Among the many activities planned for Homecoming Weekend at Mercer University, Nov. 21-23, will be the induction of three new members into the Mercer Athletic Hall of Fame. Former men’s basketball player James Dartez Talbott, women’s basketball player Laura Shamp and baseball player Mark A. Steinbeck will join the 137 members of the Hall of Fame. This year’s induction ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, in the Presidents Dining Room at the University Center and the inductees will also be recognized at halftime of the Mercer-Georgia Tech basketball game, which tips off earlier that day at 1 p.m.
• James Dartez Talbott, CLA ‘81
Talbott is a member of the 1,000-point-club at Mercer, finishing with 1,021 during his three-year career after transferring from Southwestern Junior College in Oklahoma City. He was an All-Conference performer his junior and senior seasons and was team captain both years. Averaging 9.1 points as a sophomore, 14.7 as a junior and 13.5 as a senior, Talbott was an exceptional free throw shooter, hitting 34 in a row during the 1980-81 season, and finishing his career making 79 percent. He also had 119 assists during the 1980-81 season, including 10 against national power North Carolina, and finished his career with 301.
Talbott’s play helped vault the Bears to the Atlantic Sun Conference championship in 1981 and to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Arkansas in the Midwest Regionals. Talbott scored 22 points against the Razorbacks.
Talbott has had a successful high school coaching career, serving 20 years on the coaching staff at Washington County High School, where he won a state championship, then two years at Mary Persons, and now is a special education teacher and serves as the head boys’ coach at Northeast High School in Macon.
• Laura Shamp, CLA ‘85
Shamp is a member of the Mercer 1,000-point club and also pulled down 686 rebounds during her outstanding career from 1981-85. She ranks number five all-time at Mercer in field goal percentage at 51 percent. Averaging 11.6 rebounds as a senior, she led the Bears to a Final Four berth in Division II. Highlights from her senior season include: 21 points and 19 rebounds in an 81-55 win over Arizona, 20 points and 10 rebounds vs. UT-Chattanooga, and 17 points against All-American and Olympian Teresa Edwards and the University of Georgia. She was named South Region Tournament MVP after averaging 19 points and 17 rebounds.
Shamp came to Mercer on an academic scholarship and then earned a basketball scholarship. At Mercer, she graduated with a 3.93 grade-point-average before earning a law degree at Harvard. Her law office, Laura M. Shamp, LLC, is in Atlanta.
• The Honorable Mark A. Steinbeck, CLA ’70, Law ‘76
The crafty left-hander from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., compiled a 25-13 record during his four-year career at Mercer. In those four seasons, Mercer had an overall record of 65-33. Steinbeck accounted for 38 percent of the wins. As a freshman, he compiled a 6-4 record and pitched eight scoreless innings against SEC champion Auburn. As a sophomore, his record was 6-3 with a one-hitter pitched against Grace College, and he threw another one-hitter his junior season against Malone College while earning a 6-2 record. He recorded 53 strikeouts that season while appearing in 11 games. In his senior season, Steinbeck compiled a 7-4 record, pitching 63 innings, allowing 58 hits and 23 runs with only 12 of those earned. He finished the season with an earned run average of 1.71, had 48 strikeouts and 26 walks.
Today, Steinbeck is a Circuit Court judge in Fort Myers, Fla.
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has more than 7,500 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.