SEYMOUR — After having success in basketball at Seymour High School, Julie VonDielingen Shelton had no idea what she would accomplish at Butler University.
Playing basketball at Butler from 1989 to 1993, she scored 2,018 points. She is Butler's all-time leading scorer and the only women's player to score more than 2,000 points. In all, she owns 11 Butler single-game, single-season and career basketball records.
She also was a four-time first team all-league performer and was named Midwestern Collegiate Conference Player of the Year her senior season. Plus, she was named District 4 Freshman of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers in 1989-90 and was picked to the All-America team by Basketball Times in 1992-93.
She can now add one more honor to the list. Saturday, during the Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Shelton will be one of 16 inducted into the conference's inaugural Women's Basketball Legends, recognizing players who began their careers in 1976 or later. This is Butler's first year in the Atlantic 10.
"It was a smaller school at that time and a school that I thought I could start and get to play quite a bit, but I had no clue to what degree," Shelton said. "As far as stuff I ended up accomplishing, I had no idea that would happen."
The honor isn't the only thing Shelton is celebrating this month. She just wrapped up her 15th season as the girls basketball head coach at Mount Vernon High School in Fortville, and the Marauders made their second straight appearance in the Class 3A championship game, this time bringing home the trophy with a 61-47 win over Hamilton Heights.
"It's been exciting, but it's just been something that you don't really ever think you'll get to experience," Shelton said. "I've loved basketball and put a lot of time and energy and passion into it since I was probably 8 years old. The last couple months have been good to me, no doubt."
Saturday, the Atlantic 10 also is inducting 16 players into the Men's Basketball Legends, and that includes Butler's Paul "Tony" Hinkle. He coached three sports at Butler over a nearly 50-year span, and the school's basketball arena was named after him in 1966.
Shelton said she has many good memories of her time on the Indianapolis campus.
"You still hear people talk today, when the men's team made the (NCAA) tournament and got to the finals, they talk about 'The Butler Way,'" Shelton said. "It was kind of more of a big high school atmosphere as far as everybody supported everybody, and everybody worked hard. I had wonderful teammates. My senior class had five players in it, and that was really neat because we went through four years together, and a lot of us played. And academically, it was a great school."
Making the trip to today's ceremony will be a special time, Shelton said.
"I've never even been to New York, so I'm really excited about that," she said. "I know there's a Legends luncheon, and everybody is going to be honored at the games. It's supposed to be a really big deal. I'm a little nervous but pretty excited."
At Seymour, Shelton was a three-sport athlete, making it to semistate twice and state once in basketball, semistate once and state twice in volleyball and the state track and field meet for shot put.
"Seymour has always been a great place, and I had wonderful coaches and opportunities at Seymour," Shelton said. "That's my foundation in basketball, and it really got me to enjoy the game."
At Mount Vernon, Shelton has led the Marauders to five sectional titles, three regional titles, two semistate titles and two state finals appearances. In the 2012 state finals, Mount Vernon lost to Fort Wayne Concordia 42-39.
"We lost four starters, so we were not sure that this year would be great," Shelton said. "But then we started off well and had a lot of adversity throughout the season, and kids played different roles and really stepped up by the end of the year. By tournament time, they did a great job and had a great tourney."
One of the team's top players, junior Erica Moore, got hurt in December, had knee surgery and sat out seven games before returning to the lineup during sectional. She recently found out she made the Indiana Junior All-Stars core team.
"During that time, some other kids had to really step up, and we were winning quite a few of our games without her," Shelton said. "Then she fought her way back, and we didn't think she would be back. That boost of having her back and other kids stepping up, you could just see there that we had a shot."
Another player that made a big impact was Shelton's niece, freshman point guard Sydney Shelton. In the state finals game, she had a game-high 29 points and pulled down six rebounds.
"She ended up scoring 502 points this season and led the team in assists and probably minutes played," Shelton said of her niece. "I knew she was very good, but she surprised me about how well she did adjusting as a freshman and carrying a big load. Point guard especially is a tough role, and she just did an amazing job."
After making the state finals as a high school athlete in a variety of sports but never bringing home a title, Shelton said it was a good feeling doing it as a coach.
"As a player, getting there was great, but it was frustrating, too, when you never won it," she said. "Getting there last year as a coach and not winning, you never know if you'll ever really get a chance again. It's nice to know when we did get a chance, we finished it."
Another state title next year would be nice, Shelton said. She doesn't expect to get away from the game anytime soon.
"I'm going to try to beat Donna Sullivan," Shelton jokingly said of the former SHS volleyball and basketball coach. "I want to stay around for a while. At this point, I have no vision of stopping anytime soon."