NORFOLK, VA —Alonzo Mourning, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist, seven time NBA All-Star and a member of the 2006 NBA champion Miami Heat, and five athletes from the peninsula Terry Kirby, Lisa Rice, Chris Slade, Ron Springs, and Walt "Fuzzy" Ward headline the list of 2011 inductees into the Hampton Roads African American Sports Hall of Fame. The class will be feted on November 5, 2011 at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth, VA.
Also joining Mourning, Kirby, Rice, Slade, Springs, and Ward in the Fifteenth Anniversary Class of inductees are Darren Perry, who elevated the defensive back position with his play in college and the pros; Morris Smith, an outstanding high school coach and trainer of champions in track and field; James Church, a successful athlete and business man who has a passion for mentoring and coaching young men and women in the Hampton Roads region; Ken Whitley, one of the most notable sports figures in the region who, as a player, teacher and coach, made a positive impact upon the lives of many African American students and athletes; the late William "Shorty" Gray, one of the leaders of the Booker T. of Norfolk 1956 VIA State Championship football team and an All-CIAA running back at Maryland State College; William Lassiter, a nationally recognized basketball coach and ambassador; and Argyle "A.B." Whitfield, a highly accomplished scholastic athlete at Norcom High School who earned All-CIAA honors in football, wrestling, and track and field at Elizabeth City State University.
Mourning, now an executive with the Miami Heat, led his basketball team to 51 straight victories and a Virginia State AAA championship as a junior in 1987 at Chesapeake's Indian River High School. He was the first player to be named national high school player of the year simultaneously by Gatorade, Naismith, Parade, and USA Today. He was the MVP of the Mc Donald's All- American game and the center on the Boo Williams AAU team's to win it first AAU national championship.
At Georgetown University Mourning continued to refine his game under the tutelage of John Thompson. He led the nation in blocked shots his freshman year and was named an All-American his senior year. In 1992, Mourning became the second overall selection in the 1992 NBA Draft by the then Charlotte Hornets. He was named to the league's All-Rookie First Team during the 1992-1993 season averaging 21.0 pts, 0.3 rebounds, and 3.47 blocks. Mourning also posted the highest scoring average of any rookie in Hornets' history and shattered Charlotte's blocked-shots records, becoming the Hornets' all-time career leader in the 49th game of the season.
After three years in Charlotte, Mourning was traded to Miami Heat in 1995, where he played for the Heat for the next seven seasons. Mourning was the centerpiece of the Pat Riley-coached Heat, averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, and dominating the paint with his intimidating shot-blocking. In 1999 he earned the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. After the 2000 season, Mourning repeated as the NBA Defensive player of the Year and was named to the All-NBA First Team. Mourning also earned a gold medal as a member of the 2000 USA Olympic basketball team. Alonzo Mourning is number four on the Virginian-Pilot's list of "50 Greatest Athletes of South Hampton Roads."
Terry Kirby was one of the most highly touted football players in the nation during his high school playing days at Tabb High School in York County. A bruising running back with phenomenal stamina, Kirby led Tabb to a VHSL Group AA State Championship in 1987. In 1989, he was selected to Parade 's All-America Team. He also was selected as the National Football Player of the Year.
By the time Kirby graduated high school he held numerous VHSL football records. Many have been broken but he remains to this day in the top ten in many categories. Those categories include: career scoring, rushing yards and touchdowns; single season scoring, rushing yards and touchdown. His records for most career attempts, 100-yard games and the streak of 26 consecutive games rushing 100-yards still stands today. At the University of Virginia, Kirby rushed for a school record 3,348 career yards. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry and scored 24 touchdowns. Kirby had 14 100-yard rushing games during his career. In 1992 Kirby had his best season, rushing for 1,130 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. He was an All-ACC selection in 1990, 1991 and 1992. He was named to the ACC's All-Academic team his senior season. Kirby has had his jersey (42) retired by Virginia.
Drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1993, He played ten NFL seasons: Miami (3), San Francisco (3), Cleveland (1), and Oakland (3). Kirby scored 43 touchdowns and rushed for 2,875 yards, and played on the 2002 Raiders' Super Bowl squad. Kirby was inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame in 2007.
Lisa Rice will be remembered in the annals of Hampton Roads sports history as one of the most prolific basketball players in the south Atlantic region. Her legendary ball handling skills allowed her to set records at both the high school and collegiate levels at Gloucester High School and Norfolk State University, respectively. Combining quickness and dribbling skills with an uncanny ability to see the open player, Rice raised the level of play around her. A tenacious defender, her ability to pressure the ball handler created steals and turnovers that altered games. Rice led Gloucester High School to two York River District Championships finals appearances in 1986 and 1987 and to two ensuing York River District Championships in 1989 and 1990. She was a four-time member of the All-York River and All-Region first teams and a selectee to the 1989 and 1990 All-State first teams. Rice also was selected by the Daily Press as the 1989 "female Player of the Year". In 1990, she was named Gloucester High School Female Athlete of the year.
She is Norfolk State University's all-time career assists leader with 1,067. She finished her NSU career as the all-time leader in assists in NCAA Division II. Rice also shares NSU's single game assist record of 20 set in 1995. She holds the CIAA Tournament assist record (43) that was set in 1993. Rice led NSU to three consecutive CIAA Championships in 1992, 1993, and 1994, and to four NCAA Division II Tournaments. Under Rice's leadership, NSU advanced to the national quarterfinals in 1993 and 1994. Rice was named the CIAA Player of the Year in 1995. She captured the CIAA Tournament's MVP Award in 1992, 1993, and 1995. Rice was a four-time All-CIAA selection, a two-time Black College All-American, and a two-time Kodak Division II All- American honorable mention.
Among the other awards/honors earned by Rice were the following: Portsmouth Sports Club "Player of the Year" (1995); and Peninsula Sports Club "Most Outstanding Female Athlete in a Virginia College" (1995).
Rice also has been inducted into the following halls of fame: CIAA (1999); Gloucester High School (2005); and Norfolk State University (2009).
Chris Slade, along with his cousin Terry Kirby, led Tabb High School in York County to the 1987 VHSL Group AA State Football Championship. He was a standout lineman and set a school record with 47 sacks.
Slade established himself as one of the greatest pass rushers in University of Virginia and Atlantic Coast Conference history. A four- year starter at defensive end, he helped Virginia win its first ACC championship in1989 and played on three bowl teams at UVA. He was the first Cavalier football player to earn first-team All-American honors for two seasons (1991 and 1992). He set Virginia and ACC career records for quarterback sacks. sacks with 40, including 31 unassisted. Slade was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 by Football News. Slade finished fifth on UVA's list for career tackles with 299. He was an All-ACC selection in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Slade has had his jersey (85) retired by Virginia. He was selected in the second round of the 1993 NFL draft by the New England Patriots. Slade helped the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 and played in the 1997 NFL Pro Bowl.
He played nine years in the NFL. Nearly seven years after his retirement, Slade stands sixth on the New England Patriots' all-time sack list.
Slade retired in 2001 after spending his final season with the Carolina Panthers. Slade always will be remembered for his mindset. Getting to the quarterback was his goal on every play.
Chris Slade was named to the Virginia High School Hall of Fame in 2007.
Ronald Springs is a 2011 Posthumous Inductee into the HRAASHF. Springs was a two sport athlete who excelled in football and track at Williamsburg's Lafayette High School. He led Lafayette to the Group AAA state championship game in the school's first year in 1973. As a senior, Springs gained national attention after rushing for 1875 yards and 25 touchdowns. As a track star, he was one of the Commonwealth of Virginia's leading sprinters.
Springs was a natural leader and a gregarious presence in locker rooms. After graduating from Lafayette in 1975, Springs attended Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. He rushed for 2,047 yards, which still remains a school record. The following year, he was recruited by Coach Woody Hayes of Ohio State. During the 1977 season, Ron led the Buckeyes in both rushing (1,166 yards) and receiving (16 catches for 90 yards). He was elected co-captain in 1978.