletic Director Ann Walker said that Fort was an easy choice for the committee that chooses the final inductees.

Fort played soccer and bowled throughout her childhood but discovered a passion for basketball at age 12.

She played in high school, but she said the department was rebuilding so they didn’t win many games.

“It was all surreal going from high school where my team was finishing at the bottom of the bracket every year to being on the top,” she said.

The successful season led to the Penguin’s eighth consecutive playoff berth, according to nwacsports.org.

Game one of the playoffs was against undefeated Skagit Valley so “the first game actually felt like the championship game,” Fort said. Skagit Valley was also hosting the tournament so opposing fans in red filled the stands.

“Everyone expected Skagit Valley to just blow us out,” Fort said. “No one expected us to win.”

When the buzzer sounded, the Penguins won and everyone was in shock.

The team won every game in the tournament and found themselves in the championship round. The first half was close, but suddenly Clark was ahead.
“In the fourth quarter we began to pull ahead by enough to where we started really feeling like we’re gonna win this,” Fort said.

Fort was the tournament MVP. The team came in second the following season, but both years she was First Team All-NWAC.

After graduating with honors and an Associates in Arts and Sciences degree, she transferred to NCAA Division II Central Missouri State University with a full basketball scholarship. She also played softball there.

She is currently a Portland police officer.

As for her Hall of Fame selection, Fort said that she is still in shock. She hasn’t been to Clark in 20 years, so she is looking forward to seeing how it has changed.

“I have really awesome memories from my days at Clark,” Fort said. “One of them being that championship win.”

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