Athletes who join Florida A&M's Sports Hall of Fame call the occasion an honor.
FAMU welcomed seven of its former athletes into the coveted pool of legends whose play has been deemed remarkable. They joined past inductees at a recent awards ceremony.
These athletes say they are grateful for being honored.
Tony Hayes, a former star football player at Leon High School, played for the Rattlers from 1979 to 1982. He ended his career with 285 tackles and 29 sacks. He said FAMU was his dream school.
“This means the world to me, I grew up right here in Tallahassee with orange and green in me and always wanted to attend FAMU and become a Rattler,” Hayes said, adding, “What I miss about the game is the camaraderie of sports, it’s a uniqueness because there is no 'I' in team just we against anyone else.”
Hayes was honored alongside fellow football player Terry Mickens, softball players Danielle Brown and Kimberly Browning-Hankerson, pitcher Moses McCray (posthumously), coach Carl Goodman, Virden Evans, a supporter of athletics.
FAMU President Elmira Mangum praised these athletes for the impact they have had on the university.
“Its always an honor because athletes have served,” Mangum said. “It's also a great honor of excellence and support for the institution.”
Delores Brown, spoke on behalf of her uncle, the late Moses McCray.
“It makes me very proud today to represent my uncle,” Brown said. “He loved family, baseball and he loved FAMU.”
Earlier inductees recall feeling overwhelmed by their selection into the event.
William “Soup” Campbell, a baseball inductee who played from 1972-1976, said how honored he was when he was immortalized.
“Besides my son being born, the greatest honor I have had” Campbell said.
Former Rattler basketball forward and guard Wate Bellamy was an inductee of the 1987 class. He called it the “highlight of my athletic career.”
“Being inducted the same year as my high school coach was truly a special treat,” Bellamy said.