Sports Task Force announces Pioneer awards honorees

Thanks to Sports Task Force members Ron Thomas and J.A. Adande, the duo have assembled a first-class lineup for next week’s Pioneer Awards. And thanks to Ricky Clemons’ fund-raising efforts, the bills have been paid. There’s lots of great sports history represented among the honorees, and you’ll probably be introduced to some groundbreakers you hadn’t heard about before.

Here they are, the 2011 honorees:

Donald Hunt – Journalist of the Year – Philadelphia Tribune

Basketball coach John Chaney – a combined 748-309 at Temple and Cheyney State, including 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and a Div. II national championship

Philadelphia Stars of the Negro Leagues – Mahlon Duckett, Harold Gould, Bill “Ready” Cash and the late Stanley “Doc” Glenn

Sonny Hill – Philadelphia’s “Mr. Basketball” – founder of the Sonny Hill Community Involvement League that has provided tutoring and career guidance to far more than 10,000 children, celebrated WIP-AM sports talk show host, played 10 years in the semipro Eastern League when quotas limited the number of black NBA players

Wendell Scott (posthumously) – only black winner of a NASCAR race, focus of a 2011 ESPN documentary, risked his life to pursue his sport

Tina Sloan Green – first African-American female head coach of an intercollegiate lacrosse team, compiled a 207-62-4 record at Temple and won three national championships, co-founder of the Black Women in Sport Foundation

Smokin’ Joe Frazier – heavyweight boxing champ from 1970-73, participated in arguably the fiercest boxing match in history when he lost to Muhammad Ali in the “Thrilla in Manila.”

So reserve time to attend our annual awards ceremony 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5.

What: Sports Pioneers Awards ceremony
When:5 p.m. Friday Aug. 5 (buffet open at 5 p.m., ceremony starts at 5:30 p.m.)
Where: 119A (Convention center)

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About Zuri

I’m a sports writer and producer for Boston.com, originally from San Francisco. I’m a graduate of California State University, Chico and I’ve been writing for newspapers the last eight years, covering sports in Massachusetts and California as well as municipalities like Oakland and Nevada City. I’ve also penned an award-winning column for The Union’s sports section, touching on preps, pro and community sports.

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