Jackson State University will induct 10 former student-athletes – several who played professionally – and a supporter into the 2018 Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 28.
This year’s annual event will be at 6 p.m. inside the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center.
The future inductees cover a range of sports: basketball, football, golf and softball:
- Shasta Averyhardt, golf – She won nine collegiate golf tournaments, including four individual SWAC Conference Championships. She led the team to four SWAC Team Championships that berthed a bid in the NCAA Regionals, 2005-2008. In 2011, she became the fourth African-American woman to gain membership on the LPGA Tour.
- Kevin Dent, football – He led the nation in pass interceptions; he garnered 11 as a sophomore and returned two of those for touchdowns. Ultimately, he would become Conference Defensive Player of the Year twice. JSU Tigers won four consecutive SWAC Championships under the defense of safety Dent.
- A.J. Montecinos, golf – He earned a PGA Championship and competed against Tiger Woods.
- Narah Dean Oatis, supporter – JSU Department of Athletics presented Oatis an Award for Dedicated Service in 2008 after 32 years of commitment related to JSU athletic performances. She became director of the Sonic Boom of the South’s Prancing Jaycettes (now J-Settes) in 1975, devoting 21 years to the dance group. She also worked with JSU Twirlers and cheerleaders.
- Tera Sheriff, basketball – She was a key part of the Lady Tigers’ advancements to SWAC championships, with an appearance at the NCAA tournament (1995). Sheriff was the only player in the nation to rank in the Top 10 in scoring and rebounding (1994-1995).
- M.C. Taylor, football – He played on two conference championship teams and on a national championship team. His football squad was known as “The 1962 Dream Team.”
- John Walker, football – After being drafted by NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, his plans were to play about 12 years, retire and then start a business. All of that changed after being drafted in 1968 by the U.S. Army. He was inspired to coach after active duty. At JSU, he lettered four consecutive years. He was a linebacker, tight end and also the long snapper center.
- LaTrenda R. Watson, softball – She was a four-year letter winner in softball. In 1999, Watson received SWAC All-Tournament Team; SWAC Eastern Division Most Outstanding Hitter; and Player of the Year. She was 29th in the nation for Division I for a softball batting average of .418.
- Rickey Young, football – In the NFL, Young played in 131 games, rushing for nearly 4,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. In his nine seasons in the NFL (1975-1983), Young did not miss a single game, playing in all 131 contests with his teams in that span.
- Eric Strothers, basketball – He was named one of the best mid-major assistant coaches in NCAA Division I basketball by collegeinsider.com. In 2010, he was tabbed SWAC Assistant Basketball Coach of the Year.
Tickets to the 2018 Sports Hall of Fame may be purchased from the JSU Ticket Office, 601-979-2420.