DC Sports Hall of Fame announces 2022 class

Filed in Sport by on July 22, 2022 0 Comments

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Washington Nationals managing principal owner Mark Lerner, Olympic middle distance runner Alan Webb and Maryland basketball greats Len Elmore and Christy Winters Scott are among the members of the DC Sports Hall of Fame’s 2022 class. The group of honorees announced Thursday also includes high school basketball promoter Bob Geoghan, boxer Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson and the 2021 NWSL champion Washington Spirit.

“This distinguished group of honorees elevates the honor roll of the DC Sports Hall of Fame,” selection committee chairman Bobby Goldwater said in a statement. “…Individually and together, they represent excellence in sports in the nation’s capital.”

The mood of the pregame induction ceremony at Nationals Park on July 31 could depend on whether Juan Soto, the subject of rampant trade speculation ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline, is still in the home dugout. The Lerner family, which bought the Nationals from Major League Baseball in 2006 and helped bring a World Series title to DC in 2019, is exploring a sale of the team.

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Webb, the first track athlete to be inducted, broke Jim Ryun’s 36-year-old national high school record in the mile as a senior at South Lakes in 2001. The former Michigan standout and 2004 Olympian has held the American record in the mile ( 3:46.91) since 2007.

Elmore, who earned first-team all-ACC honors as a senior in 1974, remains Maryland’s all-time leading rebounder. Winters Scott, who now serves as a Mystics and Wizards analyst for NBC Sports Washington, starred for the Terps after leading South Lakes to an undefeated season and the Virginia AAA state title in 1986.

Geoghan, who died in February at 87, “did more for basketball in this area than any single coach or anyone for helping the young people,” said longtime friend Red Jenkins. In 1974, Geoghan created the Capital Classic, an all-star game that pitted DC’s best against top high school basketball players from across the country. A Gonzaga graduate, Geoghan co-founded the McDonald’s All-American Games in 1978 and helped start the Jordan Brand Classic in 2002.

Johnson, 50, in 1996 became the first African American to win a world flyweight title. The three-time world champion became the first fighter born and raised in DC to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2012, an honor he called a “dream come true.”

The Spirit is being recognized as a “Team of Distinction,” following in the title-winning footsteps of the 2018 Capitals and 2019 Nationals and Mystics. Kelley O’Hara’s goal in extra time gave the Spirit a 2-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars in the 2021 NWSL championship game. The triumph capped an improbable 9-0-3 run to close the season under interim coach Kris Ward after Richie Burke stepped down in August and was subsequently fired after The Washington Post detailed allegations against him of verbal and emotional abuse.

“People have no idea what we’ve all gone through, and the resiliency and perseverance of every single player is pretty incredible,” O’Hara said.

The DC Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1980 but went dormant for about a decade starting around 2001. Nominees for inclusion, as determined by a 14-member selection committee, must have “gained prominence” in the greater DC area through their achievements in professional, collegiate, amateur or high school sports as an athlete, coach, owner, executive, member of the media or contributor. Honorees’ names are displayed on a sign hanging beyond the outfield at Nationals Park.

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