Beyond the Numbers: Basketball’s Ring of Honor

Three+numbers+sit+alone+on+the+RMU+Ring+of+Honor+in+the+UPMC+Events+Center.+Photo+Credit%3A+Nathan+Breisinger

Three numbers sit alone on the RMU Ring of Honor in the UPMC Events Center. Photo Credit: Nathan Breisinger

By Nathan Breisinger, Sports Multimedia Editor

Upon entering the once-bustling chambers of the UPMC Events Center last season, spectators may have laid their eyes on three numbers that have forever been engraved in Robert Morris basketball history.

Outlined in red, the numbers, 10, 13, and 15 sit alone atop the home court of the Colonials with their names cast in white lettering above and their tenure with the program below.

Chipper Harris and Myron Walker of the men’s basketball team, along with Sugeiry Monsac of the women’s basketball program have been the only players to cement their legacies in the RMU Ring of Honor.

For a player to place their name amongst the greatest in Colonials history, they have to meet four out of five criteria.

First, the player must be a member of the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame. They have to lead an RMU career statistical category for a minimum of five years. A player must be named conference player of the year at least once, earn all-conference first-team honors at least once, and lastly, the individual must be a member of a conference regular season or tournament championship team that advanced to a national postseason tournament.

To earn these honors, Harris, Walker, and Monsac put together illustrious careers that elevated them above the rest.

#10: Chipper Harris, Guard, 1980-84

A New Kensington, Pennsylvania native, Chester “Chipper” Harris is one of the most productive scorers in men’s basketball history. He became the all-time leading scorer for the Colonials during his junior season and held that record until 1994 before Myron Walker took over. Harris still sits at second all-time in that category.

Harris immortalized himself in the RMU Ring of Honor after compiling tremendous career numbers for the Colonials. He totaled 1,942 points, 405 rebounds, 436 assists, and 450 steals, along with shooting 51.4% from the field and averaging 16.4 points per game.

Robert Morris won back-to-back ECAC Metro Conference Tournament championships with Harris leading the way in 1982 and 1983, respectively, which earned them subsequent NCAA Tournament bids.

One year later, Harris was named the 1984 ECAC Metro Conference Player of the Year, sharing the title with Carey Scurry of LIU Brooklyn and Robert Jackson of Saint Francis Brooklyn. Harris was selected in the seventh round of the 1984 NBA Draft by the Sacramento (then Kansas City) Kings.

The 6’1″ guard also was inducted into the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.

Harris was the first member inducted into the RMU Ring of Honor, which was established in 2013. During a surprise ceremony on February 15, 2014, at the Charles L. Sewall Center, his No. 10 was unveiled in the rafters.

In late May of 2018, Harris passed away at the age of 55 due to a lengthy battle with diabetes. His number and legacy will always be remembered at Robert Morris as it is etched in in the UPMC Events Center forever.

#13: Myron Walker, Guard, 1990-94

Robert Morris men’s basketball has had many terrific players throughout their history, but one of the best to ever do it was Myron Walker. Walker was the second men’s basketball player to be named to the RMU Ring of Honor, which occurred during his own surprise ceremony in January of 2017.

With 1,965 points, Walker holds the record for the most points scored in the history of the men’s basketball program. He also holds the records for single-season and career scoring average with 20.1 points per game during his senior year and 18.7 points per game across his tenure as a Colonial.

With Walker’s elite scoring touch, the Colonials clinched their fifth NEC Tournament title in 1991-92. Following a three-game performance where he averaged 20.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, Walker was unanimously named as the tournament MVP.

During that season, Walker also received the honor of Northeast Conference Player of the Year.

Walker was inducted into the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999 following a remarkable career at Robert Morris where played in 105 games and started 85 of them. During the course of those 105 games, he totaled 603 rebounds, 164 assists, 26 blocks, and 104 steals.

As Walker remains the most prolific scorer in men’s basketball history, his number continues to reside atop of the west concourse of the arena.

#15: Sugeiry Monsac, Forward, 2004-07

Monsac is the lone women’s basketball player to be named to the RMU Ring of Honor. She was given the prestigious honor during a ceremony in January of 2017.

In 2005, Monsac was awarded NEC Player of the Year after she averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 points per game.

After returning from injury, the native of the Dominican Republic helped guide the Colonials to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 2007.

Across her career, Monsac totaled 1,177 points, placing her 12th all-time at RMU along with 689 rebounds, which is the sixth most in Colonials history.

Before her time on campus, Robert Morris had gone an abysmal 10-96 in the past four years. With her exceptional play, she led the Colonials to a 64-27 record during her three seasons. In just two seasons from 2003-04 to 2004-05, the Colonials went from 3-24 to 20-10, which is the largest win increase in NCAA History.

Following her phenomenal career in a Colonials uniform, Monsac was inducted into the RMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.

Monsac, along with Walker and Harris, will always be projected high above the hardwood floor inside the UPMC Events Center due to their hard work and magnificent careers at Robert Morris.

As spectators hope to return to the arena soon for Colonials home games, fans will notice the numbers and names engraved in white numerals and letters, but not many would know the legacies they left behind unless they went beyond the numbers.