Heiss, Tara : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Heiss, Tara

Heiss was a legendary player for the University of Maryland women's basketball team from 1975-1978. She was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 (thanks to Alan Trost for this information). Tara starred for the U.S. National team in 1979 and 1980, and was also a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, which boycotted the Moscow Games.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. 1956

Career Highlights:
A point guard, Tara had an outstanding career at the University of Maryland in the 1970s. In her senior year, 1978, she was named MVP of the first-ever ACC tournament after scoring 30 points in the championship game. The Terrapins defeated North Carolina State, 89-82, and went on to play in the AIAW Final Four championship. During the season, Heiss set the Maryland record for assists in a season with 249, a record that still stands.

In the summer of 1979, Tara was a starting guard on the U.S. National team and competed in the most prestigious international tournaments in the world. She scored 16.7 points per game (second on the U.S. team) during the 1979 World University Games, as the U. S. captured the gold medal with a perfect 7-0 record. Heiss also helped the U.S win gold medals at the World Championships (where she was voted Most Popular Player) and the William Jones Cup, an international tournament inaugurated in 1977. In the Pan American Games, where the U.S. captured the silver medal, Tara scored 6.3 points per game, and led the U.S. in assists.

Heiss was honored as a selection to Maryland's 50th Anniversary team. Tara's jersey No. 44 has been retired by the school, and now hangs in the Cole Field House. She was inducted into the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998, and in 2002 she was named as one of the ACC's top 50 players in history. Sports Illustrated listed Tara as Maryland's 36th greatest sports figure of the 20th century.

Bethesda, Maryland

Physical description:
5'6", 130 pounds

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