2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class

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Time for a party. Time for music, and a fabulous fireworks show. Time for fun and games–and bowling at Four Seasons Bowling Center in Alexandria. Time for great memories to be relived, and created. Time for laughs, and no doubt, a few poignant moments, the misty-eyed kind. Time to be thrilled, and inspired. It’s time for the 2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration, June 20th through 22nd. It’s been planned for months and months, and now, it’s time!

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassIn Alexandria, the fun starts at Four Seasons Bowling Center at lunchtime Friday, June 21st for the Celebrity Bowling Bash presented by BOM. It’s a party with open bar, food, music, celebrities, auction, raffle and oh some bowling! Each 5 person team plays a 10 frame game. The team with the highest score will be awarded a trophy. Then there will be a bowl off between the top 5 individuals with the highest score from their 10 frame game and the top 5 celebrities with the highest score from their 10 frame game. What a party it is!

Up I-49 in Natchitoches, three days of festivities kick off with a free Welcome Reception presented by LA Capitol Federal Credit Union at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches, on Thursday, June 20th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. This event kicks off the Induction Celebration Weekend as Natchitoches welcomes the 2024 Inductees with a lively happy hour featuring local cuisine and entertainment. Register online at LaSportsHall.com.

Speaking of your favorite price of admission, free, how about joining the party at the Friday night, June 21st for the Rockin’ Riverfest concert presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center on the Cane River stage at the downtown bridge in Natchitoches. Jam with Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, just enshrined in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, interactive kids zone, and take in a spectacular 10-minute sports-themed fireworks show.

You love good food? You enjoy festive elbow-rubbing and mingling with sports heroes and their families? Then you want to get signed up for the Friday night VIP Taste of Tailgating upstairs from the concert venue, presented by Hancock-Whitney at Mama’s Oyster House and Blues Room from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. The VIP Taste of Talgaiting event features 10 different food stations from local cuisine from all over the state of Louisiana, complimentary wine & beer, passed hors d’ oeuvres, premium view of the band, meet & greet with 2024 LSHOF Inductees, fireworks show, air-conditioned venue, silent auction and much, much more! Tickets are $100 for adults 21+ and $50.00 for under 21.

The big day Saturday, June 22nd starts with the annual Saints and Pelicans Junior Training Camp, for kids ages 7 to 17. Registered kids will participate in drills used by NFL and NBA pros. It’s a great chance learn from the 2024 Inductees as well as the NSU football and basketball coaching staff and athletes. The 2024 Junior Training Camp is full; but keep your eye out for next year!

There is still room to join the TAF Round Table Luncheon Saturday at the newest jewel in Natchitoches, Riverside Reserve. At this exclusive event, guests will hear from the 2024 Induction Class in a relaxed Q&A session hosted by Fox Sports broadcaster Tim Brando. Ticket includes a catered lunch buffet with open bar. Tickets are $100 for adults 21+ and $50.00 for under 21.

The grand finale is Saturday’s Taste of Louisiana Reception at the museum from 5:00pm to 6:30pm with passed hors d’oeuvres, food stations with tasting size portions of cuisine from around the state, and an open bar with complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks, and water., then the 2024 Induction Ceremony presented by State Farm Insurance Agents of Louisiana kicking off at 7:00pm at the Natchitoches Events Center. Tickets are $100 for adults 21+ and $50.00 for under 21.

You can sign up for all the events that carry admission charges at LaSportsHall.com or by calling (318) 238-4255. Reservations are necessary.

The 2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame is one for the ages. This year’s honorees include:

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassDrew Brees, the New Orleans Saints’ NFL record-setting passer and Super Bowl XLIV MVP, brings incredible credentials to this remarkable group chosen last fall by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. Considered by many to be the best free agent in NFL history, Brees overcame questions about his height and arm strength and a devastating shoulder injury to become the league’s all-time leader in several passing categories. A 13-time Pro Bowl pick in a 20-year career, Brees shattered nearly every passing mark for the Saints. He was the most accurate passer in league history, completing 67.7% of his attempts before being surpassed last season by Joe Burrow (68.2%). A two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Brees was the 2006 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, a Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and an Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. In addition to his many career marks, Brees authored five 5,000-yard passing seasons, a feat that had been accomplished just once when he first did it in 2008, and had 10 seasons with at least 30 TDs. He shares the NFL single-game record with seven TD passes. In 2012, Brees threw a touchdown pass in his 48th straight game, breaking the mark of 47 set 52 years earlier by the great Johnny Unitas. The streak reached 54 games before being snapped. Brees led the Saints to their first, and so far only, championship in Super Bowl XLIV. He’s expected to fly in from the West Coast for Saturday’s events.

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassOn hand from the opening whistle Thursday will be Louisiana’s homegrown women’s basketball superstar, Seimone Augustus, and Daniel Cormier, the Lafayette born-and-raised Olympic wrestler who became and remains one of the top figures in mixed martial arts. Arguably the greatest women’s basketball player in state history, Augustus played point guard/forward while starring at high school, college and professional levels. Seimone was part of three gold medal-winning Olympic teams and four WNBA title teams. At LSU, Augustus scored 2,702 career points, averaging 19.3 points. 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists over four seasons while leading the Tigers to a 114-17 record and three Final Fours. She was the USBWA National Freshman of the Year in 2003 and swept National Player of the Year awards (Wade, Naismith, Wooden and Honda) in 2005 and 2006.

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassAugustus was the WNBA’s Number 1 draft pick in 2006 and was the WNBA Rookie of the Year that same year. She won WNBA titles in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 and was the 2011 finals MVP, first-team All-WNBA in 2012, and made the All-WNBA second-team five teams. Over her career, she was an eight-time WNBA all-star. She made the WNBA’s 20th anniversary and 25th anniversary teams and been inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame (2019) and Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame (2021). You can count on seeing Augustus decked out in her LSU purple and gold even more than usual, since she’s just signed on to join Kim Mulkey’s Tiger coaching staff. Kim – inducted in 1990 for her great playing career at Hammond High and Louisiana Tech, and the youngest person ever enshrined, 29 back then—will be front and center with Seimone at Saturday evening’s festivities.

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassThe Class of 2024 also includes 1992 Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kevin Jackson, a former LSU All-American, along with Perry Clark, who guided Tulane basketball to unprecedented success in the 1990s, and McNeese football great Kerry Joseph, who had a 19-year pro career and is now the QB coach for the Chicago Bears.

 

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassAlso set for induction are high school football and baseball coach Frank Monica, who won state titles at three different south Louisiana schools, and Ray Sibille, a Breeders’ Cup-winning thoroughbred jockey from Sunset who ranks among the nation’s most respected and accomplished riders. Horse racing legends Eddie Delahoussaye (LSHOF class of 2002) and Pat Day, Sibille’s brother-in-law, are incoming.

 

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassThe class also includes Grambling’s Wilbert Ellis, who becomes the second-ever recipient of the Louisiana Sports Ambassador Award. During his 43-year baseball coaching career and since, Ellis has made local, statewide and national impact not only in his sports field but also in other endeavors. He is the elder statesman of Grambling–not just the university, but the community–except that in his late 80s, he hasn’t really slowed down.

 

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassRounding it out are renowned sportswriters Bobby Ardoin of Opelousas and born-and-raised LSU sports expert Ron Higgins, along with college sports administrator Tom Burnett–a Louisiana Tech grad whose biggest task was running the 2022 NCAA Final Four.

 

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassAppropriately, the Class of 2024 will be enshrined in an Olympic year. In addition to Augustus’ three Olympic gold medals, Jackson became the first Black American to capture gold in wrestling. Jackson was Cormier’s coach when the future MMA star made the USA wrestling team for the 2004 and 2008 Games.

 

2024 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ClassIt’s a three-day-long celebration of excellence in Louisiana. There aren’t many states where sports are so ingrained in the culture, in the heartbeat of the population, like sports are here. It’s not limited to the current-year inductees. Each summer, about three dozen previously inducted Hall of Fame members come back to welcome the new class and renew friendships and rekindle memories. Look for Mulkey and many more on June 22nd.

Be sure to visit the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame website for full biographies of each of this year’s honorees and to register for all the great LaHoF festivities! Like Terry Bradshaw says in the welcome video for the museum, “It’s special. Enjoy it!”