Allstate Sugar Bowl Announces Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Inductees
Former NFL and Southern University stars Isiah Robertson and Aeneas Williams will be the newest inductees to the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame the organization announced on Saturday. The official induction will be at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame banquet on Friday, July 23 at the Louisiana Superdome. In addition to the Hall of Famers, the Corbett Awards for the state’s top amateur athletes and multiple annual awards will be presented.
Also being honored at the banquet will be four Special Award winners – a category established by the organization to recognize outstanding efforts and achievements in the sports arena in Greater New Orleans that don’t necessarily qualify for other awards. This year’s Special Award honorees comprise what is quite possibly the most diverse group of award-winners in history – Academy Award-winning actress Sandra Bullock, former PGA golfer Kelly Gibson, All-American Amateur Baseball champion New Orleans Boosters and legendary press box institution Harold Shelly.
Sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame was created in 1971 and has honored 201 athletes who were born in New Orleans and achieved prominence in or away from the Greater New Orleans area; or, those non-natives who achieved sports prominence in the Greater New Orleans area in high school, college, professional or amateur sports. Each year’s Hall of Fame class is selected by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Selection Committee, a volunteer group which has met monthly to pay homage to outstanding achievements in athletics in the Greater New Orleans area for over five decades. In addition to the Hall of Fame, the committee recognizes an Amateur Athlete of the Month for the Greater New Orleans area and selects yearly winners for a variety of major awards.
2010 Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Inductee:
Isiah Robertson – Southern University/NFL
New Orleans native who attended Southern University and went on to be one of the NFL’s top linebackers of the 1970s … A college division All-American at Southern … First-round pick (10th overall) by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1971 NFL Draft, and went on to play 12 NFL seasons for the Rams and Buffalo Bills … Named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad in six of his first seven seasons … Named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1971 … Made a statistical impact in an era before tackles were an official stat, recording 25 interceptions and 15 fumble recoveries … Elected to Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
2010 Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Inductee:
Aeneas Williams – Fortier HS/Southern University/NFL
After starring at Fortier, did not play at Southern until he walked on the team as a sophomore – and was a starter by game five … As a senior with the Jaguars, tied the Division I-AA single-season record for interceptions (11) … In just over two seasons, he tallied 218 tackles, 20 interceptions and 25 pass deflections … Earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a 3.2 grade-point average … Eight-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro selection in his 14-year NFL career … Spent first 10 seasons with Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals before being traded in 2001 to St. Louis Rams, where he played four more years … Named to six consecutive Pro Bowls from 1994-99, then made squads in 2001 and 2003 … Led NFL with nine interceptions in 1994 … Scored 13 career regular-season touchdowns (nine interception returns, three fumble returns, one return of blocked field goal) and had two INT returns for TDs in the same playoff game in 2001 … Made 55 career interceptions and was one of only three players with 40 INTs in the decade of the 1990s … named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 90’s at cornerback along with Darrell Green, Rod Woodson and Deion Sanders … Inducted into Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 … Semifinalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 in first year of eligibility.
2010 Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Special Award-Winners:
Since first adopting Warren Easton Charter High School in 2006 when the entire city was reeling from Hurricane Katrina, Bullock has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Mid-City school for items such as new band uniforms, athletic lockers, college scholarships, leadership seminars, and video and audio equipment. She also supplied partial funding for the renovation of the auditorium and the construction of the new on-campus health clinic.
“My contributions to Warren Easton are the best investments I’ve ever made,” said Bullock, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “The Blind Side.”
Addressing Warren Easton seniors at their 2007 graduation, Bullock said, “You are the miracle that came out of Katrina. No one could have done it but you.”
Gibson, who has received the Charlie Bartlett Award for unselfish contributions to the betterment of society from the Golf Writers Association of America, has been a consultant in the revival of Joseph M. Bartholomew Golf Course in Pontchartrain Park, one of the first courses in the U.S. designed by an African-American.
“I take great pride in being from New Orleans, and I hope it shows in my passion for this restoration,” Gibson said. “We have accomplished many things in this city that most people thought would be impossible. My goal all along was to leverage my PGA Tour credentials to bring the best possible team to New Orleans and I feel that I have.”
The New Orleans Boosters
In August 2009, the New Orleans Boosters made history the hard way, rallying from the loser’s bracket to capture the franchise’s 13th All-American Amateur Baseball Association National Championship at the annual tournament in Johnstown, Pa. The Boosters are coordinated by Joe Scheuermann and managed by Billy Babin.
In addition to the title, the New Orleans franchise also dominated the post-tournament awards. Centerfielder Lucas LeBlanc was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and outfielder Scott Fabre earned the tournament’s Batting Champion Award. Shortstop Beau Boudreaux and infielder Mason Katz were named co-RBI champions.
If it is happening in New Orleans, and it is a sports event, Shelly must be there, volunteering his time, helping out however needed, and constantly exuding his very great love for the people who play, manage and cover the games. He may have been involved in more sports events on all levels than any other local sports figure.
A native of New Orleans, Shelly was born Nov. 25, 1922. Assisting with Tulane Athletics since 1955, he has also worked 45 Sugar Bowls, five Super Bowls, two Final Fours and numerous NCAA basketball regionals. He has made 18 trips to the All-American Amateur Baseball Tournament. Shelly has served as an usher for St. Matthias Church for 53 years.