New Gary Sports Hall of Fame class includes former MLB pitcher, gymnastics champ – The Denver Post
A former Major League Baseball pitcher and a national gymnastics champion are among the six new entrants to the Gary Sports Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2023 inductees are college basketball coach Vic Bubas, track coach John Campbell, gymnast Dianne Durham Drahozal, MLB pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, NBA star Davage Minor and longtime Gary schools coach Earl Smith Jr.
The induction ceremony is at 6:30 p.m. July 28 at the Indiana University Northwest Arts and Sciences building auditorium, 3415 Broadway. The cost is $25 per person. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.
“This is a very momentous moment and one we are proud of,” said Hall of Fame vice president Chuck Hughes during a Wednesday news conference.
He credited the late Lake County Commissioner Roosevelt Allen Jr. for helping conceive of the plan for the Hall of Fame where honorees’ photos line a wall on the main floor of the Arts and Sciences building.
Hughes said the Hall of Fame is working with Gary high schools to arrange tours for students so they can learn about the city’s rich athletic history.
“We are built upon the strong foundations of our past,” said IUN Chancellor Ken Iwama. “We are equally thrilled the Hall of Fame is housed here at our state-of-the-art Arts and Sciences building.”
Iwama said the university was committed to promoting and sustaining the Hall of Fame.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the Hall of Fame’s 2021 inductees who joined the Class of 2022 last year when the group unveiled its first classes.
Last year, the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation pushed the Hall of Fame over its initial funding finish line with a $10,000 donation and a matching $10,000 gift from Bruce and Beth White.
Here’s a look at the inductees:
Vic Bubas was a 1944 Lew Wallace graduate who later became the basketball coach at Duke University. He’s credited with elevating Duke from a regional to a national program and for pioneering the art of recruiting. He died in 2018.
John Campbell led Gary Roosevelt to 20 Indiana track and field championships.
Dianne Durham Drahozal became the first Black national gymnastics champion in 1983.
LaTroy Hawkins, a 1991 Gary West Side graduate, was a relief pitcher on 11 MLB teams, including the Chicago Cubs until he retired in 2015.
Davage Minor, a 1941 Froebel graduate, led the school to its only state title appearance. In 1951, when he joined the Baltimore Bullets, he was one of just five Blacks to play in the NBA and was the first from Gary. He died in 1998.
Earl H. Smith Jr., a 1952 Roosevelt graduate, coached at five Gary high schools and served as athletic director during a 56-year career.
For more information, see the group’s website, garysportshalloffame.org.
Carole Carlson is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
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