In a December 2003 “Sports Illustrated” article, Alana Beard was asked, “You once said that if you could be on the cover of any magazine, it would be FORTUNE. What's the headline?”
Beard said, “Alana Beard: The Second Wealthiest African-American Woman in the World Behind Oprah Winfrey.”
Beard, who graduated in 2004, is the first Duke female student-athlete to have her basketball jersey retired. Her number 20 was hung in the rafters in Cameron Indoor Stadium in January.
In her career at Duke, Beard scored 2,687 points and grabbed 789 rebounds. She made 509 assists, 404 steals and 149 blocks. She left Duke as the all-time leading scorer for men and women. She has garnered praise from all corners, winning the Wooden Award and the State Farm Wade Trophy and being named the Associated Press, USBWA and ESPN.com National Player of the Year in 2003-2004.
She didn't just distinguish herself on the court.
“Alana has taken her game to another level this year, which I didn't know existed,” women's basketball coach Gail Goestenkors told the Associated Press. “The great thing is Alana has taken the team along with her, and she has let each of her teammates know how important they are for this team to reach their ultimate goal of a national championship. She has been the greatest leader we have ever had.”
Beard graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology and is playing in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics.