Championship tennis player and former Griffin athlete Mallory Cecil was inducted as the 22nd member of the Spartanburg Day School Hall of Fame during homecoming festivities Friday, Jan. 19.
As a student at SDS, Cecil was the NCISAA state championship at the No. 1 flight in both seventh and eight grade. She was twice named all-state and all-area. She was ranked No. 1 in South Carolina, in the top 5 in the south and in the top 10 in the nation.
Cecil attended SDS from 4K through seventh grade, when she was tabbed as the No. 1 recruit in the nation and moved with her family to Florida to train at the prestigious Bollettieri Tennis Academy. In 2007, she competed in the junior division of major tournaments, including the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
As a student-athlete at Duke University, Cecil was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and became the first ACC women's tennis player to win both the individual and team national titles. She helped lead Duke to the 2009 National Championship as the top singles player. She was named the ITA National Player of the Year and the ACC Rookie of the Year and earned the title of Most Valuable Player after leading the Blue Devils to the ACC title.
"I credit Spartanburg Day School for establishing the foundation I was able to build upon over the years to achieve both athletic and academic success," Cecil said. "I am so proud to be an SDS alum and have the privilege to be a part of the school's history in the Sports Hall of Fame."
Cecil's former (and first) coach, Bob Allsbrook said, "Mallory Cecil is not only one of the finest players I've had the privilege of coaching, but one of the finest people as well," said SDS tennis coach Bob Allsbrook. "She is one that sets a goal and does everything within her power to achieve it. She is truly a remarkable individual."
Since its establishment in 2003, the Hall of Fame recognizes alumni and coaches who are proven to exhibit sportsmanship, athletic excellence, character and leadership, among other qualities. Hall of Fame members make the new selections from a pool of nominations. Six of its members have or have had children enrolled at SDS.