Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame announces 2019 inductees

Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame announced 2019 inductees on Jan. 29, 2019. (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame will welcome the 2019 inductees into membership very soon and Tuesday we found who they are.

The Hall of Fame was formed in 2005 to honor those who have brought recognition to the greater Wilmington area and themselves, by their excellence in the world of sports.

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On May 5, Steven E. Dayvault, Linwood Hedgepeth, Ruby Zell Sutton and Kevin Whitted will join the list.

They will feted at an annual banquet at the Wilmington Convention Center.

“Athletics have played a big role here in Wilmington for a long, long time,” Hall of Fame Board Member Sheila Boles said. “I know athletics was a means to an education for me. Athletics is the one thing that brings people together a lot of times. It doesn’t matter how rich you are or poor you are, or ethnic group.”

Boles is a former inductee and says the banquet is a time for these athletes to reflect on their careers.

More details on each 2019 inductee:

Born in Concord, NC to Anna Culp Dayvault and A. C. Dayvault, Steve graduated from New Hanover High School in 1972 and attended UNCW 1973-1974.

Steve became interested in racquetball at the early age of 11 as the YMCA opened on Market Street. His parents were always supportive of any athletics. In fact his Mom was also competitive and played on her high school basketball team. Steve says his early role models were Jack Morris, Director YMCA, Wilmington, Dub Freshwater, Ed Miller and Ray Carrino…all great players in their day.

Steve started playing at the Wilmington YMCA, later UNCW, during college, then Wilmington Athletic Club, UNCW Rec Center and the NIR Family YMCA.

Steve’s Racquetball career has garnered numerous awards over the years. These have included 3 times North Carolina Racquetball Open Singles Champion….1985 Charlotte, 1988 Durham and 1993 Charlotte.

Dayvault is a 14 time North Carolina State Racquetball Open Doubles Champion. In addition to winning 15 Open Singles titles in NC, SC and VA.

He was inducted into the North Carolina Racquetball Hall of Fame in 2005.

In Houston, TX, Steve came in 2nd place in the National Doubles Open 35+ (Partner George Dodson, NC), 2nd place in the National Doubles Open 40+ (partner George Dodson, NC) and 3rd in the National Doubles Open Mixed (partner Malia Bailey, VA). Dayvault was the 2011 Champion in the National Doubles Open Mixed 45+ (partner Malia Bailey, VA) and 2011 Champion in National Doubles Open 55+ (partner Charlie Hauser, CA), both held in Phoenix, AZ.

In addition to racquetball, Dayvault has also enjoyed competition water skiing and more recently Pickleball.

Steve has been married to Paula Gill Dayvault since 1979…he says “I must thank my wife Paul for supporting my activities over the years and putting up with me being gone many days and weekends practicing and playing competitively.

Legendary Coach Linwood Hedgepeth’s 439-217 career high school record was built as Head Coach Massey Hill High School 1967-1968 (28-12), Head Coach Hallsboro High School 1969-1979 (185-51), Head Coach Whiteville High School 1980-1989 (226-64). He also was the Head Coach Whiteville American Legion Post 137 from 1972 to 1990.

Coach Hedgepeth holds 5 NCHSAA 2A State Championships…Hallsboro HS in 1974 and 1978 and Whiteville HS in 1983, 1985 and 1989.

He was 2A State Runner Up in 1973 at Hallsboro High School and won seven Conference Championships at Hallsboro High School and nine Conference Championships at Whiteville High School.

Coach Hedgepeth won State Legion Championships in 1985 and 1989 and finished State Legion Runners Up in 1977 and 1986.

During 24 years as a prep head coach, he was reputed to have produced 30 to 40 college players…the most of any coach in the nation. Hedgepeth coached back to back First Round Draft picks, Tommy Greene in 1985 and Patrick Lennon in 1986. Other notable players that were coached by Hedgepeth are George Threadgill, Chris Threadgill, Greg Norris, Chuck Baldwin, Robbie Allen, Henry Threadgill, Otis Nixon, Donell Nixon, Ronnie Williamson and LeGrande Russell.

Hedgepeth’s personal playing experience was at Evergreen High School and Pembroke State where he earned NAIA All-Region Honors.

SPORT Magazine and ABC Sports deemed Whiteville as Baseball Town USA and Coach Hedgepeth was the main feature in 1986.

Ruby Zell Sutton, a native of Kinston, North Carolina is the third of five children born to the late Stephen and Mozelle Sutton. Her early education was completed at Savannah Elementary and High School where she sang in the chorus and played basketball while maintaining membership in the Honor Society. In 1965 she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from North Carolina College (North Carolina Central University) in Durham, North Carolina. Drs. Lavonna Allison, the late Leroy Walker and Allen Weatherford were influential mentors in her undergraduate matriculation.

After graduation Ruby relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina where she began her teaching career at Williston Senior High School as a physical education teacher. She remained there until the school was officially closed in June of 1968. Further teaching assignments included Noble Junior High School, 1968-1973 where she was the cheerleading coach. Ruby’s next teaching assignment was at D. C. Virgo Ninth Grade Center, 1974-1977. During Ruby’s tenure at D. C. Virgo she coached basketball and track and field. Her next school assignment was at E. A. Laney High School from 1977-2018. Laney became her home for the next 41 years. During this 41 year tenure, she coached basketball, cheerleading, softball, boys’ and girls’ tennis and volleyball. During her fifty-two years in education she made positive and significant impact on thousands of students as a coach and teacher. Many of her former students and athletes have distinguished themselves in a variety of professions and are known nationally and internationally.

Ruby’s tennis career garnered an impressive 346-135 record, she won 5 Mid-East Conference Championship and was voted Coach of the Year 4 times. In volleyball here career record is 531-218. She was voted 3 times Coach of the Year, won 5 Mid-East Conference Championships, the 1996 Regional Volleyball Championship and the 1996 State Volleyball Runner-up.

Throughout her career, Ruby received many awards and recognition including Outstanding Service and Dedication from the E. A. Laney Guidance Department. In 1996 Ruby was voted Walt Disney National Physical Education Teacher of the year. Other awards included NC Association of Athletics, Health, Physical Education Teacher of the Year, Sen-ABSE National and State Honoree as a Physical Education Teacher, the Saul Bachner Secondary Mentoring Award, NCSAA Homer Thompson Memorial Eight Who Make a Difference and NCHAA – 100 Coaches to Remember. In 2012 Ruby received a Basketball/Volleyball Court Dedication at E. A. Laney and was inducted into the E. A. Laney Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

Whitted fell in love with basketball and spearheaded the start of his career while playing at Trask Jr. High School.  Leading the team to a city championship in the 1986-1987 season.

In 1990 Kevin Whitted was a four time letterman standout at E.A. Laney High School in Wilmington, NC.  In addition to being All Regional and All State his sophomore-senior years, he was a McDonald’s All American starting forward in basketball. The E.A. Laney High School Buccaneers went to the state playoffs for 3 straight seasons while Whitted was on the team.  As the all- time leading scorer (1,554 pts) at E.A. Laney, Whitted’s jersey was retired in 2007.  He was inducted into the E.A. Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

Kevin Whitted enrolled in the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 1991 as an Information Technology major.  He scored 972 points in his 3 year basketball career which includes letterman status at the university.

Whitted has enjoyed a seven year professional basketball career in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks and the European League.  He was also selected to play on the USA Select European tour; earning the 1997 MVP award in the playoff tournament in Madrid, Spain.

While coaching for 17 years Whitted has made impressive strides.  He began in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the Professional Basketball League (PBL).  During Whitted’s first two years as a head coach, he won two division championships in the ABA with the Atlanta Vision and the Wilmington Sea Dawgs.  His well-rounded background also includes the role of General Manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Wilmington Sea Dawgs.

After two seasons at the helm with the Sea Dawgs, Whitted made his NBA D-League debut as an Assistant Coach with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers affiliate) and then went on to be the Assistant Coach of the Springfield Armor (Brooklyn Nets affiliate).  Whitted was named Interim Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College.  He was also the Assistant Coach for the Memphis Grizzlies NBA Summer League.  Lastly, Whitted was the inaugural Head Coach of the NBA G-League Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks affiliate).

Whitted has been nationally recognized as a basketball skill developer working alongside top skill developers and NBA players: Amare Stoudemire, Vince Carter, Deron Williams and LeBron James in the Nike Skills Academies.  He is the founder of Kevin Whitted Basketball Services (KWBS) located in Memphis, TN.  KWBS is a curriculum-based training program for youth grades 2nd-12th as well as college and professional players.

Kevin also founded the Get Whitted Hoops Foundation which focuses on grooming players on and off the court on life skills.

This year’s emcee will be David Glenn, an award-winning Sports Broadcaster, Publisher, Editor and Writer. Some might call him the encyclopedia of ACC Sports but at ESPN radio they just call him Dave G. David serves as host of 99.9FM The Fan weekdays from Noon-3pm but also is Editor/Writer for the ACC Area Sports Journal and

The David Glenn Show is one of the largest regionally syndicated sports programs in the nation, heard on 25 plus AM/FM signals in more than 200 cities across North Carolina plus parts of South Carolina and Virginia. In 2014, he helped launch and serves as game-day host for the Big Tailgate Tour, which brings a unique brand of fun, contests, excitement and prizes to universities and fans across North Carolina for games and special events. In his radio career, Glenn previously served as the successful evening drive-time host at Sports Radio 850 The Buzz in the Triangle area of North Carolina, achieving ratings that represented a larger audience than those of all other Triangle sports talk shows in the same time slot combined.

Including his visits as a guest on other shows weekly…. throughout the ACC area and often nationally, Glenn makes more than 500 radio and television appearances per year. He has also served as a popular emcee and/or speaker at dozens of sports clubs, civic groups and other organizations.

Growing up in Philly, David was exposed to sports at an early age. “Philly is a sports town to its core,” says David. On David Glenn’s show, listeners are encouraged to share their opinions and speak out for or against other caller comments. He has an extensive sports devotion including the obvious (college basketball, college football, NHL, NFL, MLB) and not so obvious (wrestling, only with mud). He is one of the authorities on all things ACC.