The Hammond Sports Hall of Fame will induct eight individuals from the city’s proud athletic past during its 31st annual induction dinner, Tuesday, March 14 at the Hammond Civic Center.
The inductees are:
- 1930s/40s Hammond High/Southern University multi-sport standout Albert Ford (deceased)
- 1960s Hammond High/Western Illinois basketball player and former Wildcats coach Leroy J. Harwell, Sr.
- 1960s Hammond High/NCAA long jumper William Lightsey
- 1970s Morton basketball player Mike Marshall
- 1940s Hammond High/Indiana State University track & field competitor Ulysses N. McClendon (deceased)
- 1990s multi-sport Clark athlete Mike Ramirez; Gavit alumnus and award-winning multi-sport official/umpire Ted Walsh (deceased)
- 1980s/90s Gavit/South Suburban Community College/South Dakota State basketball player Chris White.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Additionally, former Gavit High School coach and girl’s high school sports pioneer and proponent Margaret Kelly will receive the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement Award. During the 1960s, Kelly introduced girl’s high school athletics at Gavit High School. Between 1965 and 1993 she coached seven sports teams and led her squads to nine sectional titles, three regional crowns and six Girls Athletic Association championships. She also advanced girls high school sports as a basketball and volleyball official. Additionally, she earned respect across the state as a longtime, active member of the Indiana High School Athletic Association Girls Advisory Committee that worked diligently to introduce state tournament competition in all girls’ sports.
Anderson-Peterson Family Distinguished Athlete Award recipients
Also during the induction program, the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame’s 26th annual Anderson-Peterson Family Distinguished Athlete Award will be presented to two 2016 graduates of Hammond schools who depict the qualities for which the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame was established: dedication, contribution, ability, service and citizenship.
The recipients are Gabriela Lopez of Gavit and Marcos Keefe of Bishop Noll.
Lopez gained 12 varsity letters competing in cross country, swimming, softball and track & field. She also earned academic honors, was a member of the Gavit Student Council and Woodmar Singers, while engaging in voluntary community service. She attends Western Kentucky University. Keefe earned nine varsity letters on Warriors soccer, cross country and track & field squads. He, too, gained academic honors and also participated in band, Tri-Music Society and Spanish National Honor Society, as well as being active in his church. He attends Marian University.
Hall of Fame festivities begin at 5pm with a social time. Dinner is at 6:30pm; the induction program follows at 7:30.
Single tickets for $25 are on sale at the Hammond Civic Center, Jean Shepherd Community Center, Rich’s Barber Shop, House of Pizza, Cheers, Purdue University Northwest Hammond Campus Athletics Office, Kenwood Tap and the athletic offices of all Hammond high schools. Tables of eight seats for $200 can be purchased at the Civic Center. If tickets remain available, they will be sold at the door for $35.