Aug. 28, 2012
UCLA Athletics continues its celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Title IX with a series of profiles of UCLA's Title IX 40. This group of 40 Bruin women were game-changers in the Title IX era. Next up are a pair of NCAA champions in Kim Hamilton Anthony and Stella Sampras Webster.
Kim Hamilton Anthony, Gymnastics (1987-90)
The name Kim Hamilton and the word first seem to go hand-in-hand in UCLA women's gymnastics history.
Hamilton, a U.S. National team member from 1984-86, became the first African-American female to be recruited and receive a scholarship to compete on the UCLA women's gymnastics team. During her four years (1987-90) of collegiate competition, she became the first Bruin to win an NCAA woman's gymnastics individual title (1987 floor exercise) and the first (and still only) woman in NCAA Championship history to win three consecutive (1987-89) floor exercise crowns. She also won the vault title at the 1989 NCAA Championships to become the first Bruin woman to win two NCAA titles in one season. It took 13 years for another UCLA female gymnast to accomplish that feat.
At the NCAA Regional level, Hamilton won seven individual titles, which remains tied for most-ever at UCLA, including three each in the all-around and on floor exercise. She also won Pac-10 Championships on uneven bars and floor exercise in both 1988 and 1989 and earned six All-America honors before a career-ending injury cut short her career during her senior season in 1990.
Hamilton's Bruin success in the classroom and in the sport of gymnastics helped open the doors to a successful career in television broadcasting. She got her start as an announcer, reporter and producer for radio stations WGLO, WFYR and WVEL in Peoria, IL and went on to work for Fox Sports Net as a gymnastics analyst, as well as an NBA courtside reporter, covering the Denver Nuggets. Since 1997, Hamilton Anthony has also made many appearances on ESPN, reporting on various sporting events. From 1997-2001, she was a gymnastics reporter and analyst, and in 2005 and 2008, she was a sideline reporter for the NCAA Women's Basketball Championships. Now living in Miami since 2007, Hamilton Anthony has been the host of her own interview show, County Connection, on Miami-Dade television. She was also the host of a magazine format television show, InSide.
Hamilton Anthony's path to success was not an easy one, and in her memoir, Unfavorable Odds, published in 2010, she shares her story of not only overcoming the unfavorable odds of being a 5-7 African-American gymnast from a low-income, urban community, but also the challenges she faced being surrounded by drugs and violence. It also chronicles her journey to escape the cycle of hopelessness that pervaded her everyday life and reveals the keys she used to overcome the obstacles she faced, in a way that anyone can apply to his or her own life.
Hamilton Anthony has been married for 20 years to UCLA football alumnus and former NFL player Corwin Anthony, who is now the Athletes in Action (AIA) National Director of Pro Ministries. Kim has been a chaplain for the Miami Dolphins wives for the past 12 years and uses her gift of communication to speak to audiences ranging from inner-city youth to NFL head coaches and their wives, with a desire to use her platform and gifts to have a positive impact on the world.
In Oct. 2000, Hamilton Anthony became the second female gymnast to be inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the AIA's Hall of Faith in 2011.
Stella Sampras Webster, Tennis (1988-91)
A member of one of America's most noted tennis families (younger brother Pete Sampras won a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles), Stella Sampras was a four-year (1988-91) UCLA women's tennis standout who is now beginning her 17th season as the head coach of the highly-successful Bruin women's tennis program.
While playing at UCLA, Sampras won the NCAA doubles championship with Allyson Cooper as a freshman in 1988, was NCAA runner-up with Kimberly Po as a senior in 1991 and became just the second four-time All-American in school history. Sampras also won the 1989 and 1991 Pac-10 doubles championships and the 1990 Rolex Regional doubles title and completed her UCLA career ranked No. 3 nationally in doubles and No. 42 in singles. Team accomplishments were most important to her, however, and she helped lead the Bruins to four straight NCAA top-three finishes.
As a professional women's tennis player, Sampras achieved a Top 250 international singles ranking and Top 150 international doubles ranking. She advanced to the U.S. Open second round in doubles and also competed in doubles at Wimbledon. She also won three satellite tournament titles and competed in Team Tennis for the Wichita Advantage in 1992.
Following her professional career, Sampras joined Bill Zaima's UCLA women's tennis coaching staff as an assistant, and in 1997, she became only the third head coach in UCLA women's tennis history and the first of the three to win a NCAA Championship, in 2008. Few college coaches can match Sampras Webster's ability to continually put their teams in the title hunt year in and year out. Prior to the 2008 championship season, she also guided the program to a pair of second-place finishes in 2004 and 2007, and the team finished as runner-up again in 2012. In all, her Bruin teams have finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships in 15 of her 16 seasons in Westwood. UCLA has also finished in the top 5 nationally on 10 occasions.
In 2012, Sampras Webster was named the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year after leading the Bruins to a second-place showing at the NCAA Tournament and to its first-ever ITA Women's Team Indoor Championship. Her Bruins were ranked No. 1 in the Campbell/ITA rankings for a school-record eight straight weeks.
The 2000 ITA West Region and 2012 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Sampras Webster has recruited and coached some of the top players in collegiate tennis. Under her tutelage, a total of 22 players have achieved All-America status, and, fittingly, two doubles teams have captured NCAA titles under her tutelage - Riza Zalameda and Tracy Lin in 2008 and Lauren Fisher and Daniela Bercek in 2004.
Previous Title IX 40 Profiles
Karen Moe/Janet Coles
Terry Condon/Jan Palchikoff
Sue Enquist/Ann Meyers Drysdale
Evelyn Ashford/Anita Ortega
Carol Bower/Denise Corlett
Denise Curry/Sharon Shapiro
Jackie Joyner-Kersee/Dot Richardson
Florence Griffith-Joyner/Liz Masakayan
Kay Cockerill/Gail Devers