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 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of History, located at 5 East Edenton Street.
Ticket information for the banquet is available at www.ncshof.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.