Five sports legends inducted into Hattiesburg’s inaugural Hall of Fame

Five sports legends inducted into Hattiesburg's inaugural Hall of Fame

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - It was an historic Thursday in the Hub City as the Hattiesburg Hall of Fame inducted its inaugural class.

Fourteen were inducted, including five Hattiesburg natives who enjoyed great success in the sports realm.

Purvis Short

A 1974 graduate of Hattiesburg High, Short led the Tigers to their last boys basketball state championship (1974). The 6-foot-7 forward played 12 seasons in the NBA, scoring a career-high 59 points with the Golden State Warriors in 1984.

Short now serves as the Chief of Player Programs for the NBA Players Association.

"In my travels, I've always said to people that Hattiesburg has such a rich history,” Short said. “This validates that and to be included in the first class is such a great honor."

Harold Jackson

A 1964 graduate of Rowan High, Jackson played four seasons at Jackson State before being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1968 NFL Draft.

The wide receiver racked up 10,372 yards receiving and 76 touchdowns on his way to five Pro Bowls. Jackson is also in the Black College Hall of Fame and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

"One thing I always told Howard Cosell and Dandy Don,” Jackson said. “When I was playing on like Monday night football, I told them there would be no crime in Hattiesburg or Mississippi because everybody was watching TV and watching me. So that was one of the things that I was proud about, playing ball for Hattiesburg."

Rick Cleveland

A 1970 graduate of Blair High, Cleveland was the sports editor for the Hattiesburg High school newspaper. He went on to become a ten-time Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year.

Cleveland has served as sports editor at the Hattiesburg American and The Clarion-Ledger. He is also a member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

James Ray Carpenter

A 1945 graduate of Hattiesburg High, Carpenter played baseball and basketball at Southern Miss before serving as the men’s golf coach from 1968-1980.

The Runnelstown native served as the president of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. Carpenter is honored posthumously.

Bobby Myrick

A 1970 graduate of Blair High, Myrick played baseball at Mississippi State before being drafted by the New York Mets in the 1974 MLB Draft.

He pitched three seasons, holding a 2.96 earned-run average in 20 relief appearances in 1976. Myrick is honored posthumously.

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