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The 2019 Class of the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame

Newark Athletic Hall of Fame
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The 31st Newark Athletic Hall of Fame Annual Awards Dinner brought together some of the greatest to wear a uniform or coach a team. 18 more recipients were inducted into the Hall from different eras.  The event was held at the Best Western Hotel in Newark on October 17.

Television personality Lisa Durden was a track star at Vailsburg High School and was part of the 1982 record-breaking mile relay team.  It took Columbia High School 28 years to break that amazing time.  Durden is pleased to see girls/women get their due in the Hall.

"We took athletics as seriously as the boys.  When I went to Vailsburg High School and I ran track for four years, I meant business.  When I hopped on that track, I wanted to break chicks on that track.  But track was a gentlewoman's sport.  I went on the track, all about my business, but when its over, 'hey girl hey'. 

Credit Doug Doyle for WBGO
Jyavona Ellis celebrates her HOF recognition with family and friends

Jyavona Ellis was a star basketball player at East Side High School where she broke the school's record of scoring 44 points in one game.  Ellis was moved by the Hall of Fame honor.

"To me it's like a life-changing moment because it's very rare to be inducted into a Hall of Fame when your team isn't recognized for being popular in basketball but you're being recognized for individual, I think it's very interesting."

When Iasia Hemingway played basketball at Malcolm X Shabazz High School people took notice.  Hemingway would go on to play college ball at Georgia Tech and Syracuse...and then joined the WNBA's New York Liberty.  Her message to other yong ladies adn girls involved in sports?

"I just want them to understand that hard works pays off and if you keep that tunnel vision and you stay focused on a goal you will be very successful."

Hemingway was named New Jersey "Player of the Year" in both 2006 and 2007.

Brian Logan
Credit Doug Doyle for WBGO
One of the congratulatory ads in the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame program

Brian Logan graduated from Weequahic High School in 1982.  He's had a brilliant coaching career in both high school and college and is currently the head football coach at Weeaquahic.  His story of coaching his squad to two state championship in inspiring.

"I think about how we started 0-9, then in the Meadowlands on a snowy day.  One of the kids who passed away on my team, he was murdered.  We dedicated that game to him.  It was amazing how the score ended, it was 20-0, his jersey number on the scoreboard at the Meadowlands, so that's when I knew God was real."

Logan, a former guest on SportsJam with Doug Doyle, is a retired police officer and detective from the Newark Police Department.

Credit Doug Doyle for WBGO
The Newark Athletic Hall of Fame is filled with some of the greatest performers in a variety of sports

Each inductee received a beautiful plaque.  They also have the opportunity to purchase a HOF ring.

You can see the entire list of inductees which included Dr. James Lee, Jr. WIley Williams, Bill Jamieson and Amiri "Middy" Baraka, at www.newarkathletichalloffame.org. 

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and New Jersey State Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake were both on hand for the celebration.

The Board President of the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame is Harry Snyder.

Click above to hear the night's emcee, Doug Doyle, give his thoughts on the evening.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 250 awards from organizations like PRNDI (now PMJA), AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.