Bettye Fiscus Dickey (1963–)

Bettye Fiscus Dickey was the first true female college basketball star at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Over a playing career that spanned from 1981 to 1985, she set numerous records, many of which still stood almost four decades later.

Bettye Brooks Fiscus was born on July 20, 1963, to Jack Fiscus and Brooks Maddux Fiscus; she had three brothers. She grew up in Wynne (Cross County). Years later, she recalled that when she arrived in Wynne High School, it did not have a girls’ basketball program, but when she and a group of friends tried out as a group, one of the teachers took on the job of coach, and the program developed from there. With Fiscus as the centerpiece, the program quickly took off, and as a senior she led her hometown team to the Arkansas AAA state title and was named state player of the year by the Arkansas Democrat in 1981.

After graduating from Wynne, the five-foot eleven-inch Fiscus went on to the University of Arkansas, which in response to the legislative mandates of Title IX was in the process of upgrading its women’s athletic programs. As a Razorback, Fiscus rewrote the university’s record book. She was a three-time All-Southwest Conference (SWC) selection, was a two-time SWC Tournament selection, and was named to the SWC All-decade team. Fiscus became the first player in school history to score 1,000 points, and she broke the school scoring record in her first two seasons, ultimately finishing with 2,073 points. At the time she graduated, she also was the school record holder for career rebounds. More than twenty-five years after she graduated, she still held seven school records, including scoring average, field goals, and free throws. In 1986, just a year after her graduation, her jersey number 5 was retired by UA. She was the first UA basketball player—male or female—to be so honored. In 1994, she became the first female athlete inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor. In 2015, she was inducted into the SWC Hall of Fame.

In 1985, soon after graduating from UA, Bettye Fiscus married James Dickey. The couple had a son and a daughter. Her husband held assistant positions at the University of Kentucky and Oklahoma State, as well as serving as the head coach at Texas Tech and the University of Houston. Bettye Fiscus Dickey became a real estate agent, working in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where her husband did a second stint as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University; he retired from college coaching in 2016.

For additional information:
“Bettye Fiscus.” WMT Video System. (accessed January 24, 2023).

“Bettye Fiscus Dickey—Hall of Honor.” Arkansas Razorbacks, November 7, 2014. (accessed January 24, 2023).

Farrell, Shelby R. “Banner Career: University of Arkansas Honors Stillwater Resident for Basketball Achievements.” Stillwater News Press, March 1, 2015. (accessed January 24, 2023).

William H. Pruden III
Ravenscroft School


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