2020 and 2021 classes inducted into Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 8:20 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The fallout from a pandemic for once providing a pretty cool moment at the Jackson Convention on Saturday night. The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame inducted 11 new members, six from the 2021 class as well as five from a 2020 class who had to wait on their official induction for a year due to COVID-19.

“It’s a special day to be honored with other greats,” said former Ole Miss and NFL linebacker Patrick Willis who is a part of the 2020 class along with Jerry Boatner, Pete Brown, Janet Marie Smith and Larry Templeton.

“To be able to do something that I have received the love that I have, I’m just grateful for everyone who had a part in it.”

The combined induction ceremony made for a star-studded occasion that even had former PGA-pro and class of 2021 member Randy Watkins amazed at all the local talent in one room.

“Most of the guys that are in here are friends of mine or guys that have been my hero my whole,” said Watkins. “To be just a small part of it really is humbling.”

Watkins was elected to the hall earlier this year along with Debbie Brock, Terrence Metcalf, Dave Randall, Lindsey Hunter and Erick Dampier.

For the latter two who have faced off against each other plenty of times in the NBA, to get elected into the same class is something neither will forget.

“Even though we never played together, every time we saw each other it was all love,” Dampier said of Hunter. “It’s because we were both from Mississippi and we all pull for Mississippi.”

“We all have something in common, we grew up right here,” added Hunter. “It’s amazing how small the world really is and especially the sports world.”

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