Prentiss High basketball star inducted into the William Carey Hall of Fame

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Wanda Burre Ard was recently inducted into the William Carey University Sports Hall of Fame for Women’s Basketball. A ceremony was held April 15 on the William Carey campus.

Ard graduated from Prentiss High School in 1975 and continued her education at Pearl River Community College where she received her Associate of Arts degree in 1977.

Ard says she wanted to continue her education and also wanted to play basketball in college.  She decided to try out at University of Southern Mississippi with Coach Kay James, but she did not make the team.  She traveled over to William Carey and Coach Bobby Halford gave her a scholarship to play basketball.

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That year the USM Lady Eagles under Coach Kay James played the Lady Crusaders. “The fans started chanting, ‘We are William Carey’ and it got louder and louder in the gym,” said Ard.  That night Ard scored 42 points to beat the Lady Eagles 84 to 79.

Ard was the lead scorer during her time at Carey. She was only 5’4’’, but she had a leaping ability, and she was a shooting forward.  She was named as an All-District Player.

She graduated from William Carey with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Office Administration in 1979.

After graduating, she wanted to continue playing basketball. She was a pioneer of the Women’s Professional Basketball League after making the professional team called New Orleans Pride  She then played for the Phoenix Flames, as well as, other teams.

She returned to Prentiss to pursue her career in teaching.  She received her Med. in Special Education and then she started  teaching in Prentiss High School in 1986 and continues teaching today at Jefferson Davis County High School

She also was the women’s basketball coach at Prentiss High School for 22 years.

She plans to retire in 2025 from teaching and will celebrate 50th wedding anniversary 2025.

Her husband is Willie Ard and she has one daughter, Shonda Burre Ard Weatherspoon.