Tuesday September 18, 2012
MACON, GA – On Saturday, February 23, 2013 the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame will enshrine Buck Belue, Skip Caray, Horace Grant, J.B. Hawkins, Davis Love III, Heather Stepp McCormick, and Reggie Wilkes as the newest members of the Hall of Fame. These outstanding athletes, coaches, and contributors to sport were selected for induction by the GSHF Honors Court who met in Macon on Tuesday.
The seven members of the 2013 class were chosen from a starting pool of 208 nominees. These individuals represent the very best that Georgia has to offer in athletics, coaching, and broadcasting. “Our state is very fortunate to be blessed with incredibly talented sportsmen and women”, said GSHF Managing Director Ben Sapp. “Our selection committees have a very difficult job narrowing the field to only seven inductees each year.”
Buck Belue was among Georgia’s best high school athletes while at Valdosta High School. He was named to the Parade All-American Football Team in 1977 and led the Wildcats to a State Baseball Championship. He went on to play both football and baseball at the University of Georgia where he quarterbacked the football team to the 1980 National Championship. In 1982, he was named the SEC Athlete of the Year.
Skip Caray began calling Atlanta Braves games in 1976 joining Ernie Johnson and Pete Van Wieren to form one of the most popular and most respected broadcast teams of all time. In addition to his work with the Braves, Caray also called NBA basketball games and NFL football contests. Caray was active in the community making significant contributions to children’s health care organizations.
Horace Grant was born in Augusta and attended Hancock Central High School where he and his twin brother Harvey were star basketball players. Horace went on to Clemson University where he was named the ACC Basketball Player of the Year in 1987. He was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the 10th overall pick in the 1987 NBA draft. While with the Bulls, he played a key role on three NBA World Championship teams and later won another championship with the Los Angeles Lakers.
J.B. Hawkins began his career in 1948 coaching the Bowdoin High School basketball team. He moved to Crawford County High School in 1955 and remained there until his retirement in 1980. During his sterling career, he won 1,073 games and had only three losing seasons. His team won the 1969 State Basketball Championship, and he was named the State Coach of the Year 7 times.
Davis Love III is a native of Brunswick who has played professional golf for 27 years. He has won 34 professional tournaments including 20 on the PGA tour. Career highlights include winning the 1997 PGA Championship as well as the 1992 and 2003 Players Championships. He was runner up at The Masters in both 1995 and 1999, and he is serving as the captain of the 2012 United States Ryder Cup team.
Heather Stepp McCormick is one of the best gymnasts to have competed with the University of Georgia’s Gym Dogs. After overcoming what might have been a career ending injury, she went on to win back to back NCAA Vault Championships while leading the Gym Dogs to the 1993 NCAA Team Championship. During her career, she scored a perfect 10 in each of gymnastics’ four events. She was honored with the Honda Inspiration Award in 1992.
Reggie Wilkes attended Atlanta’s Southwest High School where he led the football team to the 1973 State Championship and captained a defense that allowed only 126 yards rushing for the entire season. He went on to be a four year letterman at defensive end for Georgia Tech and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1978. He was a linebacker on the Eagles 1980 NFC Championship team and played in Super Bowl XV. Wilkes finished his career with his hometown Atlanta Falcons.