Rider Hall of Fame BIO
  •  Sport: Basketball
  •  Date Inducted: February 1996

Although she did not start a game as a freshman, she scored 249 points and grabbed 154 rebounds while playing all 26 games. Eckardt went on to become one of the first women's basketball stars in Rider's inaugural decade as an NCAA Division I women's program. In just her sophomore year, she was a team "most valuable player," averaging 13 points per game and nearly eight rebounds per game to lead the Broncs in both departments. She once again was the team's most valuable player as a junior during the 1988-89 season, raising her scoring average to 15.8 points per game, and had 7.9 rebounds per game. She was the sixth player in Rider women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. In her final season in a collegiate uniform, Kelly Eckardt catapulted from sixth place to become Rider's all-time leading scorer and rebounder as a senior during the 1989-90 season, finishing her career with 1,652 points (second now only to Debbie Snyder, Class of 1994) and 848 rebounds (broken this season by senior Jessica Beck). She ranks fifth on the all-time East Coast Conference career scoring list and sixth in rebounding, the only player in ECC history to finish in the top six in both departments. As a senior, Eckardt established marks that still stand in points per season (612) and field goals (195). She averaged 21.9 points per game as a senior, leading the Broncs in scoring in 25 of 28 games, including a career high of 30 points in a loss to Maryland-Baltimore County. Twenty times, she scored 20 or more points. On 22 occasions, she topped Rider in rebounding, including a high of 19 against Monmouth. At the time of her graduation, she owned seven school records and capped her career with All-East Coast Conference recognition. Three times, she was a team most valuable player.