COLLEGE

The doctor is in: Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame to host museum grand opening, induct 11

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal speaks with a reporter during an LSU football game last season. The former Tiger will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame this weekend. 
PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

NATCHITOCHES – Opening the doors to the spectacular Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum provides an unprecedented highlight for the annual Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration June 27-29 that honors an 11-member 2013 class comprised of state sports greats.

The Grand Opening for the new $23 million museum is Friday night, June 28, the first time anyone will see the sensational exhibits showcasing Louisiana's remarkable sports history and culture and featuring the Hall of Fame's 355 previously-enshrined members plus the 2013 inductees.

The inductees will be enshrined Saturday night, June 29, at the Natchitoches Events Center during the 2013 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony. The event is the culmination of the Induction Celebration beginning Thursday evening, June 27, with the Kickoff Reception and including the Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Scramble at Oak Wing Golf Course in Alexandria teeing off at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 28.

Basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal, women's tennis great Chanda Rubin and eight-time NFL Pro Bowl selection Kevin Mawae headline a sparkling 2013 induction class.

LSU football passing king Tommy Hodson and nationally-acclaimed jockey Ronald Ardoin, a Carencro native, are joined in the 2013 class by Grambling basketball legend James Jones, a Tallulah native who made the all-time team of the American Basketball Association.

Jonesville native Ervin Johnson, whose unlikely 13-year NBA career was launched at a grocery store and took root at the University of New Orleans, is the third pro basketball standout in the group. Two other inductees have amateur basketball ties: the late Ed "Skeets" Tuohy, who had a career 84.5 winning percentage as coach at New Orleans' Newman High, and the late Anna Koll, a remarkable all-around athlete from New Orleans in the 1920s and 1930s.

O'Neal became a national star during his three seasons at LSU. Rubin, a Lafayette native, broke onto the world tennis stage as a teenager in 1992. Mawae played high school football at Leesville and blossomed into a second-round NFL Draft choice during 1990-93 at LSU.