NATCHITOCHES – Opening the doors to the spectacular Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum provides an unprecedented highlight for the annual Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration June 27-29 that honors an 11-member 2013 class of state sports greats.
The Grand Opening for the new $23 million museum is Friday night, June 28, the first time anyone will see the sensational exhibits showcasing Louisiana’s remarkable sports history and culture and featuring the Hall of Fame’s 355 previously-enshrined members plus the 2013 inductees. Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a driving force behind the museum’s completion, will welcome patrons and honored guests at the event.
The inductees will be enshrined Saturday night, June 29, at the Natchitoches Events Center during the 2013 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony. The event is the culmination of the Induction Celebration beginning Thursday evening, June 27, with the Kickoff Reception and including the Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Scramble at Oak Wing Golf Course in Alexandria teeing off at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 28.
Available now are sponsorship opportunities that include ticket packages, golf entries, congratulatory advertisements and other benefits for the 2013 Induction Celebration. Individual tickets to the museum Grand Opening and the Induction Dinner and Ceremony will go on sale May 13 through secure online transactions at LaSportsHall.com or by calling the Hall of Fame Foundation office at 318-238-4255.
The Induction Celebration schedule was announced by the parent organization of the Hall, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and the Hall of Fame Foundation, led by CEO/President Lisa Babin, in conjunction with the Louisiana State Museum system.
Basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal, women’s tennis great Chanda Rubin and eight-time NFL Pro Bowl selection Kevin Mawae headline a sparkling 2013 induction class.
LSU football passing king Tommy Hodson and nationally-acclaimed jockey Ronald Ardoin, a Carencro native, are joined in the 2013 class by Grambling basketball legend James Jones, a Tallulah native who made the all-time team of the American Basketball Association.
Jonesville native Ervin Johnson, whose unlikely 13-year NBA career was launched at a grocery store and took root at the University of New Orleans, is the third pro basketball standout in the group. Two other inductees have amateur basketball ties: the late Ed “Skeets” Tuohy, who had a career 84.5 winning percentage as coach at New Orleans’ Newman High, and the late Anna Koll, a remarkable all-around athlete from New Orleans in the 1920s and 1930s.
O’Neal became a national star during his three seasons at LSU. Rubin, a Lafayette native, broke onto the world tennis stage as a teenager in 1992. Mawae played high school football at Leesville and blossomed into a second-round NFL Draft choice during 1990-93 at LSU.
Also honored with enshrinement will be New Orleans businessman and sportsman Milton Retif, recipient of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award. Pulitzer Prize-winning outdoors writer Bob Marshall, a veteran of four decades with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, will go into the Hall as the 2013 winner of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
The Kickoff Reception will again be hosted at The Landing Restaurant on Front Street in Natchitoches beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 27. The golf tournament at Oak Wing moves up to a 10 a.m. tee time this year to allow for the Grand Opening at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum starting at 7:30 on Friday, June 28.
The first-ever Hall of Fame Kids’ Autograph Session is set for 10-11 a.m. Saturday morning, June 29, at Prather Coliseum on the Northwestern State campus in Natchitoches. It will be free for children 5-18.
The Hall of Fame Induction Reception and Silent Auction begins that evening at 5 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center with the Dinner and Ceremony starting promptly at 6.
The 2013 athletes and coaching inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members to 302 competitors honored since the first induction class – baseball’s Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley – were enshrined in 1959 after their election a year earlier.
Additionally, 52 journalists have previously received the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, along with 11 previous Dave Dixon Award winners. This year’s 11 inductees will bring the total Hall of Fame membership to 364 in its 55 years of existence.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame includes nine members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, six of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, six
Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 16 Pro Football Hall of Fame members, seven Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame enshrines, 18 Olympic medalists (10 gold medal winners), 34 College Football Hall of Fame members, five National High School Hall of Fame enshrinees, jockeys with a combined 12 Triple Crown victories, six world boxing champions, four College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, three NBA Finals MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs.
A complete membership list and biographical information on current members is available at LaSportsHall.com/Inductees, with a steady stream of info available at Facebook.com/LaSportsHall and Twitter.com/LaSportsHall.
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
2013 Induction Celebration
Thursday, June 27 – Saturday, June 29
Thursday, June 27
5-8 p.m. – Kickoff Reception, The Landing Restaurant. Limited to first
200 guests. No charge.
Friday, June 28
9 a.m. – Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament check-in and
warm-up, Oak Wing Golf Club in Alexandria. $150 per player.
10 a.m. introductions and tee time, Oak Wing Golf Club
7:30 p.m. – Grand Opening, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum -A
ticketed event ($125 per person)
Saturday, June 29
10-11 a.m. – Kids Autograph Session, NSU Prather Coliseum – Autographs
for children 5-18 (high school students and under). Free admission.
5 p.m. – Reception/Silent Auction, Natchitoches Events Center. A
ticketed event ($75)
6 p.m. – Induction Dinner and Ceremony, Natchitoches Events Center.
Reception ticket required.
For purchases/golf entries/sponsorships/congratulatory advertising
and more info call 318-238-4255
or go online at www.LaSportsHall.com