Three Former Southern Miss Standouts Set for Induction to Miss. Sports Hall of Fame
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
A record crowd is expected at the Jackson Convention Complex this evening for the BancorpSouth Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, which includes former Southern Miss standouts Brett Favre, Clarence Weatherspoon and Steve Knight as part of the 2015 class.
The other inductees in this prestigious class are Mike Dennis, Fred McAfee and Gwen White. The entire 53rd annual induction banquet will be video-streamed over msfame.com beginning at 5:30 p.m. Just go to msfame.com front page, and then click on the prompt.
Here are the career highlights of the individuals with Southern Miss ties being inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame tonight:
Brett Favre: Played high school football for his father, Irv Favre, at Hancock North Central before signing at Southern Miss. There, he started as a 17-year-old freshman and became one of school's all-time greatest players, leading the Golden Eagles to road victories over the likes of Alabama, Auburn and Florida State. He lettered at the school from 1987-90 and ranks second at the school in passing yards (7,695), tied for second in touchdown passes (52) and second in total offensive yards (7,606). Following his graduation, Favre was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, where he was traded to the Green Bay Packers after one season and became one of the all-time legends of the NFL. Favre is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 70,000 yards, over 500 touchdowns, over 6,000 completions and over 10,000 passing attempts. He is the league's all-time iron man, having started a record 297 games (321 including playoffs.) He won three straight NFL MVP honors from 1995-1997 and one Super Bowl title. Since his retirement, he spent time helping coach the Oak Grove High School football team and helped the 2013 Warriors win the State 6A championship.
Clarence Weatherspoon: Weatherspoon, who was nicknamed Spoon, from tiny Crawford, Miss., Clarence was a three-time Metro Conference Player of the Year (1990-1992) and a four-time All-Metro Conference selection. This was when the Metro Conference included the likes of Louisville, Memphis, Cincinnati, Marquette and DePaul. He is the school's all-time leader in blocked shots (227), rebounds (1,317) and minutes played and came up six points short of Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Nick Revon for points scored (2,130). He led the Golden Eagles to two NCAA Tournament appearances under Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame coach M.K. Turk. He was the first Golden Eagle to have his jersey number (35) retired. A first-round draft choice (ninth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers), he played 13 years in the NBA averaging 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Weatherspoon was a model of consistency, once scoring in double figures in 80 of 82 games for the 1993-94 Sixers. That season was statistically his best. He averaged a double-double (18.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game).
Steve Knight: At William Carey University where he is head basketball coach and athletic director, Knight has become the all-time winningest college basketball coach in Mississippi history with 610 victories. He passed Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Dave Whitney on Nov. 20, 2010, when he picked up victory number 506. He reached career win number 600 on January 9 of this year against Coastal Georgia. Knight's 32nd season at Carey was his best when the Crusaders won 28, lost 3 and went a perfect 18-0 in the Southern States Conference. Knight was named NAIA National Coach of the Year. It was the ninth time he has taken Carey to the NAIA National Tournament. Knight has served as athletic director at Carey since 1987 and during that time Crusader teams have won 33 league championships and made more than 40 trips to national tournaments. As an athlete at Hattiesburg High, Knight helped the Tigers to a state basketball championship. He played both basketball and baseball at Southern Miss, once throwing a no-hitter for the Golden Eagles. He played two seasons in the Seattle Mariners baseball organization before beginning his coaching career.
In addition to the inductions, West Point native George Bryan will receive the Rube Award for his lifetime of contributions to Mississippi sports. Bryan, who has supported Magnolia State athletics at all levels, is most known for bringing the 1999 U.S. Open Women's Championship to Old Waverly, the golf course he built in his hometown.