The 20th Annual Hampton Roads African-American Sports Hall of Fame (HRAASHF) induction ceremony will take place November 4 at 7 p.m., at the Renaissance Portsmouth-Waterfront Hotel425 Water Street Portsmouth, Virginia 23704.
This year’s inductees are Coach Bob Heard; Basketball official William E. “Willie” Brown; Pro basketball player Charles Hatcher; two time All-American and 1992 Olympic wrestler Anthony “Buddy” Lee; Professional football player Reggie Langhorne; contributor Curtis Cole; and Posthumous James “Hook Shot” Grant.
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Coach Robert “Bob” Heard has been a driving force in Norfolk State University athletics, and his influence through coaching, teaching, recruiting, and scouting has extended more broadly to the Hampton Roads community and to HBCU’s in other areas.
After a stellar college coaching career, Heard was recruited to Norfolk State College now (NSU) in 1968 by then head coach Curtis Maddox, to serve as Defensive Coordinator. In this capacity Coach Heard extended his coaching expertise to include recruiting.
When Coach William “Dick” Price became head coach in 1974, Heard served variously as Defensive Coordinator, Offensive Coordinator, and Assistant head coach. It was during this period Coach Heard played a major role in leading the NSU Spartans to three consecutive CIAA Conference Championships, in 1974, 75 and 76.
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Willie Brown is a native of Newport News, Virginia. and began his career of officiating basketball while still attending high school. He was the first African-American to officiate basketball in the Metro Conference which members included: Memphis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Saint Louis, and Tulane. He was the fourth African-American to officiate basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). He has officiated in the CIAA, ECAC, Southern, Sunbelt and Dixie Conferences.
Brown serves as the Boo Williams AAU Summer Basketball League Tournament Director from 1992 to present.
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Charles Hatcher is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. He played at Norview High School where he averaged 25 points per-game during the District tournament. Hatcher earned the “Most Outstanding Basketball Player” award for Norfolk. He was the first Black player to win that award.
While serving in the Navy, he was named All-Navy and earned an invitation to try out for the 1968 Olympic team. Later, he played for legendary Elizabeth City State University Vikings coach Robert “Bobby” Vaughan.
During the 1980’s, he did speaking engagements through the Pro Athletes in Action “Stay in School” Program, which later became the NBA “Stay in School” program.
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Anthony “Buddy” Lee twice won All-American honors at Old Dominion University while earning a 122-25-2 wrestling record in 136-lb. completion. He finished fourth in the NCAA national in 1980 and seventh in 1982. Lee captured four NCAA East Regional championships and two state titles, while leading his team to two state championships.
Lee credits the ODU coaches who “believed in him, pushed him to wrestle to his capability, and taught him the techniques he needed to win.
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Reggie Langhorne is a native of Smithfield, Virginia. He played from 1985 until 1991 with the Cleveland Browns. Langhorne had arguably his best season as a Brown in 1988, amassing 780 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. In 1992 he signed with the Indianapolis Colts. During the 1993 season, he had the best year of his career, reaching 1,000 yards to go along with 85 receptions.
Langhorne played with the Indianapolis Colts from 1992- 1993. He spent nine seasons in the NFL.
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Curtis Coles is a native of Norfolk, Virginia. He played basketball and tennis at Booker T. Washington form 1967-1972. Coles played one year at Hampton Institute (now University) before transferring to Old Dominion where he helped lead the Monarchs in rebounding his sophomore year and played a major role in their NCAA Division II Basketball Championship.
Majoring in engineering, Cole is a noted nationally recognized engineer and builder. He has refurbished the Lincoln Theater in Washington D.C., William “Dick” Price Stadium, Tidewater Community College and Norfolk Federal Building.
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James “Hook Shot” Grant played for the legendary Norfolk State Spartan’s Coach Ernie Fears.
Grant got the nick name “Hook Shot” from a variation of the hook shot. On a fast break he was known to zoom five feet from the basket all set to lay the ball in. Then he would stop dribble backwards eight feet, fall away and shoot a “Hook Shot.” “Oh you Hooker” the fans would yell.
Grant played for the Spartans from 1964-1968. He is listed as the number five all-time scorer in Spartan history. With 1,936 points. He averaged 20.8 points per game. He is currently ranked number five in field goals made for men’s basketball. He ranked number in free throw percentage.
Tickets can be purchased by contacting Heather Johnson Wall at (757) 495-0143 or (757) 286-4202 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.