Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame to Induct UC Trio

May 1, 2012

CINCINNATI - Former University of Cincinnati student-athletes Cheryl "Cookie Monster" Cook (1982-85), Nick Van Exel (1992-93) and Jerry Couzins (1965-66) will be inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame on May 9 at its annual banquet at Receptions in Fairfield.

Arguably the greatest women's basketball student-athlete to play at Cincinnati, Cook was a two-time Metro Conference Player of the Year selection, earned honorable mention all-America honors as a junior and second team all-America accolades as a senior. A 5-9 guard, Cook also was selected for the Olympic Trails though an injury hampered her efforts to earn a berth on the 1984 U.S. team. Cook also landed a berth on the 1986 Pan American Games team. 

Still the all-time leading scorer at UC, Cook compiled 2,367 points during her four seasons as a Bearcat, the seventh-highest total in NCAA women's basketball history when she ended her collegiate career. "Cookie" was one of the nation's top six scorers her junior and senior seasons. Cook also ranks fourth in career assists (360) and sixth in career rebounds (688). She is the only UC women's basketball player to have her jersey retired.

Van Exel averaged 15.2 points and 3.6 assists during his two seasons as a Bearcat, helping lead UC to the 1992 NCAA Final Four as a junior. As a senior he averaged 18.3 points and 4.5 assists earning third team all-America honors (Associated Press, Basketball Times and Basketball Weekly) and was named a finalist for the John Wooden Award for the nation's top player.

Van Exel was drafted in the second round (37th overall pick) by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1993 NBA Draft. During his 13-year NBA career, Van Exel played with six teams, earning NBA All-Star distinction in 1998. He averaged 14.9 points and 7.3 assists in five seasons with the Lakers.  He currently serves as the player development instructor for the Atlanta Hawks.

Couzins was a standout player at McNicholas High School and later coached at Mariemont High School and Turpin High School. He played two seasons at UC, earning UPI honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Conference selection as a junior in 1965 when he averaged 4.9 points in 23 games. He was twice named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Academic team and was the team's top free-throw shooter his junior and senior seasons.



As a high school player, Couzins averaged 20 or more points for three seasons at McNicholas High School. He was named City Player of the Year his junior and senior seasons by the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati Post.

Couzins earned coach of the year honors seven times while winning eight sectional championships as the head coach at Mariemont. He currently coaches at Nagel Middle School.

The hall of fame banquet will start with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the induction ceremony. Tickets are available for $50 per individual or $400 per table. All ticket requests can be sent to Donald Hughes at or via phone at (513) 469-7411.