College of Human Sciences alumna
Vickie Orr Wiley, a native of Hartselle, Ala., played professional basketball in Italy from 1990-92 before returning to the Plains to graduate in 1993. While playing basketball at Auburn, Orr was named a Kodak All-American three consecutive times and SEC Player of the Year in 1988. She led the Tigers to two straight NCAA championship games and was MVP of the SEC Tournament and a member of the All-Final Four Team at the 1989 NCAA tournament. Orr also played on the 1990 USA team that won the gold medal in the World Championships and the 1992 U.S. Olympic team that won the bronze medal. She ranks second in scoring for Auburn women's basketball with 2,035 points and is one of only two Auburn women to top 2,000 points and have 1,000 rebounds. She is married to former Auburn basketball player Aubrey Wiley. Their son, Austin, at 6-foot-8, is already a basketball standout, and he doesn't start high school until the fall. Orr graduated from the College of Human Sciences with a degree in human development and family studies and has worked at the Harris Early Learning Center in Birmingham, which is owned and operated by the college, for 18 years.
1. Why did you choose Auburn?
I chose Auburn because it was the best fit for me. I fell in love with everything about Auburn the moment I stepped on the Plains. The size of Auburn's campus and the town was exactly what I needed to be successful as a student-athlete. I felt an instant connection with the coaches and players, which was important to me since Auburn would be home for the next four years.
2. You had a standout basketball career at Auburn while earning a degree. What advice do you have for current student-athletes?
My advice to any student-athlete is the same advice I give my son who's entering ninth grade this fall, and that would be to work hard and do your best at all times. Being a student-athlete is not easy by any means, but if you stay focused and set attainable goals, you will do just fine. And don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
3. How did you acquire your current job at the Harris Early Learning Center?
I had just completed my first year of teaching at the Auburn Early Education Center when I received a call from my advisor, Harriett Giles, about a state-of-the-art early learning center opening in downtown Birmingham, formerly known as the Birmingham Early Learning Center. I was one of the first 10 teachers hired in 1995. I taught for 10 years and for the last eight years, I've been an administrator. My primary responsibility is scheduling for nearly 60 people on a daily basis.
4. You were selected to be part of the Class of 2013 to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. What was that like?
Being inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame's class of 2013 is one of the most memorable moments of my life. I was aware that my name had been on the ballot several times for induction, but when the phone call actually came, I almost didn't believe it was true. When I accepted the nomination to be inducted into the ASHOF, it was a happy moment for me. I honestly wasn't accepting this honor for myself, but instead I was accepting it for my son and his children one day. The induction weekend was so special because my family and friends were able to celebrate the unique occasion with me. For me, being inducted ranked right up there with standing on the podium to accept my Olympic medal.
5. What is your favorite Auburn memory – either as a player or as an alumna?
It's almost impossible to choose a favorite Auburn memory because my time on the Plains was the best of my life. I enjoyed spending time with my teammates and experiencing our successes together. We were fortunate enough to make it to the NCAA championship game my junior and senior years. And although we weren't victorious, we were able to put things in motion for the teams that came after us. We set the bar high and held each other accountable on and off the court. We knew that if we worked hard each and every day, we would be able to compete with the best teams and that's exactly what we did as a team and as a family.