Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame class has distinct, diverse feel
Arkansas third baseman Jeff King is shown during his playing days in the 1980s.
Traditionally it is the most widely attended of the four annual Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame board meetings.
Selection Day is the day that the 50 board of directors have a voice in the next induction class. That number is very diverse and there are some strong opinions.
All members (just $100 a year to belong to this prestigious organization) get a vote, and they decide on two automatic inductees from the regular list and one from the senior or deceased list.
The board then decides the remainder of the class. The meeting is lively with short speeches and heartfelt campaigns. In my 34 years, there has never been any mudslinging.
This year’s class is one of the most interesting in history, as the class of nine represents five distinct areas.
In no specific order, here is this year’s class:
Jeff Glasbrenner, a world-class amputee athlete who scored 63 points in wheelchair basketball in the 2004 national championship for Wisconsin where he won four national titles. Glasbrenner is also a fierce competitor in triathlons and mountain climbing. In 2017, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated which had an eight-page story on his accomplishments.
Jeff King, an All-American baseball player for the Arkansas Razorbacks who helped lead the Hogs to the College World Series in 1985. He is the only Razorback to be taken with the first pick in the Major League Baseball Draft. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates where he played eight years and finished out with Kansas City for three. He is in the UA Hall of Honor and the Southwest Conference Hall Fame.
Shekinna Stricklen was All-State and All-Conference basketball player in all four of her seasons at Morrilton High School. She was an All-SEC Player of the Year at Tennessee and was the second player selected in the 2012 WNBA draft and has spent the last nine years playing in the WNBA.
Steve Sullivan a 30-year veteran of sports broadcasting and three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year and 13-time Associated Press winner as Best Sportscaster. He was inducted into the Arkansas Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. Sullivan created Friday Night Flights and for years covered several high school football games each Friday. He has been at KATV-TV, Channel 7, for 13 years.
Fred Allen led Little Rock Central High School to two state basketball championships, was All-State twice and played in the All-Star game while averaging 30 points per game. He played collegiately for Western Texas College before transferring to Middle Tennessee State.
Glen Ray Hines was a three-year football letterman for the Razorbacks and a starter on the 1964 national championship team. He was a consensus All-American in 1965 when he was also named the Southwest Conference’s Most Outstanding Player. He has been inducted into the UA Hall of Honor and SWC Hall of Fame.
Freddie Lee Scott is one of the best kept secrets in Arkansas sports. The Grady native went to Amherst College where he was named to the Little All-America team. He spent 10 years catching passes in the NFL and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Jimmy Walker was an All-America defensive tackle for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1975-78. His teammate Dan Hampton called him the best defensive player he ever played beside. He helped Arkansas beat Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl and was inducted into the UA Hall of Honor in 2011.
Larry Walton, one of tennis’ greatest coaches and teachers, including on the professional level. Walton created the Burns Park Tennis Center and brought the Davis Cup there, as well as then-No. 1 player in the world, Jimmy Connors. He was inducted into the Arkansas Tennis Hall of Fame in 1990.
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