Google Custom Search

By Ruvimbo Makonyonga, Special Correspondent

The John B. McLendon CIAA Hall of Fame is a special place where individuals associated with the conference get recognized for their great accomplishments.

This year’s list of inductees includes six conference standouts: Dr. Mickey Burnim, former president of Bowie State University and Elizabeth City State University; LaKisha Phifer-Patterson, an outstanding women’s basketball player at St. Paul’s College; Dr. DeWayne Jeter, a standout hoopster at Virginia State University; Virginia Union basketball stars Derrick Johnson and Terry Davis and former Winston-Salem State and CIAA football running back Richard Huntley, the CIAA’s career rushing leader, and WSSU national sports personality Stephen A. Smith.ciaahof17

The CIAA Hall of Fame breakfast and induction ceremony will be held on Friday, March 24 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Halls C and D.

The first hall of fame class was inducted in 1967 and included legendary Morgan State coaches Talmadge Layman Hill (football and basketball) and Edward P. Hurt (football). Recent classes have included nationally known basketball official Larry Rose in 2015 and Shaw and NBA basketball standout Ronald “Flip” Murray in 2016.

Coach McLendon, the basketball pioneer who led programs at North Carolina College (now N. C. Central University) and Hampton Institute (now University) and for whom the HOF is named, was the only member of the 2000 Hall of Fame class.

The CIAA normally inducts a minimum of five persons, one from each of the five categories, and has recently placed a maximum of seven individual inductees and only team each year.

To be nominated, an individual must meet certain qualifications. To be nominated as a student-athlete, an individual must have achieved one or more of the following:  an All-American, Olympics participant, All-Conference or NCAA regional recognition in their sport. They should be a leader in a category of their sport, or have established a personal reputation for character and citizenship.

Coaches, CIAA officials, and administrators/supporters of the CIAA also have an opportunity to be nominated for the hall.

The 2016 class included Abraham Mitchell, better known as "Mr. CIAA," for the wide array of suits he wears and displays while walking the aisles in the arena during the tournament.

“It was an honor and just so much pleasure being accepted into it,” Mitchell said of his induction. “Everyone is just so friendly and excited because I was inducted. Everyone said I deserved it years before, but I appreciate what they did for me. I get a joy out of being Mr. CIAA. I don’t find no enemies.”

~ Ruvimbo Makonyonga is a Junior Public Relations Major at N.C. A&T State University


Please consider supporting our work.

The pandemic has financial consequences, especially for Black-owned businesses. Ad revenue is shrinking so we are asking you directly for your financial support. You can use the Cash App and contribute to $onnidan or process your donation through Square