By Tricia Hall
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
The African American Legacy Project’s Sports Legends (AALP) committee introduced 10 individuals on Friday, August 13, who would be inducted into the 2021 Hall of Fame on the following day.
Friday’s gala sold out affair at the Premier brought together a group of outstanding athletes or contributors to athletics who have done so much at the local level and, sometimes, on the national stage.
The Saturday induction ceremony was held at Jerusalem Baptist Church and the masters of ceremony – AALP CEO Robert Smith and sportscaster Tom Cole – brought each honoree up to the podium along with their committee escorts and a family member to place the kente cloth on around the inductee’s neck.
The 2021 inductees were Bill Brown, Saundra Brown, Sheila Gibson, Clyde Hughes, Curtis Johnson, Karen Mosely, Sam Price, Carnel Smith, Jack Thompson and Michael Worlds. The honorees were asked to sign memorabilia that were linked to their athletic accomplishments in front of a family and friends, and received proclamations from Toledo City Council and Toledo’s Mayor at the Premier Banquet Hall.
Inductee Bill Brown graduated from Rogers High School and Ohio State University, and later become head coach at California University of Pennsylvania (CUP). Brown began his basketball coaching career at his alma mater, then made history as the coach with the most men’s basketball victories. Currently he’s a volunteer director of a community relations and player mentoring program.
“There’s a difference between coaching and playing. You must have dedication and character. I am grateful and humbled in all that God has given me,” explained Bill Brown
Inductee Saundra Brown graduated from Start High School and University of Detroit. She later became the owner of the women’s basketball team called The Toledo Threat. During Brown’s basketball journey, she earned 1st and 2nd team All-City Basketball and several additional athletic achievements.
Inductee Sheila Gibson graduated from Rogers High School and Bowling Green State University graduate. Gibson was a member of the 1977 track State Champion Team. She is currently the owner and artistic director of the Positive Force School of Dance in Toledo.
Inductee Clyde Hughes is from Beaumont, Texas and graduated from Lamar University graduate. Hughes spent 18 years as a sportswriter and urban reporter for The Blade and composed articles that highlighted the lives of African Americans in Toledo. He is also co-founder of the Martin Luther King Holiday classic. Hughes is currently a
fulltime freelance journalist for United Press International and received recognition by several media agencies including The National Association of Black Journalists.
“The Martin Luther King Holiday classic had an impact on the community. It was more than just basketball, but about our community and it gave kids something to aspire to in their lives. Professionally, I share stories because our stories have to be told because they break down barriers,” shared Hughes.
Inductee Curtis Johnson graduated from Waite High School and University of Toledo, before playing for the Miami Dolphins. Johnson earned varsity football letters between and voted All MAC defensive back before being the fourth-round draft pick of the Dolphins. Johnson played for nine NFL seasons, started 111 of 125 games and started in three Super Bowls. He’s currently retired after serving as a member of Toledo Fire and Rescue Department for 28 years.
Inductee Karen Mosley graduated from Bowsher High School and the University of Kentucky. Mosely earned basketball letters, collegiate scholarship and inducted into Bowsher’s Hall of Fame. She’s currently employed as a Federal Officer in the Department of Homeland Security under the Transportation Security Administration.
“This opportunity is amazing. A lot of what defines us is what we find out while living. Today, I want to share my appreciation for everything that I’ve accomplished in my life,” said Mosely.
Inductee Sam Price graduated from Scott high school and University of Toledo, he later played for the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. Price excelled and lettered in track, football and wrestling. He also received All-City and additional football achievements. Price retired from football in 1971, was inducted into Scott’s Hall of Fame in 1982, and had several entrepreneur companies.
Inductee Carnel Smith, EdD, graduated from Scott High School and the University of Pittsburgh, and later played for the Indianapolis Colts and in the World Football League. Smith is currently the principal of his alma mater, received several football achievements including All-City during his career. Smith is the founder of a local nonprofit that sponsors a local summer camp and published author.
Inductee Jack Thompson graduated from Waite High School, and later served in the United States Army for 20 years. Thompson was named All-City First Team, All-Game scoring champ and quoted in the local paper as ‘the finest back in the city.’ Thompson served in the military for 30 years and retired in 1986. Thompson passed away on February 12, 2014. His wife and two children accepted the induction honor on his behalf.
Inductee Michael Worlds graduated from Macomber High School. Worlds excelled in track and earned a championship and bronze medal. In 1977 he led the Macmen to team titles in Sectional and District championship and signed a letter to attend the University of Toledo. He is currently a manager in radiology
The AALP was founded in 2004 as a history museum that offers collections and tours to preserve Toledo’s history. The AALP pledges to stimulate the intellectual, socioeconomic and participatory growth in communities wherein African Americans reside. Visit the website for additional information https://www.africanamericanlegacy.org/