Sports

These 15 will be inducted into the NC Sports Hall of Fame on Friday

Jake May is shown here during his 1932 World Series season with the Chicago Cubs.
Jake May is shown here during his 1932 World Series season with the Chicago Cubs. WENDELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame will add 15 more during its 55th annual induction ceremony on Friday in Raleigh.

Established in 1963, the hall of fame celebrates, commemorates and memorializes excellence and extraordinary achievements in North Carolina athletics.

Six of the incoming 15 members (marked with *) will be inducted posthumously. The 2018 inductees are as follows:

Donna Andrews, golf: Andrews, now a teaching pro in Pinehurst, won seven professional golf events from 1993-96, including an LPGA major in 1994 – the Nabisco Dinah Shore tournament in Rancho Mirage, Calif. During her career, spanning from 1990-2005, she finished three seasons in the top-10 in earnings.

The Lynchburg, Va. native was inducted in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.

Scott Bankhead, baseball, UNC: A Raleigh native and Asheboro resident, the All-American pitching product of UNC spent 10 years in the majors. He claimed 14 wins in 1989, one of his six seasons with the Seattle Mariners.

Hal “Skinny” Brown*, baseball: A native of Greensboro, Brown pitched for six major league teams from 1951-64. During his best season, 1960, he posted a 3.06 ERA and helped the Orioles to a second-place finish in the American League.

Chris Cammack*, baseball, N.C. State: The Fayetteville native is considered one of N.C. State’s best players even a half-century after his time with the Wolfpack. Cammack was a four-season star at third base who earned all-ACC honors all four years and set N.C. State’s single-season batting average record in 1969, at .429. At Fayetteville High, he ran the offense on a state championship basketball team.

Joey Cheek, speed skating: Another Greensboro native, Cheek is a three-time Olympic medalist, claiming gold and silver medals in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and a Bronze in Salt Lake City in 2002. He also co-founded Team Darfur, an international association of athletes devoted to raising awareness of crises related to the War in Darfur, a Sudanese civil conflict that began in 2003.

Wes Chesson, football, Duke: The Edenton native played at Holmes High under former Duke star Jerry McGee, then followed in his footsteps to become a star punter and receiver for the Blue Devils in the 1960s. Chesson was the top receiver in ACC history at the time the Atlanta Falcons drafted him, in 1971.

Laura DuPont*, tennis, UNC: DuPont dominated the junior tennis scene in North Carolina after moving to from Louisville to Charlotte as a teen. She won the pre-NCAA national collegiate title during her time at Carolina, and went on to have a successful career in both singles and doubles on the TWA Tour.

Mindy Ballou Fitzpatrick, basketball, South Carolina: Fitzpatrick was a three-time All-American basketball player at South Carolina from 1983-86, but hoops wasn’t her only sport. The Sea Level (N.C.) community native starred in both volleyball and basketball at West Carteret High, and became a championship surfer after college.

Bill Hayes, football: The Durham native won a combined 195 games over 27 years, beginning in 1976, as head football coach for Winston-Salem State and N.C. A&T State universities, making him the winningest coach in the history of both programs. Prior to that, he became the first black coach in the ACC when he took an assistant role at Wake Forest in 1973. In 2003, Hayes took a job at his alma mater, N.C. Central, as athletic director – a position he also held at Florida A&M and Winston-Salem State.

Jack Holley*, football: The Pender County native led teams to 412 win over his 46 years coaching high school football – a stat that landed him among the top-10 winningest coaches in the country at one point. After a football, basketball and baseball playing career at New Hanover High (Class of 1957), Holley also played three sports at Guilford College, where he is a hall of fame member. He coached at Tabor City, Hallsboro, Wallace-Rose Hill, West Columbus, South Columbus high schools, and Harrells Christian Academy.

Paul Jones*, basketball: Jones, who hailed from Thomasville and attended ECU, coached Kinston High basketball teams to 662 wins, 18 conference titles, four NCHSAA runner -up finishes and a pair of state titles over 38 seasons – from 1957 to 1995. He also coach a state champion baseball team.

Mike Martin, baseball: This spring, the Gastonia native began his 39th year at the helm of the Florida State baseball program. He is the winningest active coach in college baseball and has a chance to become the winningest of all time when the Seminoles travel to Clemson on Saturday.

Frank “Jakie” May*, baseball: Though May was born near Youngsville, he lived most his life in Wendell. The southpaw pitcher posted 72 wins for major league teams from 1917 to 1932. While most people are familiar with Babe Ruth’s renowned called shot in the 1932 World Series, less known is that May struck Ruth out twice during the series, while pitching for the Chicago Cubs.

Joe West, baseball: The Asheville native enters the hall as a sports contributor, as the longest-tenured active major league baseball umpire with more than 40 seasons under his belt. He’s worked six World Series, nine League championships and three All-Star games. He played football at Elon, after attending Rose High in Greenville.

Fred Whitfield, basketball: The Greensboro native was promoted in March to president and vice chairman of the Charlotte Hornets organization, Hornets Sports & Entertainment. Whitfield, who joined the franchise in 2006, has overseen its rebranding from the Bobcats back to the Hornets, and mass renovations to the Spectrum Center in Charlotte. The Campbell grad has also formed charities to provide scholarships and support for disadvantaged youth.

After the ceremony, there will be 351 hall of fame members enshrined at the N.C. Museum of History, located at 5 E. Edenton St., across from the State Capitol.

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