The former Major League Baseball pitcher and national gymnastics champion are six new inductees to the Gary Sports Hall of Fame.
Class of 2023 inductees include college basketball coach Vic Bubas, track and field coach John Campbell, gymnast Dianne Durham Drahozal, MLB pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, NBA star Davage Minor and longtime Gary School coach Earl Smith Jr. inaugural The ceremony will be held on July 28 at 6:30 pm in the Auditorium of the Northwest Arts and Sciences Building at Indiana University, 3415 Broadway. The fee is USD 25 per person. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. “This is a really big moment and we’re very proud of it,” Hall of Fame vice chairman Chuck Hughes said at a news conference Wednesday.
He thanked the late Lake County Commissioner Roosevelt Allen Jr. for helping conceive of plans for the Hall of Fame, which features pictures of the recipients on the main wall of the Arts and Sciences Building. Hughes said the Hall of Fame is working with Gary High School to arrange tours for students so they can learn about the city’s rich sports history. “We build on the solid foundations of our past,” said IUN President Ken Iwama. “We are equally pleased that the Hall of Fame is housed in our state-of-the-art Arts and Sciences building.” Iwama said the University is committed to promoting and maintaining the Hall of Fame. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the Hall of Fame’s 2021 inductees who joined the Class of 2022 last year when the organization rolled out its first class.
Last year, the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation matched a $10,000 donation with a $10,000 donation from Bruce and Beth White The gift pushed the Hall of Fame past the initial fundraising finish line. Here are the finalists: Vic Bubas was a 1944 Lew Wallace graduate who went on to become Duke’s basketball coach. He is credited with elevating Duke from a regional program to a national program and for pioneering the art of recruiting. He passed away in 2018. John Campbell
Led Gary Roosevelt to 20 Indiana Athletic Championships. Dianne Durham Drahozal became the first black national gymnastics champion in 1983. LaTroy Hawkins, a 1991 Gary West Side graduate, was a backup pitcher for 11 MLB teams, including the Chicago Cubs, before retiring in 2015. Davage Minor, Froebel graduated in 1941, leading the school to its only state title. When he joined the Baltimore Bullets in 1951, he was one of only five black men to play in the NBA, Gary’s first. He died in 1998.
Earl H. Smith Jr., 1952 Roosevelt University , who coached at five Gary high schools and served as athletic director during a 56-year career. For more information, visit the organization’s website at garysportshalloffame.org. Carole Carlson is a freelance reporter for The Post-Tribune.