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Former Lady Commodore to be inducted into FCSAA Hall of Fame

Former Lady Commodore to be inducted into FCSAA Hall of Fame

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Former Lady Commodore Basketball player to be inducted into the FCSAA Hall of Fame

Carol Smith Rhoden (1999 & 2000 seasons)
Every story has a beginning and when writing about the generation-long dominance of Gulf Coast State College women's basketball, Carol Smith Rhoden, arguably, belongs in the opening paragraph.  

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Carol excelled in athletics at a young age and was encouraged by her mother to pursue her dreams. When she was a high school freshman, Carol's mother passed away and her grandmother took the reins to ensure she continued to live out those dreams.  

After being named the 1998 Miss Basketball by the Birmingham Tip-Off Club, Carol signed with Gulf Coast Community College where she played for fellow FCSAA Hall of Famers Roonie Scovel and Grover Hicks. With the Lady Commodores, she delivered one of the most impressive careers in FCSAA history – 59 wins, back-to-back Panhandle Conference Championships, consecutive FCSAA State Championships, 4th and 7thplace finishes at the NJCAA Tournament, consecutive Panhandle Conference and FCSAA State Player of the Year awards, a two-time first-team All-American by the NJCAA and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and, in 2000, was the Kodak/WBCA National Player of the Year.  

Upon graduating from Gulf Coast, Carol returned to her home state and played her final two seasons at Auburn University. In 58 career games with the Tigers, she averaged 11.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Academically, Carol earned three degrees on the Plains and, while completing her master's program, worked as a women's student assistant for head coach Nell Fortner.  

That experience launched Carol into a coaching career that led her back to Birmingham's W.J. Christian School, where she was the head boys coach from 2006-2009 and served as the head girls coach from 2009-18, leading the Lady Chargers to several city championships while garnering Coach of the Year recognition. 

Carol was named to the SEC Community Service Team in 2001 and community service remains a key component of her life to this day, with numerous initiatives supporting women and children.  

A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Carol is also the owner of "Created 2 Hoop, LLC" where she conducts basketball personal training, group training and seasonal camps. Recently, she published a children's book, Carol's Dream, that shares her story and teaches young people they can overcome anything and achieve their dreams if they dedicate themselves to the things they love.  

Taking the lessons learned as a child and that fueled her success as a student-athlete, Carol continues to use the triangulation of scholarship, character and purpose to develop leaders in school, the community, and most importantly, in life.   

She and her husband, Rogers Rhoden, live in Birmingham where they are raising their two daughters, Laila and Alana.  

Smith Rhoden will be recognized at halftime of Friday's 6 p.m. game. 


NJCAA/FCSAA Region 8 Women's Basketball Tournament

 The #3 tournament seed Lady Commodores (19-9) are set to play #6 tournament seed Indian River State College (20-8) in their Quarter Final game on Thursday, March 3rd at 3pm in the Raider Arena located on the campus of Northwest FL St.  

This will be the second meeting for the Lady Commodores and Indian River St.  During their first match-up on December 11th, the Lady Commodores defeated Indian River 70-62. 

NJCAA/FCSAA Region 8 State Women's Basketball Tournament site:


NJCAA/FCSAA Region 8 Women's Bracket:


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