On Sunday evening, May 3, the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame will welcome the five 2009 Inductees into membership at their annual Time-Warner Banquet at the Burney Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington campus.
The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame has announced this year’s 2009 Inductee Ceremony host is Woody Durham, “The Voice of the Tar Heels.” Woody L. Durham is the veteran and legendary play-by-play radio announcer for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill football and basketball teams. Past hosts of the Greater Wilmington Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony include Lee Corso, Bill Curry and Don Shea.
“This is our second year having the event at the Burney Center and it promises to be one of the best.” says GWSHOF Chairman Jon Rosborough. “Video bios of the inductees and the event itself are televised and projected on two giant screens. We are proud and thrilled to have Woody Durham as our host this year…it will be a great evening for sports fans.”
Woody Durham, an iconic broadcast sports figure, graduated from UNC in 1963 with a Bachelors degree in Radio, Television and Motion Pictures. Durham has been the football and basketball sportscaster for the North Carolina “Tar Heels” and has been calling games in Kenan Stadium, Carmichael Auditorium, the Smith Center and sports venues around the country and the world ever since 1971.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of the induction banquet for the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame.” says Durham. “I remember many of the famous sports figures to come out of the area including Coach Leon Brogden, Sonny Jurgensen, Roman Gabriel and Michael Jordan among others. I’m honored to be asked to participate in this year’s festivities.”
This fourth annual Banquet and Induction Ceremony will begin at 5:00 pm with a reception and a silent auction sponsored by Atlantic Packaging Corporation. This year’s Silent Auction items are impressive, including VIP tickets to sit in the Broadcast Booth with Woody Durham during a Carolina-Duke Football Game and a Belize Vacation. Credit Cards are accepted for Silent Auction items. At 6:30 pm, as many as 600 family members, supporters, past inductees and guests will sit down to the banquet before they enjoy the induction ceremony honoring this year’s inductees.
The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame 2009 Class of Inductees are E.A. “Spike” Corbin, Chester McGlockton, George Rountree,III, Brian M. Rowsom and Helen Grey Smith.
E.A “Spike” Corbin (1913-2003) began his coaching career at Williston, which was then Wilmington’s black high school. In 1956-57, Spike led Williston to state championships in football, baseball and basketball. After 20 years there, he went to Hoggard where the baseball field still bears his name.
He went on to become Athletic Director for New Hanover County and is credited with contributing to the careers of such notable athletes as Harlem Globetrotter, Meadowlark Lemon, tennis legend, Althea Gibson and baseball major leaguers Sam Bowen and Ron Musselman.
Chester McGlockton, former NFL Pro and Clemson All-ACC defensive tackle hails from Whiteville, NC. The only freshman on Clemson’s 1989 starting team, he led the ACC in sacks. He was a starter on Clemson’s 1990 team that finished with a top 10 ranking and led the nation in total defense and rushing defense.
McGlockton was a first round draft pick for the Oakland Raiders in 1992 with whom he played six seasons and made four Pro Bowl appearances. He also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos and the New York Jets.
George Rountree, III, prominent Wilmington attorney, civic leader and philanthropist, was born in Wilmington. Rountree went on to the University of Arizona on a combined Athletic-Academic Scholarship and played every game for the Wildcats Basketball team from his sophomore through senior year. The 6’2” forward and co-captain was All-Conference in 1952-53 and helped lead the Wildcats to their Border Conference Co-Championship.
He was the Cadet Colonel in ROTC and graduated with honors before going on the UA College of Law. He graduated in 1960 and moved back to Wilmington to join his father’s law practice.
His love and support of athletics has continued his whole life dedicating time, energy and money to both his Alma Mater and numerous North Carolina student-athletes and educational institutions. One of the earliest members of the Sea Hawk Club, he has supported their Athletic Department generously and the UNC-W Basketball Locker Room bears his name.
Brian M. Rowsom, the imposing 6’10” forward from UNC-W was a 1987 second round draft pick for the Indiana Pacers. He played 3 seasons in the NBA for the Pacers and the Charlotte Hornets. With the Hornets, he scored his NBA career high of 20 points against the San Antonio Spurs. Afterwards, he played internationally in Israel, Japan and England. He has coached in the Ontario Pro Basketball Association and the American Basketball Association, and was named ABA Coach of the Year in 2005.
Helen Grey Smith is a name synonymous with golf throughout North Carolina. She was a star athlete at Southern Pines High School, lettering in Varsity basketball and tennis before attending and excelling in college athletics at Wake Forest.
Helen and her husband, William G. Smith, a prominent trial lawyer and legislator moved to Wilmington, NC where she dominated the local golf scene in the 60’s and 70’s. Helen won 47 matches in a row and three of the four New Hanover County Women’s Amateur Golf Tournaments she entered; and has been good enough to play in the U.S. Open. The LPGA awarded Helen G. Smith lifetime member status in 2005 and in 2006; she was nominated for its Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame.
The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame was formed in 2006 to honor those persons, who by their excellence in the world of sports, have brought recognition and esteem to themselves and the Greater Wilmington area. Past inductees included the 2006 Inaugural Class of Leon Brogden, Roman Gabriel, Wayne Jackson, Sonny Jurgensen and Meadowlark Lemon and the 2007 class of Bill Brooks, Jap Davis, Tommy Green, Althea Gibson, and Jack Holley. And in 2008, the inductees were Buck Hardee, Clyde Simmons, Cathy Johnston Forbes, Hoss Ellington, and Wray Carlton.
The proceeds from this year’s event will support the Bill Dooley Scholarship program which benefits student athletes. Five scholarships, valued at $1500 each, will be awarded to high school seniors, selected by each of the five Inductees.
“One of the main objectives of the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame is to create public awareness of the areas’ rich sports history and heritage.” says Rosborough.
The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science in Wilmington will house the pictures, plaques of recognition, signed sports memorabilia, and other sport-related artifacts, donated to the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame. The exhibit opening is planned for late April, 2009.
For more information on the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame, including membership in the Hall of Fame Club and how to obtain tickets to this year’s event or be part of the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament at Echo Farms, call 910-795-1224 or go to www.gwshof.com Tickets are also available at the Wilmington Family YMCA.
Photos of Woody Durham and inductees are available. Please call or email Janet Gaino at contact info above.