Deke: La. Hall of Fame should be a destination for everyone!
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jun 25 2012 10:23AM
For the second straight year Bobby Hebert and I were able to go cover the events that took place surrounding the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. From the time the introduction press conference takes place to the annual Golf Tournament at Oak Wing in Alexandria to the induction ceremony, the Hall of Fame and its events should be on everyone’s list of things to do.
This year’s class had a little bit of everything in it. From one of the all-time greats in NCAA baseball history...to the first-ever draft selection by the New Orleans Jazz, to the legendary Southern University Coach...to a running back that has as much love as anyone in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi...the Class of 2012 was surely complete from top to bottom.
Being there last week and being able to interview, interact and of course just visit with these former greats is something that everyone should experience. Not just sports fans will get a lot out of their visit. For example I never knew much about Roger Carr until last week when I had a chance to interview him. The former star from Cotton Valley High School is a man that is truly someone that is here to make the world a better place.
Carr took the long, hard road to stardom, and now he gives back every day of his life as a Baptist Minister in South Carolina. Carr constantly praised his family as well as those who helped him become a two time All-American at Louisiana Tech and a star in the National Football League in the 1970’s with the Baltimore Colts.
"Without my family I would not be here," Carr said. "This is a great honor and I go into the Hall of Fame with a lot of folks. Not just myself.”
Then there were greats like Aaron James. James is most known for being the first-ever draft pick for the New Orleans Jazz back in 1974.
James led the nation in scoring while he was a star at Grambling State University, where he is employed today as an associate athletic director. James said that he developed his love for the game of basketball when he was at Walter L Cohen High School in New Orleans.
“I still to this day remember all the great games and the great players that I played with back in the day,” said James. James played alongside one of the greats of all time, Pete Maravich, while he played for the Jazz in New Orleans.
And then there were people that did not come from Louisiana but came here by a different route, like former Southern Coach Pete Richardson. Coach Pete was a legend in the making at Southern University and many members of the Jaguar Nation still wish Pete was their coach right now!
“This is especially important to me because I’m not from Louisiana," Richardson told us. "I just wanted to come in and make a difference with the players and the program on and off the field while I was at Southern,” Coach Pete said. Richardson did not rule out returning to the sidelines one day in the future if the opportunity is right for him and his family.
So in closing, I’ll say that many lessons can be learned and picked up from a trip to North Louisiana to visit the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. I think that most of the time the path to success is the real story about great individuals, and not so much how famous they became.
You just don’t make it to Hall of Fame status without having a lot of help and support along the way, and clearly the class of 2012 embraced and was honored to acknowledge the help that they had.
I can tell you personally that every year from now on I will be attending the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame activities as I have picked up many ideas, gotten a lot of great advice and plenty of real life stories that can only be told by those that have experienced them.