News from your MS Sports Hall of Fame. . .
Notes, quotes and an opinion or two:
Many fans know that this is the best Ole Miss start in SEC basketball since 1936-37. But here’s what you might not know: That Ole Miss team 76 years ago included three players later selected to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame: Bonnie “Country” Graham, Bruiser Kinard and Jim Poole. And, no, I didn’t know Bruiser Kinard played basketball, and, yes, I am glad I never got elbowed by him.
Folks keep asking me how the NBA became involved as a corporate sponsor of our Lanier 1965 National Championship event. OK, here’s how: I was telling good friend and UTEP coach Tim Floyd, the Hattiesburg native and former Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Hornets coach, about the event last month. Tim was blown away by the fact that the great Cornell Warner was the third guy off the bench for that Lanier team and that the Lanier Bulldogs had never received significant recognition for their achievements.
Tim called the NBA front office, which loved the idea of a celebration 48 years later, as well. The NBA, specifically NBA Cares, called the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame to make the contribution.
That’s how it happened, and we appreciate the significant contributions of both the NBA and Tim Floyd, whose late father, Lee, was a 1991 inductee into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame… A photo gallery from the rewarding and inspiring Lanier banquet is available at http://msfame.com/event-calendar/photo-gallery/.
People are all the time asking what they can do to help the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and I’ll give you two ideas here:
• We have a lean and mean full-time staff of four (including me) to operate a 24,000 square foot museum that is open six days a week and puts on several special events a year. You do the math. We could not do it without an invaluable staff of volunteers.
Volunteers work flexible three-hour shifts as little or as often as they want. They assist with school groups, ticket sales and the museum’s participatory area. Anyone interested in exploring volunteer opportunities, please contact Margaret White at 601 982-8264 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have great volunteers, but we can always use more help.
• Museum memberships are available at several different levels. Our emphasis has been on increasing 200 Club (lifetime) memberships. Those memberships are available at $200 a year for five years. We have 230 folks in the 200 Club. A full listing of membership opportunities is available at http://msfame.com/donate/.
The Howell and Gillom Awards luncheon is set for March 11. Expect a big news announcement soon on a keynote speaker. Luncheon tickets are $35 and can be ordered at 601 982-8264. You will want to get your tickets early this year….
Point of pride from your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame: Mississippi State (5), Ole Miss (13) and USM (23) all ranked in preseason Baseball America Top 25. Only California, with 5, has more Top 25 teams. Also, Collegiate Baseball ranks Delta State as the No. 2 Division II team in the country.
As you know, the Super Bowl returns to New Orleans for the 10th time next week. I well remember the first back in 1968 at grand, old Tulane Stadium. My dad scored four 50-yard seats right below the press box from the New Orleans Saints. We were in our seats, watching pre-game festivities, when a tall, graying and graceful man was walking up the aisle. You could not help but notice him when he was 30 rows down. I could not help but notice him because my beautiful mother kept elbowing me and saying, “Oh my God, Rickey, Oh my God!?
By the time Joe DiMaggio reached his seat, right in front of us, and smiled at Mom, she was as close to hyperventilating as I ever saw her. Dad, Bobby and I watched the game. I’m not sure my mother ever took her eyes off the Yankee Clipper.