On Sunday, May 5th, the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame will welcome the 2013 inductees into membership at their annual banquet at the Burney Center on the campus of UNCW. The Reception and Silent Auction will begin at 5:00 pm followed by the induction ceremony and dinner at 6:30 pm. The annual golf tournament will be held Saturday, May 4th.
The GWSHOF was formed in 2006 in order to honor those who have brought recognition to the Wilmington area and themselves, by their excellence in the sports world. Past inductees include Leon Brogden, Roman Gabriel, Wayne Jackson, Sonny Jurgensen and Meadowlark Lemon (2006 Class); Bill Brooks, Jap Davis, Tommy Green, Althea Gibson and Jack Holley (2007 Class); Buck Hardee, Clyde Simmons, Cathy Johnston Forbes, Hoss Ellington and Wray Carlton (2008 Class); E. A. “Spike” Corbin, Chester McGlockton, George Rountree III, Brian M. Rowsom, and Helen Grey Smith (2009 Class), Ben Bourgeois, Terry Holland, Joe Miller and Sherriedale Morgan (posthumously) (2010 Class), Sheila Boles, Bill Dooley, David Esposito and Wilver Dornel Stargell “Pops” (posthumously) (2011 Class).
Last year’s class of 2012 included Dr. James Dineen, M.D., Isaac B. (Ike) Grainger (posthumously),
Christopher Trot Nixon and Lendward (Lenny) Simpson.
The 2013 slate of honorees are as follows:
Kenny graduated from New Hanover High School class of 1982. During high school he was All/State Basketball and Football. His senior year, his basketball team finished the year 26-1
Kenny graduated from Old Dominion University in 1986 with a B of A in Secondary Education. In 1985 and 1986 he made First Team All – SunBelt Conference and in 1986 was voted Sunbelt Player of the Year. He was also voted SunBelt Conference All-Time Leader in Rebounds. In 1985 and 1986 he was All-American Team Member and International Team USA Member. In 1986 he led the NCAA in field goal percentage and in 1991 he was inducted into ODU Sports Hall of Fame.
During his NBA career as a player he played for the Phoenix Suns (1986-1988) the Charlotte Hornets (1989-1995) and the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-1196).
His coaching career led him to the New Jersey Nets (1996-1999), Old Dominion University (2001-2003), New Orleans Hornets (2003-2009) and the Atlanta Hawks (2010-2012).
During Kenny’s career he has been honored numerous times….in 1992 his #44 jersey at ODU was retired to the Hall of Fame. He was on the SunBelt Conference All-Decade, Team. In 2004 the Kenny Gattison Court was named for him at New Hanover High School. In 2008 he was the Assistant Coach for the All-Star Game Western Conference and in 2009 the Assistant Coach of Team USA.
Kenny currently is the President and Managing Partner of The Gattison Group; Strategic Positioning and Management Consultants.
THELL OVERMAN (Posthumously)
Thell, a legendary coach for 42 years (U. S. Navy, Warrenton High School, Wallace High School and Wallace Rose Hill High School) attended Brogden High School and graduated from Guilford College in 1938.
His overall high school coaching record in football, basketball and baseball was 1078-233-6, including numerous conference championships. Those stats break down accordingly…Football 278-73-6, Basketball 259-42 and Baseball 541-118.
Wray Carlton, record-breaking back at Duke University, who also starred with the Buffalo Bills and Jimmy Jerome, a UNC standout under Coach Bill Dooley are two of the many Overman coached athletes who received college athletic scholarships.
Thell was recognized by the NCHSAA as one of the top 50 contributors to high school sports in the state and the award for outstanding service in the N. C. High School Athletic Director Association as well as inducted into their Hall of Fame. He was selected to coach in both the East-West All-Star Game (1957) and Shrine Bowl (1958). He received the Good Neighbors award from Duplin County Council for efforts beyond the ordinary in improving inter-racial understanding. Thell was inducted into the Guilford College Sports Hall of Fame and lettered in basketball (4 times including captain 1 year), football twice and track twice. Thell is also in the North Carolina High School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and the Duplin County Hall of Fame for overall contribution to the community.
He served on the NCHSAA Board during the 1950s and 1960s and worked to expand and improve the organization. He also served as president of the N. C. Coaches Association, chaired the committee that formed the NCHSAA High School Athletic Directors Association, served 10 years as chairman of the District II State boys basketball tournament and served 6 years as chairman of the District II State girls basketball tournament.
Thell designed and helped build the American Legion Stadium in 1950. The field is named in his honor. Thell Overman Field. He started the Summer Recreation Program in Wallace and directed the program for more than 15 years. He was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and transportation for the elderly and donated more than 60 books in history to the Bryant Library in Wallace.
He was married to Marjorie (deceased), has two daughters, Etta (deceased) and Ann and is a longtime member of the Wallace United Methodist Church.
MARTIN “GLENN” SASSER
Glenn graduated from Tarboro High School. He was All Conference, All State and played in the Shrine Game in 1960 and played in the East-West Game in 1961. He attended NC State University on a full football scholarship from 1961-1965. During that time, he was All ACC, played in Blue and Gray Game both in 1964. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Jets in 1964.
Glenn, the youngest 4A football coach in NC, was the Head Coach at New Hanover High School and took them to the playoffs. He was the first coach at Laney High School and was undefeated with a 10 & 0 record and Conference Champions at Myer Park High School in Charlotte. He took South Brunswick High School also to the playoffs where they won the title of Conference Champions.
He was the AP N. C. High School Coach of the Year in 1983 and the Charlotte News and Observer Coach of the Year. Glenn started the BB&T Football Jamboree in 1987, which is now recognized as the largest and best in North Carolina.
Glenn has competed in Masters Track in the Shot Put. His titles include National Champion indoor…Landover, MD 2009, Boston, MA 2010….National Champion outdoor…Spokane, WA 2008, Sacramento, CA 2010 and World Champion in Lahti, Finland 2009.
He is married to Mandy House Sasser…they have two sons Trey (wife Susan) and Carey (wife Rene’) and four grandchildren
Maggie graduated from Furman University, Greenville, SC in 1987 with a Business Administration degree.
Maggie has been a Tour Player with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) since 1989…a member of the PGA of America since 2000, a member of the LPGA Teaching Division since 2009 and a licensed Florida Real Estate Broker since 2005.
She was the winner of the LPGA Tour Desert Inn International in 1990, the Sara Lee Classic in 1992 and the Children’s Medical Center Classic in 1994.
Maggie began winning awards as early as 1975 and has continued through 2012. Those awards include Lee J. Greer Award for swimming Lake Waccamaw, Hugh O’Brien Award, Whiteville Optimist Youth Recognition Award, Top High School Magazine Salesperson, Student Council-Treasurer, National Honor Society, 2 year winner Carolinas’ PGA Junior, Carolinas Junior Golfer of the Year, 5 year member Furman University Women’s Golf Team, Winner North Carolina Women’s Amateur, Member of the NCAA runner-up National Championship Team, Individually finished 15th in Nation at NCAA Championship and Assistant Coach of CAA Women’s Golf Champions.
Maggie has lived a life of service….including but not limited to various camp and clinic volunteer positions and fund raising, speaking engagements for various organizations, LPGA Executive Committee, Urban Youth Impact Foundation – Golf Committee – Volunteer and Feed the Kids Program, Virginia Junior Golf Alliance – Golf Committee, NC State Athletics Compliance Focus Group Committee and Jim Fannin Golf Advisory Board.
Maggie is the owner of a lesson based putter fitting busines..Get Fit for Putting, LLC.
She is a volunteer assistant for the UNC-Wilmington Women’s Golf Team. She was a Teaching Professional at the Creek Club, Locust Valley, NY in 2008, Volunteer Assistant Coach for the Virginia Commonwealth Men’s Golf Team in 2009, Volunteer Assistant Coach for the N. C. State Women’s Golf Team in 2010 and Assistant Coach for the N. C. State Women’s Golf Team 2010/2011.
Maggie was the contributing editor to “The Best Putting Instruction Book Ever”.
For more information on the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame, including membership in the Hall of Fame Club and ticket information for this year’s event, go to www.gwshof.com; email address firstname.lastname@example.org or call (910)795-1224