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Emotional Day For 2011 Sports Hall of Fame Class

Emotional Day For 2011 Sports Hall of Fame Class image

An overflow crowd of more than 250 guests packed the first floor of the Pasadena City College athletics facility/Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium Saturday afternoon as the 10 members of the 2011 Sports Hall of Fame class were recognized for their accomplishments. The HOF ceremony proved to be an emotional one for most of the inductees, some brought to tears during their acceptance speeches.

The 10-person class featured swimmers Glen Aikin and Eric Marks, football players Jerome Harrison, Jonathan Smith and Curtis Seagrove, basketball player Tiana Sanders, two-sport star Chris Zboril, gymnast George Greenfield, softball player Kim Maxwell, and track and field athlete Kenny Hays.

At the end of the HOF ceremony, the college officially branded the Dick Ratliff Court of Champions in honor of the Hall/Court chairman. Ratliff brought the Hall back into existence in 2001 after it had been dormant since 1966. The Court is an area next to the athletic facility featuring 16 bronze busts of some of the greatest athletes/coaches in PCC history.

The inductees spoke about the role PCC played in their lives, including a touching tribute from Smith, an All-American, record-setting running back on the 2001 Mission Conference champion football team. Smith introduced his 12-year-old son  Jonathan Jr. to the podium and said he was the inspiration for him to continue his football career (PCC, Washington State University, and NFL Europe) after taking time off of school/sports to care for him as a young father.

Both Maxwell, the winningest pitcher in PCC softball history, and Zboril, an All-South Coast Conference player in softball-basketball, recognized the importance of their former coach Sandi Iverson, who was in attendance for the ceremony. They each told the audience how Iverson helped shape their lives with her philosophy and teaching.

Hays received a large ovation upon the announcement that his state champion and PCC long jump record that broke Jackie Robinson's mark in 1978 was still the longest existing record in California Community College track and field history.

"I would never have dreamed to be a part of any hall of fame. I'm so proud to have been a part of PCC history. Breaking Jackie Robinson's record is an honor in itself," Hays said.

Aikin and Marks spoke about the influence of their head coach Ron Ballatore, a member of the Court of Champions and a director of five state champion teams at PCC. They also mentioned that their 1977-1978 state title teams were a close-knit group, including pointing out the several alumni who attended the event.

[Photo--Here's a top view of the PCC 2011 Sports Hall of Fame ceremony held Saturday, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 04/18/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu