Music, food, friends, in a beautiful, big, air conditioned venue, and it’s free? That’s how the upcoming 2022 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration begins its three-day party next Thursday, June 23.
The La Capitol Federal Credit Union Welcome Reception is free and open to all a week from today, with the party going from 5-7 p.m. inside the world-class Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located at the Front Street traffic circle.
The Welcome Reception offers a casual vibe with tasty hors d’ouevres, refreshing drinks, lively music and the chance to meet and mingle with the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 inductees and their family members as they arrive to begin the three-day Induction Celebration next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
La Capitol FCU is the longest-standing corporate partner for the Hall of Fame’s annual festivities, hosting the welcome reception every year since the inductions returned to Natchitoches in 2003. Since the Hall of Fame museum’s grand opening in 2013, the party’s started in the two-story, 27,500-square foot facility whose design has drawn worldwide architectural acclaim.
The June 23 evening reception provides guests the chance to see the new display items honoring the 2022 inductees, while meeting the sports heroes and socializing. There’s no need to dress to impress – this is not a coat-and-tie evening.
It’s the first of seven events. There’s also a free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday night, June 24, featuring nationally renowned Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Playboys and rising country/rock artis M.J. Dardar. Also free of charge for kids – the LSHOF Junior Training Camp on Saturday morning, June 25.
For information on all the events and registration (required for the camp), visit LaSportsHall.com or call 318-238-4255. The Saturday night Induction Reception and Ceremony culminates festivities and is one of four ticketed events.
The 2022 LSHOF inductees are headlined by pair of six-time Pro Bowl NFL linemen, New Orleans Saints’ offensive guard Jahri Evans and Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, among a star-studded group of nine 2022 competitive ballot choices for the Hall.
The Class of 2022 also includes two of the greatest women athletes in LSU history, three-time national champion gymnast Susan Jackson and two-time first-team All-America softball pitcher Britni Sneed Newman. Williams, who helped the Tigers’ football team win the 2003 national championship, is joined by another of LSU’s all-time great linemen, the late Eric Andolsek, and pro rodeo great Steve Duhon, a former LSU linebacker, among in a Tiger-heavy class of 2022 inductees.
Baton Rouge-Episcopal High School track and field/cross country coach Claney Duplechin enters the Hall next summer still active, with his teams capturing an astounding 65 LHSAA crowns in his career. Another extraordinary coach, the late Tony Robichaux, No. 1 on the wins list for state college baseball coaches, is in the group. Rounding out the Class of 2022 is the late Dr. Eddie Flynn, who as a Loyola-New Orleans student won the 1932 Olympic welterweight boxing gold medal for the USA, the last gold medal for an American boxer for 20 years.
Inducted as winners of the LSWA’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism will be acclaimed north Louisiana writer, author and broadcaster Teddy Allen and central Louisiana writer, editor and publisher Garland Forman.
Shreveport native Jay Cicero, the longtime CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation that helps host Super Bowls, NCAA Final Fours and other major events, is the 2022 winner of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award and will be enshrined in the Hall next weekend.