NATCHITOCHES, La (KMSS/KTAL) – The wait was well worth it.
On June 26th, 2021, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame 2020 class finally got to experience its induction ceremony. Of the eleven inductees, over half have some tie to the Ark-La-Tex.
One of the six is former Grambling linebacker turned eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, who hopes his induction as the hall’s first bodybuilder will bring awareness to the sport, which brings him to Natchitoches.
“Bodybuilding is not very popular at all, and I’m hoping this just brings a little more attention to it.” Coleman is one of only two men to win Mr. Olympia eight times, winning each title consecutively from 1998-2005.
When athletes, such as New Orleans native and former New Jersey Net Kerry Kittles, journalists like Shreveport native Tim Brando, or even outdoorsmen as popular and loved as Phil Robertson begin their careers, the goal isn’t to make it to the hall. For Robertson, starting his life as an outdoorsmen was simply a career and a way of staying disciplined.
“I just did it to stay out of trouble and feed my family.”
But now that they’re Hall of Famers, the honor is one they don’t take lightly.
Angela Turner is one of the greatest basketball players in Louisiana Tech Lady Techster history, leading the team to two national championships. Even with those accolades, Turner still finds herself in awe of the recognition.
“It’s been amazing just to be included among these fabulous athletes, and it’s something that I never thought would’ve happened to me,” said Turner, who averaged over 30 points and 15 rebounds as a Senior at the now-closed Shady Grove High School. “I’m just so excited and so overwhelmed, and I am just so humbled.”
In the state of Louisiana, all sports journeys lead to Natchitoches. A year after their original induction was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2020’s journey has finally reached its conclusion.