Sixteen former Florida A&M University (FAMU) men’s and women’s tennis student-athletes were recently named to the all-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) 50th anniversary tennis teams.
Rochelle “Nikki” Houston, Rachel Harden, Donna Millington, Asia Muhammed and Rachel Pye were named to the women’s team.
Houston, who is the director of Tennis of the Rattler program, said it was truly special to be recognized as one of the best in conference history.
“I am truly honored to be on this list,” said Houston, who was a two-time First Team All-MEAC selection. “There are so many great players, and this list shows how many outstanding players have played in this conference.”
Harden garnered 2019 and 2021 First Team All-MEAC honors, while Millington earned 1988 MEC Championship Outstanding Performer. Muhammed received the 1995 MEAC Championship Outstanding Performer honor and Pye earned back-to-back First Team All-MEAC selections in 2009 and 2010.
On the men’s side, Suru Balogun, Gabriel Chidi, Walner Espinoza, Takura Happy, Karl Headen, Douglas Henderson, David Jackson, C. Salif Kante, Pfunga Mahefu, Clifford Malivert and Artiom Podgainii earned honors.
Balogun was a two-time MEAC Championship Outstanding Performer (1993, 1994) and Chidi was a three-time First-Team All-MEAC selection (2011-2013). Espinoza garnered multiple honors as he earned First Team All-MEAC twice (2008, 2009) and was the 2017 MEAC Championship Outstanding Performer.
Happy earned the 2010 MEAC Rookie of the Year award and a two-time First Team All-MEAC selection (2010, 2011). Headen (1990) and Henderson (1983) earned MEAC Championship Outstanding Performer honors, while Kante, who is the inducted into the Class of 2019 FAMU Sports Hall of Fame, was a two-time MEAC Player of the Year and two-time First Team All-MEAC selection in 2012 and 2013.
Mahefu registered First Team All-MEAC honors in 2004 and 2005, while Malivert was selected the 2005 MEAC Rookie of the Year, along with being a two-time First Team All-MEAC honoree in 2007 and 2008. Podgainii garnered a First Team All-MEAC selection in 2007 and 2009.
To be considered on the ballot, student-athletes must have been named at least one of the following: First Team All-MEAC, MEAC Player of the Year, MEAC Rookie of the Year or MEAC Championship Outstanding Performer.