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)


2009 Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards

TAMPA, Fla. – Former NFL and Tampa Bay Buccaneer stars Lee Roy Selmon and Doug Williams are scheduled to receive Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards this week from the National Association of Black Journalists during the organization’s annual convention here.

Others to be honored by the NABJ Sports Task Force on Friday include former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Ken Riley; Olympic swimmer Maritza Correia; professional golfer Jim Dent; and Associated Press sportswriter Fred Goodall.

The Task Force also will present special merit awards to Brian McIntyre, senior vice president, basketball communications for the NBA and Garry D. Howard, assistant managing editor/sports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“The recipients of our award are very deserving for the contributions to their respected careers, but more importantly, their direct impact on the communities they served,” said Greg Lee Jr., senior assistant sports editor of the Boston Globe and NABJ Sports Task Force chairman. “It is very important to this body to recognize those individuals at every convention city we touch annually.”

The award is named for baseball Hall of Fame writer Sam Lacy, and is presented to sports figures in the city that hosts the NABJ Convention that year. NABJ is the largest minority journalist organization in the United States.

Each award recipient receives a plaque and public acknowledgement of their career achievements.

“Although baseball, basketball and football are our mainstays, through the Pioneer Awards we’ve been able to honor athletes who have excelled in non-traditional sports for black people,” said event co-host Ron Thomas, director of the Morehouse College Journalism and Sports Program.

“Jim Dent will be our first golfer to become an honoree and Maritza Correia will be the first swimmer we have honored. Their presence certainly will be a highlight of the event.”

Selmon, 54, a defensive end, is one of three brothers to play football at the University of Oklahoma. He played on two Sooners’ national championship teams in 1974 and 1975, and won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award in 1975.

Selmon was taken by the Bucs as the first overall pick in the 1976 NFL draft and played nine seasons. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1979.

Williams, 53, was a quarterback from Grambling State University. He was a first-round selection (17th overall) for Tampa Bay in the 1978 NFL draft. He led the Bucs to three playoff appearances in his first four years, including the 1979 NFC title game against the Los Angeles (now St. Louis) Rams.

In 1982, Williams joined the Oklahoma Outlaws of the United States Football League. After the league folded in 1986, Williams returned to the NFL with the Washington Redskins. In 1988 he became the first African-American quarterback in the NFL to start and win the Super Bowl, leading Washington to a 42-10 victory against the Denver Broncos.

Riley, 61, played 15 seasons in the NFL, all for the Cincinnati Bengals. He appeared in the 1982 Super Bowl, which Cincinnati lost to San Francisco. Upon his retirement in 1983, Riley had the fourth highest total of interceptions (65) in NFL history.

Correia, 27, won 11 NCAA championships while at the University of Georgia from 1999-2003. In 2004 she became America’s first black female Olympic swimmer, and was a member of the 400m relay team that won a silver medal in Athens, Greece.

Dent, 70, who turned professional in 1966 and joined the PGA Tour in 1970, won three consecutive Florida state PGA championships from 1976-78. He did not win a PGA Tour event, but Dent has won 12 events on the PGA Senior (now Champions) Tour.

Goodall was the first AP sportswriter specifically assigned to cover the state of Florida, beginning in Miami then later in Tampa and St. Petersburg. He has been covering sports in Florida since 1980.

2009 Sam Lacy Pioneer Award winners announced

Editor’s note: On June 29, The National Association of Black Journalists Sports Task Force announced its 2009 Class of the Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards, the group’s highest honor. These are the recipients.

Maritza Correia

Maritza Correia

Maritza Correia — She is the first Black female to make US Olympic team as a swimmer, and a silver medalist (400m relay) in the 2004 Games. Correia attended Tampa Bay Technical High School and joined the school’s swimming team. In 1999, she became the U.S. National Champion in the 50m freestyle in the 18 and under category. She was also a six time Florida High School State Champion in the 5 different events. In 1999, Correia joined the University of Georgia Lady Bulldogs Swimming and Diving Team. She aided the team when they won their title in the 400m freestyle relay. She earned a share of the SEC Commissioner’s Trophy for high point honors. First and only swimmer in SEC history to win an SEC title in all Freestyle events. During her college career she was a 27-time All-American, and 11-Time NCAA Champion.

Ken Riley and Doug Williams appear together in this 2001 photo.

Ken Riley and Doug Williams appear together in this 2001 photo.

Doug Williams — Williams was drafted in the first round (17th overall) by the Tampa Bay Bucs and led them to three playoff appearances, including the 1979 NFC title game. Later, he became the first and only black quarterback to win the Super Bowl, when he led the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl XXII. Today he is director of professional scouting for the Bucs.

Ken Riley — Riley was a top NFL cornerback who played his entire 15-year career with the Cincinnati Bengals. Riley recorded 65 interceptions in his career, which was the fourth most in Pro Football history at the time of his. Before his professional career, Riley played quarterback for Florida A&M University. In addition to being a skilled athlete, Riley also excelled academically. He earned his team’s scholastic award and a Rhodes Scholar Candidacy. In 1986, he took over as the head coach of his alma mater, Florida A&M. Riley coached Florida A&M from 1986-1993, compiling a 48-39-2 record, with two Mid-Eastern Athletic conference titles and 2 MEAC coach of the year awards. Riley then served as Florida A&M’s athletic director from 1994-2003. He is now retired and living in his hometown of Bartow, Florida.

LeRoy Selmon

LeRoy Selmon

LeRoy Selmon — Selmon was a two-time national champion at Oklahoma, and the first pick of the 1976 NFL draft for the Tampa Bay Bucs. In 1976, Selmon was the first player picked in the NFL draft, the first-ever pick for the then-brand-new expansion team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He joined older brother Dewey, who was a second round pick of the Bucs. In his first year, Lee Roy won the team’s Rookie of the Year and MVP awards. Selmon went to six straight Pro Bowls and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1979. A back injury made the 1984 season his last, and the Bucs retired his number, 63, in 1986. He finished his career with 78.5 sacks. The Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway is named for him, as is a chain of restaurants. The chain, aptly titled Lee Roy Selmon’s, was named one of the 10 best sports bars in America in 2009 it’s motto is Play Hard. Eat Well. And Don’t Forget to Share. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

Jim Dent

Jim Dent

Jim Dent — Dent was born in the golf mecca of Augusta, Georgia, home of the Masters Tournament, though as an African American he wouldn’t have been allowed onto the Augusta National course at the time, except as a caddie. He caddied both at Augusta National and at Augusta Country Club as a boy. Dent turned pro in 1966. During his regular (under 50) career he was Florida PGA Champion three times. However he is mainly notable for his success on the Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour), where he won 12 tournaments between 1989 and 1998.

Fred Goodall

Fred Goodall

Fred Goodall — Goodall is a long time sports journalist and mentor, writes for the Associated Press in Tampa. He will be honored with the organization’s journalism award.

A merit award will be presented Brian McIntyre of the NBA, who has helped provide long time support for the Pioneer Ceremony and NABJ.

The winners will be honored at the NABJ Convention in Tampa on August 7. The ceremony also includes presenting two students with Larry Whiteside Scholarships.

Larry Whiteside to be inducted in NABJ Hall of Fame

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will induct four outstanding journalists, including Sports Task Force pioneer Larry Whiteside, who made integral contributions to journalism and civil rights into its Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be held on Friday, August 7, 2009 at the 2009 NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair in Tampa.

“These remarkable individuals endured great challenges so that black journalists today can have more freedom and professional opportunity,” said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. “As Hall of Fame inductees, their memory and accomplishments will be preserved and passed on to future generations.”

The NABJ Hall of Fame inductees were named at the organization’s April Board of Directors meeting in Tampa.

Larry Whiteside – Reporter, The Boston Globe (Boston), (posthumous)

Whiteside, a 1999 NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and 2008 National Baseball Hall of Fame writer inductee, was the first African-American beat sports writer for the Boston Globe. Whiteside was also only the third African-American recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, given by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in 2008.

Whiteside covered the Red Sox from 1973 to 1994, chronicling some of the team’s most notable moments in baseball history. He was an expert on Negro league baseball and one of the first sports writers to track baseball’s international play. “Sides” made four trips to Japan and two to Australia covering the sport.

Whiteside started with the Kansas City Kansan in 1959. He moved on to the Milwaukee Journal to cover the Milwaukee Braves and Brewers as well as civil rights issues in the ‘60s. In 1971, Whiteside started The Black List to help sports editors find qualified black journalists to hire. Whiteside died in 2007 at the age of 69.

The three other inductees are:

  • Earl Caldwell – Reporter and early Civil Rights Activist (New York)
  • Peggy Peterman – St. Petersburg Times (Florida); (posthumous)
  • Lynn Norment – Editor, EBONY Magazine (Chicago)

Read the full release at

Wilbon to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Michael WilbonWASHINGTON, D.C. –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announced at its spring Board of Directors meeting that Michael Wilbon will be honored with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Wilbon will join other honorees at the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala on August 8, in Tampa.

“Michael is the epitome of the cross-over journalist, and he has achieved that distinction at the highest levels,” said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. “One of far too few black columnists in the United States, Michael connects with sports fans and players like none other while capturing the enduring, challenging and inspiring moments of the game.”

A sports writer for the Washington Post since 1980, and a columnist since 1990 with a column that appears as much as four times per week, Wilbon is one of fewer than 20 black sports columnists at major daily newspapers in America.

In 2001, Wilbon became an original co-host for ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, a fast paced sports talk show with in-depth debate on various topics between Wilbon and co-host Tony Kornheiser. Now one of ESPN’s most watched shows, Wilbon has excelled in covering nearly every major sporting event in the past three decades for the Post and ESPN. He has also co-written two books with NBA legend Charles Barkley: “I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It,” and “Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man?”

“Michael is a thought-provoking columnist who still holds onto his foundation of being a print journalist despite being showcased on a variety of electronic platforms,” said NABJ Treasurer Gregory Lee, Jr. “Wilbon not only set the standard with his wide-ranging commentary, but his professionalism and mentorship ranks just as high as the columns that are printed in the/ Washington Post/. Michael is not just a role model for sports journalists, but for the entire profession.”

Wilbon has taken part in the NABJ Sports Task Force mentoring program where he helped guide up-and-coming black sports journalists. Wilbon was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists as its top sports columnist in 2001 and he has been among the top three national sports columnists selected by the Associated Press Sports Editors three times.

CNN’s T.J. Holmes will host the 2009 NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards Gala on August 8, 2009 as part of the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair in Tampa, Fla.

The NABJ Convention is the largest gathering of minority journalists in the country.

Salute to Excellence recognizes journalism that best covered the black experience or addressed issues affecting the worldwide black community during 2008. For more information, go to