May 19, 2021

2021 Athletics Hall of Honor inductees selected

A track star, an Olympic rower, a tennis pro, an orthopedic surgeon, and a naval commander earn the honor

Phillips Academy is pleased to welcome five athletes into the Andover Athletics Hall of Honor. These alumni are being honored for their accomplishments in varied sports as well as for the exceptional ways in which each has lived the values of Phillips and Abbot academies. The induction ceremony will take place virtually during Reunion Weekend 2021. Fellow alumni, classmates, and teammates look forward to celebrating this impressive cohort—along with our esteemed 2020 inductees—on Thursday, June 10, 2021. To join the virtual celebration, please register online.

Lewis Brown Jr. ’99

Transitioning from Memphis, Tennessee, to New England as a lower was a big adjustment for Lewis Brown. Although a little homesick at first, his athleticism and ability to make friends on the field and track quickly helped to turn things around.

Brown played just two JV football games before being pulled up to the varsity squad. He had never competed in a track meet until Andover’s winter season, but he began to dominate the ranks of prep school sprinters that very first year—starting with indoor track and then easing into spring track. Captain of boys’ indoor track his senior year, Brown was undefeated in the 50-yard dash, breaking the school record with a time of 5.3 seconds vs. Exeter. At the Wheaton Invitational, Brown won both the 55-meter and 200-meter sprints, earning the team’s vote of most valuable performer. In spring 1999, Brown took first place in both the 100 and 200, breaking PA’s record in the 200, leading Big Blue to victory, and garnering MVP at Interschols. Brown also anchored the 4x100 meter relay team, which won an Interschols championship. He was named Athlete of the Year for 1998–1999 by The Phillipian.

Brown continued his track career at Emory University, helping win University Athletic team championships at the 2000, 2001, and 2003 indoor conference championships as well as the 2001 and 2002 outdoor conference championships. Brown continues to hold Emory’s record in the outdoor 4x100 and is currently ranked second all-time in the indoor 55, sixth in the indoor 60, and sixth in the outdoor 100.

Brown earned a law degree at Georgetown University and is currently a lawyer and public policy advocate focusing on tax policy, housing justice, and criminal justice reform. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, Lauren Henderson ’00, and their 18-month-old daughter Bella.

Elizabeth C. Kent ’73

Elizabeth “Bets” Kent was a four-year day student at Abbot Academy and a member of the school’s final graduating class. She competed in field hockey and tennis and was co-captain of varsity tennis her senior-mid and senior years. At Dartmouth College, Bets decided to check out the boathouse and the river, inspired by younger sister Margot Kent Timbel ’75’s infectious enthusiasm for rowing at Phillips Academy. Bets joined the nascent women’s crew program during sophomore year and competed on the varsity the next two seasons. As a senior she received the award given to “the woman who has made the most significant contribution to rowing.”

After graduation in 1977, Bets moved to Philadelphia to row with Vesper Boat Club and pursue her dream of making the National Team. She won the national championship in the four in 1978, competed in Europe that summer, and raced in Moscow in a pair in 1979. Her rowing career highlight was making the 1980 Olympic Team, but that team was unable to compete in Moscow due to the U.S. boycott.

Post-Olympics, Bets earned an MBA from the Wharton School and pursued a career in investments. She later joined Cambridge Associates in Boston, where she worked in endowment consulting and management for numerous nonprofit organizations, including Phillips Academy. Bets has been a member of the investment committees for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the National Rowing Foundation and is currently on the board of the Cambridge Boat Club.

Bets has a long affiliation with the Head of the Charles Regatta as a volunteer, co-chair in the 1990s, and competitor for some 35 years. She trains on the water, on a bike, or on mountain hikes, always looking forward to getting to the HOCR starting (and finish!) line with her former teammates.

Kristin Kinney McDonald ’77

Kristin Kinney McDonald came to Andover as an upper. In her two years at PA, wrote The Phillipian, “Kinney proved to be one of the most talented racket sports players in school history.” Squash’s No. 1 seed as an upper, Kinney helped lead the girls’ team to an undefeated season and domination in New England Interschols competition. Senior year, she led three varsity sports to successful seasons—field hockey, squash, and tennis. Kinney tallied a team high of 11 goals for field hockey. As squash captain, she led the team to an undefeated season and a second consecutive win at Interschols. The tennis team’s No. 1 seed, Kinney won 48 games out of 53 in singles competition. The Phillipian named Kinney Athlete of the Year her senior year as well as fall and spring Athlete of the Term. She was co-winner of the Abbot Athletic Award and winner of the Women’s Squash Award.

At Princeton, Kinney excelled at tennis and squash, earning All-Ivy selection for both sports. Freshman year, she was the number-three ranked college squash player in the country. As team captain her senior year, she led Princeton to an undefeated season. In 1980 she was named First Team All-Ivy for singles tennis; in 1979 and 1980 she was named First Team All-Ivy for doubles tennis.

Kinney became a professional tennis player at age 23, achieving a singles world ranking of 117. Her best performance on the WTA tour was a quarter-final appearance in the 1986 Northern California Open; she also made it to the third round of the Wimbledon Championships before falling to top seed Martina Navratilova. A graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, Kinney currently lives in Florida with her husband, James, and continues to play tennis regularly.

Kanu M. Okike ’97

Kanu Okike first learned of Phillips Academy while searching for summer programs. After visiting campus, he quickly realized that Andover offered an environment with strong academic and athletic opportunities. Okike ran varsity cross-country all four years. Lower year he added varsity basketball and varsity lacrosse to his schedule; those teams’ records were particularly strong his upper year. As a senior, Okike was captain of the boys’ cross-country and basketball teams. Known as a hard-working team player and a motivating captain, Okike anchored his cross-country team to a second consecutive New England Interschols championship.

“Kanu Okike exemplifies what the Andover-athlete is supposed to be. An honors student as well as the captain of two varsity sports, Kanu has established himself as a leader and role model both in the classroom and on the athletic field,” wrote The Phillipian. Okike was named to the Academic All-American Lacrosse Team, named Athlete of the Year in 1997, and received the Schubert Key award and Yale Bowl.

Okike continued to play lacrosse at Harvard University and was named to the Academic All-American Lacrosse (third team) in 2001. He received the John P. Reardon ’60 Men’s Award, which is presented annually to the senior varsity male athlete who exemplifies the qualities of excellent scholarship, character, leadership, and athletic ability—in short, the top male scholar-athlete. Okike continued on to Harvard Medical School, following in his parents’ footsteps: his mother is a primary care pediatrician and his father is a cardiothoracic surgeon. Okike chose orthopaedic surgery as his specialty after an injury sustained while playing college lacrosse.

Dr. Okike currently lives in Honolulu with his wife, Jennifer, and their two daughters. He continues to show his non sibi spirit via overseas volunteer work in sub-Saharan Africa.

Hunter D. Washburn ’00

The eldest of nine children (eight of whom attended Phillips Academy), Hunter Washburn was no stranger to Andover’s athletic fields; he grew up on campus in Johnson Hall. Earning 12 varsity letters, Washburn captained three teams his senior year: cross-country, swimming, and crew.

During his four years at Andover, Washburn led an undefeated cross-country team to a New England championship, setting a course record in the process. When Washburn was captain of the boys’ swimming squad, their near-perfect season culminated in a close second-place finish to Exeter at the New England Interschols tournament. Under the seasoned eye of his father, Pete, Washburn led boys’ crew, which included siblings Spencer ’01 and Taylor ’03, to a 5–2 season and a second-place finish at Interschols.

Washburn went on to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with a BS in history and earning an MBA in financial management from the Naval Postgraduate School. Washburn was a four-year member of the Naval Academy’s lightweight rowing team. Senior year, he captained the 2004 squad and stroked the varsity boat to an undefeated regular season, winning both the Eastern Sprints and IRA National Championship, and competed at Henley Regatta, making it to the semifinal round of the Temple Challenge Cup.

Cmdr. Washburn currently serves as executive officer on the USS Gravely (DDG-107) stationed in Norfolk, Virginia; he previously had command of the USS Monsoon (PC-4), stationed in Bahrain, during which time his crew twice earned the Battle Efficiency Award. Washburn’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal. When not at sea, Washburn lives in northern Virginia with wife Jenni, and their children Ellison, Maren, Hagan, and Linden.

Categories: Athletics

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