Most members of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame earn their induction because of their excellence in a single sport.
There are some, although it is fairly unusual, who achieve greatness in two sports. But to be a champion in three distinctly different disciplines? That is rare indeed.
But Mindy Ballou Fitzpatrick, a 2018 inductee to the NCSHOF who grew up in Morehead City and currently resides there, completed a rare trifecta during the summer of 2018.
Her credentials for induction to the Hall are well known. She is the only athlete to be a high school and college all-American in basketball and then a national surfing champion. Mindy lettered in volleyball, track and field and basketball during her athletic career at West Carteret High School, earning all-conference honors four times each in volleyball and basketball while earning all-state and all-American honors in basketball. She was in the inaugural class of the West Carteret High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the only athlete to have her jersey retired.
She went on to star in college basketball at South Carolina from 1982-86, where she was a three-time all-American and scored over 1,000 points for her career while setting a number of school assist marks that still stand.
After graduating from South Carolina with a degree in exercise science, Mindy moved back to the beach and began pursuing a different sport—competitive surfing. She won the 1994 Women’s Amateur National Championship in Sebastian Island, FL, as well as several Eastern Surfing Association championships.
But here is the third championship for this talented performer, and it came on the water as well. She was part of the boat that captured top honors in the 21st annual Keli Wagner Lady Angler (KWLA) Blue Martin Tournament. The boat Hit-N-Run topped 160 other boats in the one-day billfish release competition, earning a whopping $66,406 in the process.
Captain David Fields of the Hit-N-Run put Mindy on a blue marlin just over an hour into the start of the fishing competition, and she tallied a release after a 77-minute fight. That proved to be part of the 525 points the team accrued en route to the title.
Mindy was also one of the ’18 inductees who participated in the panel discussion on the Saturday morning after the 2018 induction ceremonies as part of the NCSHOF Student-Athlete Program seminar at the North Carolina Museum of History.