It has been nearly 30 years since former Auburn women’s basketball great Vickie Orr graced the floor on The Plains.
As one of Auburn’s most dominant women athletes, Orr’s dominance effectively brought life into the program.
The Hartselle, Alabama, native played center for Auburn from 1985 to 1989, winning the SEC Player of the Year Award in 1987. Her No. 50 jersey currently hangs in Auburn Arena and in 2013, Orr was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Orr averaged 15.5 points per game for her career, ranking as Auburn’s third all-time leading scorer. Her 1,006 rebounds stand as No. 4 all time.
Most notably, Orr won a gold medal for the United States in the 1990 FIBA World Championships. She later won bronze in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Across two historically heralded programs, Orr leads Auburn in games played, is third in field goal percentage and is top 10 in free throws and free throw attempts. Her strength and size allowed Auburn to reach three straight NCAA runner-up finishes from 1987 to 1990.
Orr believes in staying focused and setting attainable goals on the path to success. Her presence in the program, which continues with her son, Austin Wiley, set the modern standard for women’s basketball on The Plains.
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“It's almost impossible to choose a favorite Auburn memory because my time on the Plains was the best of my life,” Orr says on Auburn University’s website. “We knew that if we worked hard each and every day, we would be able to compete with the best teams and that's exactly what we did as a team and as a family.”
Orr continued her connection with the Auburn family by marrying Aubrey Wiley, an equivalently large individual who led the SEC in rebounding while playing for Auburn in 1993. Aubrey and Vickie’s vision for their son visualized the future prized recruit joining that same family.
“The family atmosphere," Austin said. "All of the people down there. The academics. They expect greatness and hard work."
A section of the Auburn Creed was embedded with Austin at a young age. The drive for work, hard work came easy to the 6-foot-11 center.
Playing in his first game for the Tigers, Austin scored nine points and grabbed three bounds in addition to two blocks. T.J. Dunans hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and, as Auburn walked away with a victory, Austin finished his debut while wearing his mother’s No. 50.
"It's always been his number," Orr said. "As a young kid, his coaches gave him the idea of wearing his mom's jersey. It's kind of stuck with him. He's kind of adopted the idea of wearing mom's number and wearing it proudly, so I'm really proud of him."
Orr’s genetics are wrapped within the fabric of Auburn’s basketball program, both men and women.
Thirty years removed from her time on The Plains, Orr continues to have a presence over Auburn’s basketball program.
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