Purdy Hall of Fame welcomes McNeil

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ceremony to take place before Friday’s game

The Purdy boys basketball team welcomes Southwest to town on Friday for its annual homecoming and Hall of Fame induction evening.

Prior to the Homecoming coronation, Brenda Keeling McNeil will be inducted into the Purdy High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

McNeil graduated in 1981 and is the sixth member to join the Hall, which was established in 2015.

She will join existing members Norman “Gabby” Gibbons, Earl Miller, Becky Fly Woods, Mike Payne and Megan Leonard.

McNeil made the trip to the state basketball tournament with her Lady Eagles teammates in 1980 and 1981, bringing home the state title in 1981, her senior year. She became the first female athlete from Purdy High School to receive first team All-State honors in 1980 and was named to the 1981 All-State First Team by unanimous selection. McNeil was also a four-year all-conference selection, a three-year all-district team member and a two-year member of the All-Ozark team. She was named All Conference Most Valuable Player in 1980.

“Brenda was a complete player,” said Bob Moser, former Purdy teacher and 1981 Basketball Fan of the Year. “She scored and rebounded, but she also played solid defense. Without saying much, Brenda provided leadership to the younger members of her team. She was, in the words of Marquette University Men’s Basketball Coach Al McGuire, Purdy’s Aircraft Carrier.”

McNeil attended college at Southwest Missouri State University, now Missouri State University.

She married Dwayne McNeil in 1988, and they have one daughter, Callie, who attends Missouri State University. McNeil is employed by 3D Corporate Solutions in Monett, as a project manager. Dwayne works for the Springfield Cardinals as an account executive.

McNeil is the daughter of Allen and Leona Keeling, both members of the Purdy High School Class of 1960.

“I am honored and blessed to be receiving an award for playing a game that I loved playing,” McNeil said. “I am privileged to have been granted the opportunity to have been associated with an entire group of girls with such a singular focus and shared commitment that enabled us, as a team, to be so successful.”

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