Fame can be fleeting for an athlete. Yesterday’s cheers can quickly turn into tomorrow’s jeers.
For some, though, there can be everlasting admiration. Being inducted into a Hall of Fame is the highest honor that can be bestowed.
A select group of athletes was recently selected for these special recognitions. The newest members of the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame and Senior Bowl Hall of Fame have been named.
A wide range of sports will be represented when the next induction banquet takes place April 21 at the Battle House Hotel. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by calling 251-709-0310 or visiting www.MobileSportsHallOfFame.com.
“Once again, Mobile’s great sports history is represented by an incredibly accomplished and diverse class of athletes,” Peter Albrecht, president of the MSHOF, said. “This year the hall welcomes its first volleyball player, as well as basketball, baseball, football and golf greats.”
● Monique Adams-Williams was a two-time All-American at LSU, leading the Tigers to three SEC championships and two Final Fours. After being picked for the USA National Team, she played professional volleyball overseas for 17 years.
At McGill-Toolen Catholic High School she led the Dirty Dozen squad to four Class 6A state titles. Also an all-state basketball player, she helped the Yellow Jackets to an undefeated championship season.
“I want to thank the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame,” said Adams-Williams, who is now an assistant coach at Bayside Academy in Daphne. “This is a tremendous honor, one I never expected. This proves that hard work pays off.”
● J.D. Shelwood won more than 400 games as the head basketball coach at LeFlore High School. His Rattlers claimed state titles in 1986 and 1989. He was named Alabama’s Coach of the Year both of those seasons, part of an impressive nine times of being named Mobile County’s top mentor.
“I got the call the other night,” said Shelwood, now the head coach at Bishop State Community College in Mobile. “I got to attend this banquet in 2001 when my father-in-law [Charles T. Rhodes] was inducted, so I am quite pleased to be back here.”
● Jimmy Green started his golf career at Alba High School in Bayou La Batre. He grew up playing at Driftwood Country Club, where his father was the pro. Green went on to earn All-American honors at Auburn University. He won the SEC title in 1991 and holds the school record with six collegiate tourney wins. He played in 128 PGA Tour events and earned a dozen Top 10 finishes. His stops included five U.S. Opens and one British Open.
“I want to thank all the members for allowing me to be a part of this great group of people,” Green said. “I grew up idolizing these Hall of Fame members. I am amazed to be here, because I’m not even the best athlete in my family.”
● Tee Martin earned all-state honors at Williamson High School as a quarterback and punter. After serving two years as the back-up to Peyton Manning at the University of Tennessee, he made the most of his senior year by leading the Volunteers to the 1998 national title. Martin played professionally for Pittsburgh and Oakland in the NFL, as well as in NFL Europe and the Canadian Football League. He has found a new career in coaching, currently serving as the offensive coordinator for the University of Southern California.
“My son regrets he could not be here today, but he wanted to thank everyone for this great opportunity,” Marie Hall said. “My son is very overwhelmed by this honor.”
● Lance Johnson led the NCAA in steals while at the University of South Alabama and earned second-team All-American honors. He played for five major-league baseball teams from 1987 to 2000, being named to the All-Star Game in 1996. He is the only Major League player to lead both leagues in hits, and is one of three players in MLB history to lead both leagues in triples.
“I want to thank the committee,” Johnson said. “While I’m here, I hope to get some golf lessons from my fellow inductees. This has been a great chance to meet all these guys.”
● The final inductee is Dan Jennings. After attending Satsuma and Davidson, he graduated from Fairhope in 1978. After playing at Southern Mississippi and William Carey, Jennings coached at Davidson for several years before becoming a scout for Cincinnati, Seattle and Tampa Bay. He joined the Florida Marlins and ascended to the role of general manager in 2013. In May 2015, he was pressed into duty as the Marlins’ manager for the rest of the season. He was not able to make the induction ceremony.
Senior Bowl honors trio
The Reese’s Senior Bowl will welcome three new members into its Hall of Fame. The list includes former Alabama head coach Bill Curry (1965 game), current Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali (2006) for Kansas City and former All-Pro offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson (2001).
After a 10-year pro career, Curry spent the next 26 seasons as a coach. At Georgia Tech, he was the ACC Coach of the Year in 1995. He then directed the Crimson Tide to a conference title in 1989.
Hali has been to the past six Pro Bowls while collecting 86 career sacks. Hutchinson played 12 years in the NFL and had seven trips to the Pro Bowl.
“What an honor for the Reese’s Senior Bowl to recognize three individuals who have not only excelled on the field but have been tremendous representatives for the sport off the field as well,” Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said. “We are really looking forward to a special night.”
More than 5,000 players have appeared in a Senior Bowl uniform during its 65-year history. Including this terrific trio, only 111 have joined its Hall of Fame.
The banquet will be March 31 at the Battle House Hotel. Also being honored that night is Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who was chosen as the Senior Bowl Rookie of the Year. He was named All-Pro after joining Gayle Sayers as the only first-year player to record at least five receiving touchdowns, while returning a punt and kickoff for scores.