The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame is honored to announce its 2017 induction class. The eight new members, listed alphabetically, are Glenn Bass, Dwight Durante, Mike Fox, Chasity Melvin, Ben Sutton, Caulton Tudor, Steve Vacendak, and Stephanie Wheeler.
They will be enshrined during the 54th annual induction banquet on the evening of Friday, May 5, at the Raleigh Convention Center. An afternoon news conference will be held on Thursday, May 4, at 4 a.m. at the N.C. Museum of History, located at 5 East Edenton Street.
Ticket information for the banquet is available at ncsportshalloffame.org or 919-845-3455.
“The achievements of this year’s class of inductees enrich North Carolina’s remarkable sports heritage, and the individuals have certainly earned the honor of joining the 328 men and women who have been previously enshrined,” said Fredrick Reese, president of the Hall. “This is our 54th class, and we look forward to celebrating this special time in our state’s sports history.”
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963. A permanent exhibit, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, is located on the third floor of the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh and features significant objects and memorabilia donated by inductees. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
A brief biography of each 2017 inductee follows:
Glenn Bass won all-star football and baseball honors at East Carolina. He was an all-conference and All-NAIA District football selection in 1959 and 1960. He was a third-team NAIA All-America in 1960, despite missing much of the season with injuries. His 100-yard kickoff return that year is still a school record. He won all-conference honors in baseball in 1961. Bass signed with the San Diego Chargers after leaving Greenville. He was traded to Buffalo where he played five years before being traded to Houston for his final two seasons. As a rookie for the Bills, he caught 50 passes in 1961 and was named the team MVP. He was a member of Buffalo’s AFL championship teams in 1964 and 1965. The Wilson native studied for the ministry following his football career.
The 5-8 product of West Charlotte High School, averaged 29.4 points a game in his career at Catawba College. Dwight holds Catawba records for most career points as well as for most points in a game (58) and highest single season scoring average (32.1). He is the third of three highly talented Black stars of his era in the Carolinas Conference that included Henry Logan and Gene Littles. Dwight toured for a time as a star for the Harlem Globetrotters, then became a teacher in Fayetteville. He now lives in Charlotte.
This Asheville native is the architect of the most successful period in the history of University of North Carolina baseball. He has led the Tar Heels to six College World Series trips where UNC twice finished as the runner-up. In his 18 years at Carolina, his teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 15 times. He was Baseball America’s Coach of the Year in 2008 and he was Atlantic Region Coach of the Year three seasons in a row. Including his years at North Carolina Wesleyan (1983-98), Fox has compiled a record of 1336-487-5.
The Roseboro native was listed as a 2011 ACC Women’s Basketball Legend, and for good cause. She was the ACC Rookie of the Year in 1995 and a two-time All-ACC selection as well as a Kodak All-American. As an N.C. State star, she became the MVP of the NCAA Eastern Regional in 1998 and a member of the All-NCAA Final Four team the same year. In addition to having her jersey retired at State, she also holds the school’s Kennett Award as the top female student-athlete for 1998 and remains No. 1 in freshman scoring for the Wolfpack. She also is third on the school’s all-time scoring percentage list and fourth in both career rebounds and career points scored with 2,042. She played 12 seasons in the WNBA and 14 years overseas, winning 5 league championships abroad. Since 1999, she has competed in the WNBA for the Cleveland Rockers, the Washington Mystics and the Chicago Sky and has played professionally in both the ABL and in Europe. Chasity was a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team and was one of the conference’s top 50 all-time athletes overall. She was inducted into the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
A native of eastern North Carolina, Sutton founded ISP Sports in Winston-Salem after having served his alma mater, Wake Forest University in athletics. He grew ISP into the pre-eminent college media and sports marketing company in America. When IMG acquired ISP in 2010, Sutton became chairman and president of IMG College, leading its growth into a nearly billion dollar enterprise employing over 1,000 people in four national market leading businesses with more than 200 university partners nationwide. He serves as trustee for Wake Forest University, the USOC, Ronald Reagan Presidential, Naismith Basketball and National Football foundations.
Sportswriter/columnist with Raleigh Times and/or News & Observer for almost 40 years. Covered 35 ACC basketball tournaments and 24 NCAA Final Fours; 22 college football bowl games; the 1996 Olympics; 6 years of NFL playoffs; 4 years of NHL playoffs; and one College World Series. Member of Heisman Trophy selection panel since 1974.U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame (1999) and N.C. sportswriter of the year three times. Angier native and attended East Carolina.
A key player on two of Duke’s Final Four teams of the 1960s, Vacendak “could play in any era for any team,” according to his coach, Vic Bubas. During the 1965-66 season, he averaged 13.3 points a game on a Blue Devil team that included Bob Verga, Jack Marin and Mike Lewis. Vacendak became a second-team All-ACC pick that year, but when he led Duke to the ACC Tournament title and took MVP honors, he was voted ACC Player of the Year. He played three seasons in the American Basketball Association and then began a varied career that included serving as assistant athletic director at Duke and basketball coach at Winthrop University. For the last several years, Vacendak has been the director of North Carolina Beautiful.
This native of Norlina has established herself as a mainstay on the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team and is an Olympic gold medalist in the sport. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois where she received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and was a member of the school’s national championship wheelchair basketball team. She now is the head coach of the team at Illinois where she is working on her doctorate in Adapted Physical Educations. Among her major court achievements are: 2009 national championship and tournament MVP; gold medalist in the Paralympic Games in Beijing, China; first place in the 2008 North American Cup; first place in the 2008 Joseph F. Lyttle World Basketball Challenge’ tournament MVP at the Osaka Cup, Osaka, Japan; gold medalist in the 2007 Parapan American Games; silver medalist in both the IWBF Gold Cup Games in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and IWBF Gold Cup in Kitakyushu, Japan; gold medalist at the 2003 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece; and the Woman’s National Championship Tournament MVP in 2003.
Save the Date: The 54th annual banquet of the NC Sports Hall of Fame will be held Friday, May 5, 2017. The NCSHOF will welcome and induct its newest members on this date. More information will be coming later to this site.
The NC Sports Hall of Fame held its annual Salute to Champions Gala and Golf Classic on October 16th and 17th at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Click on the below link for images of the Gala and Golf events: Strawbridge Photography Pictures of Gala and Golf Classic
Save these dates for the 2017 Salute to Champions Gala and Golf Classic: October 15 and 16, 2017
A record audience of more than 700 was on hand May 6 at the Raleigh Convention Center as the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame welcomed its nine newest members. Those inducted during the Hall’s 53rd annual banquet were, listed alphabetically, Rod Brind’Amour, Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, David Fox, James “Rabbit” Fulghum, Antawn Jamison, Haywood Jeffires, Freddy Johnson, Ray Price, and Susan Yow.
“The achievements of this year’s class of inductees enrich North Carolina’s remarkable sports heritage, and they certainly earned the honor of joining the 319 men and women who were previously enshrined,” said Fredrick Reese, president of the Hall. “This was a special evening not only for the inductees but for their families, friends and the hundreds of others who enjoyed the festivities.”
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963. The permanent exhibit, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, is located on the third floor of the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh and features significant artifacts and memorabilia donated by inductees. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
A brief biography of each 2016 inductee follows:
Rod Brind’Amour came to the Carolina Hurricanes from the Philadelphia Flyers in 2000 and has been one of the most important figures in the team’s history. He was named team captain prior to the 2005-06 season and was the key figure in the team’s 2006 Stanley Cup victory. He retired after a 21-year playing career and has remained a member of the Hurricanes’ organization.
Eric “Sleepy” Floyd was a high school star at Gastonia’s Hunter Huss High School and then went on to win All-America honors at Georgetown University. His NBA career featured one of the greatest playoff performances in league history.
David Fox is a native of Raleigh who became a swimming star at N.C. State. He was more than just a standout for the Wolfpack. He developed into one of the premier swimmers in the world — breaking records, winning national titles and capturing an Olympic gold medal.
James “Rabbit” Fulghum is best known for winning state baseball championships in four decades at Greene Central High School. The Rock Ridge native was a four-year starter at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) and then became one of the most successful high school coaches in the state.
Antawn Jamison was the unanimous college Player of the Year as a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill. Jamison, who starred at Providence High School in Charlotte, was only the third player in ACC history to be named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP, an NCAA regional MVP and National Player of the Year in the same season.
Haywood Jeffires was a two-sport star at Page High School in Greensboro. In fact, he had opportunities to play either football or basketball on the collegiate level. He accepted a football scholarship at N.C. State and went on to a 10-year pro football career. He was first-round draft choice of the Houston Oilers in 1987. Chosen to play in the Pro Bowl three consecutive years (1991-1993).
Freddy Johnson has turned Greensboro Day School into a state and national high school basketball powerhouse. He also started an AAU basketball program for kids in Greensboro. The program gives youngsters an organized setting so they can improve their skills and have travel opportunities during the summer.
Ray Price (deceased) was a prominent figure in motorcycle drag racing for more than 50 years. The Johnston County native was successful as a racer, business owner, and designer. In addition, his promotion of the sport has been credited with its continued growth.
Susan Yow is one of three sisters, all of whom made their careers in college athletics. She was an All-America at N.C. State and also played at Elon College (now Elon University). The Gibsonville native was a standout basketball player and has been just as successful as a coach. She currently is head women’s basketball coach at Queens University of Charlotte.
North Carolina, home to more than 120 colleges and universities, 30 professional sports teams and countless championship-winning high schools, can now boast a hearty tribute to its rich sports history. More than just a collection of names and statistics, Nothing Finer is filled with extended profiles and delightful stories of the people who make the history of sports in North Carolina so fascinating.
An account as far-reaching and well researched as this is hard to come by — and is the product of the 300+ years of sports writing experience its contributors collectively bring to the table.
Lovers of North Carolina — or of sports in general will find Nothing Finer an enjoyable and exceptional read, written by those who know the state’s sports history personally and passionately.
In the words of Nat Walker, two-time NC Sports Hall of Fame board president, “Nothing Finer, North Carolina’s Sports History and the People Who Made It is a tour de force that brings alive the sports and the amateur and professional stars who thrilled and captivated us through the decades.”
North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame members and affiliates will receive a 20 percent discount when purchasing the book online at our website, www.cap-press.com, using discount code “NCSHOF”. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book goes to support the Hall.