Grambling Legends to induct 2022 class next weekend

By T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT, Journal Sports

Seven-time NBA All-Star and Basketball Hall of Fame member Willis Reed. National League batting champion and MLB All-Star Ralph Garr. Super Bowl-winning quarterback Doug Williams, the first Black signal caller to accomplish that. James “Shack” Harris, the first Black to become a regular starting QB in the NFL.

They are among the more prominent members of the Grambling Sports Legends Hall of Fame. There is no shortage of great names in national and state sports circles who have brought credit to Grambling.

Now, the 150-plus member Legends Hall of Fame is set to add 11 more names to its honor roll.

The Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame Committee has announced its selection of outstanding individuals to be inducted into its 14th class.

Officially becoming GSU Legends in the Class of 2022 will be Clemente Gordon, Andrew Jackson, Robert Taylor and Rodney Tureaud representing the sport of football; Shiakeia Carter, Joseph Jones and Joseph Simpson representing basketball; Dr.  James Hammond and Juan Watkins representing baseball; and Yolande Small representing track and field. 

Former Director of the Grambling State University World Famed Marching Band Conrad Hutchinson, Jr., will be inducted posthumously in the contributor category along with the Grambling State University Marching Band.

Special recognition will also be given to individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to college sports at Grambling State University, especially during the academic year of 2021-22.

The 2022 Hall of Fame induction banquet will be held next Saturday night, July 9, at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center on the Grambling State University campus.

This year’s festivities, the first held in person since 2019, will begin with a 4:30 p.m. press conference next Friday at the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on the GSU campus. A “meet and greet” with the area’s current and former inductees along with the general public begins at 5 p.m. in the Doris Robinson Hall of the museum.

Gordon was the Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 1989, leading the Tigers to the league titles, before being drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 11th round of the 1990 NFL Draft.

He was also drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 51st round of the 1990 MLB June Amateur Draft.

Gordon went to play Arena League from 1991 to 2000 during his career with the Cincinnati Rockers, Miami Hooters, Connecticut Coyotes, Charlotte Rage, Florida Bobcats and Orlando Thunder. Gordon threw for 4,947 yards in his pro career, completing 419 of 813 passes with 79 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He also ran for 99 yards in 29 attempts with five rushing touchdowns.

Taylor was a two-time All-Southwestern Athletic Conference first-team linebacker in 2000-01, and was also given first team I-AA All-American honors by the American Football Coaches Association in 2001.

Tureaud led all Grambling rushers in 1972 with 1,137 yards, becoming the first GSU 1,000-yard rusher in seven seasons, and was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year.

Carter ranks second in total steals for the Lady Tigers’ basketball program with 469, and held the top mark until 2019 when it was taken by Shaklyla Hill.

After his hoops career at GSU, Jones was the seventh pick in the sixth round of the 1976 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks.

Simpson averaged 20.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game his senior season for the GSU basketball team in 1973.

Watkins was a hard-hitting third baseman for the Diamond Tigers from 1984-87.

Small was part of GSU’s women’s 4×400 Relay Team that holds the school record with a time of 3:30.86.

For more information about the Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame or to secure tickets and purchase congratulatory ads, please contact Dr. Ruby D. Higgins at 318-243-7557 or via email at rubydhiggins@yahoo.com

(This story provided courtesy of the Lincoln Parish Journal)