Former prominent LSU athletic figures Glenn Dorsey, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Pat Henry are among the eight Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021 inductees.
A 40-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the inductees. The panel considered a record 151 nominees from 29 different sports categories on a 35-page ballot, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.
Dorsey, who starred in high school at East Ascension in Gonzales, is the most decorated defensive player in LSU football history. He helped the Tigers win the 2007 BCS national championship when he was an unanimous first-team All-America defensive tackle who won the Outland Trophy, the Lombardi Award, the Nagurski Award, the Lott Award and the Defensive Player of the Year. He played nine NFL seasons.
Abdul-Rauf was the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in each of his two seasons from 1988-90 with Dale Brown’s basketball Tigers, averaging 29 points per game, In nine NBA seasons, he averaged 14.6 points and then played many more seasons internationally before LSU retired his No. 35 jersey last season.
Henry is one of the most successful track and field coaches in NCAA history. He led LSU’s men’s and women’s teams to a combined 19 SEC titles and an amazing 27 NCAA indoor and outdoor team championships during a 17-year run from 1988-2004, and since then has been head coach at Texas A&M, building the Aggies’ program into a national power.
Other Class of 2021 inductees include New Orleans Saints all-time leading receiver Marques Colston, former Southern Jaguars baseball star Rickie Weeks, Baton Rouge native Courtney Blades-Rogers who’s considered one of college softball’s best pitchers of all time at Nicholls and Southern Mississippi, former Monroe Richwood football coach Monroe’s Mackie Freeze and Natchitoches native Villis “Bo” Dowden, the 1980 Bassmaster Classic champion.
The Class of 2021 will be enshrined Saturday, June 26, in Natchitoches to culminate the 62nd Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration June 24-26. Freeze and Henry will enter the hall this winter, Dec. 15-17, during the 2020 Induction Celebration which was postponed from its traditional June dates due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Class of 2021 inductees raises the total of Hall of Fame members to 358 competitors honored since the first induction class — baseball’s Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley — enshrined in 1959.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame includes 24 Pro Football Hall of Fame members, 18 Olympic medalists including 11 gold medal winners, 11 members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, seven of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, seven National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 37 College Football Hall of Fame members, nine National High School Hall of Fame enshrinees, jockeys with a combined 16 Triple Crown victories, six world boxing champions, seven Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame members, seven College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 10 College Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinees, four NBA Finals MVPs, four winners of major professional golf championships, five National Museum of (Thoroughbred) Racing and Hall of Fame inductees and two Super Bowl MVPs.
Biographical information on all current Hall of Fame members is available at the LaSportsHall.com website, with a steady stream of info available at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Facebook page and the @LaSportsHall twitter account.
The 2021 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.
The 2021 induction celebration will kick off Thursday, June 24, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a free youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Induction Dinner and Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, will be available early in 2021 through the LaSportsHall.com website.
Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2021 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the LaSportsHall.com website.
The 2020 and 2021s induction celebrations will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or RonnieRantz@LaSportsHall.com. Standard and customized sponsorships are available.