Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame announces 2020 class

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–On Sunday, May 3rd, the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame will welcome the 2020 inductees into membership at their annual banquet at the Wilmington Convention Center in downtown Wilmington.  The Reception and Silent Auction will begin at 5:00 pm followed by the induction ceremony and dinner at 6:15 pm.  Our Speakers Luncheon will be held May 1st at the City Club @deRoset and our annual golf tournament will be held on Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00am.

The GWSHOF was formed in 2005 in order 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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The 2020 slate of inductees are as follows:

DONNIE BOWERS

Donnie Bowers was born on October 16, 1950, in Wilmington, North Carolina. At the age of 14. Donnie began playing golf at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course. In June 1986 Donnie had the opportunity to play Oakmont Country Club (PA) with friends, where a rules Incident occurred on the 18th green and unable to obtain a resolution to the situation they continued to play the hole. After the round was complete, Donnie purchased a rulebookfrom the Pro Shop. After finding the answer to the rule’s situation, his interest in the rules of golf began. Donnie joined Pine Valley Country Club in 1978. During his over 30-year membership, he served on the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Golf Committee.



During these years he developed an interest in tournament administration and the rules of golf. Donnie reached out the USGA for support while on the Golf Committee. In May of 1990 Donnie was invited to join the USGA Sectional Affairs Committee. Donnie has worked 62 USGA Championships including 18 US Opens, 9 US Women’s Opens, 14 Senior Opens, and 11 US Amateurs.

Donnie has served as a walking rules official for many prominent PGA Tour players including, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Tiger Woods, Lorena Ochoa, and Paula Creamer.

Donnie is the chairman of the rules committee for the Duke University Rod Myers Invitational and the Dustin Johnson World Junior, In addition to USGA events, Donnie has officiated over 70 NCAA Tournaments, including Division I, II and III National Championships, Golf World Championships, the Palmer Cup, Caribbean Golf Championships, and Web.com events.

Donnie was invited to officiate at the 2019 inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. In addition, Donnie served as a volunteer assistant coach for Hoggard High School Men’s Golf team for 5 years, including the 1993 State 4A champions.

Donnie was a founding member of the Landfall Tradition, a member of the Board of Directors of Playing by The Rules Foundation, Inc., and is a member of the NC Golf Panel. Each year, Donnie speaks about the Rules of Golf to many local golf clubs in the area as well as Cape Fear Community College students.

Donnie was the recipient of the USGA’s Ike Grainger Award for volunteer service in 2014. The award was very special to Donnie as it was named after another Wilmington resident.

CHUCKY BROWN

Clarence “Chucky” Brown Jr. is a retired professional basketball player. A 6-foot-8 forward from North Carolina State University and second-round selection by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1989 NBA draft, Brown shares (with Joe Smith, Tony Massenburg and Jim Jackson) the NBA record for the most teams played during his NBA career — 12 teams in 13 years: The Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets (where he became champion in 1994–95), Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.

He retired with 4,125 career points. Brown’s playing experience includes an NBA Championship, a CBA Championship and ACC Championship. He also has eight years of coaching experience in the NBA G-League and seven years as an NBA scout.

Brown moved from New York City to Navassa in 1983 and starred at North Brunswick High School, where he became one of the top recruits in the state. The late Jim Valvano recruited him and Brown helped lead the Wolfpack to the 1989 ACC regular-season title.

Brown lives in Cary, with his wife, Melanie, and their three daughters. One daughter, Izzy, is on the women’s soccer team at UNC Chapel Hill.

Chucky is the current head boys basketball Coach at West Johnston High School. He was hired April 2, 2019. He is also the first member of his family to graduate from college. Following his pro basketball career, Brown returned to college to earn a degree. Known for an easygoing disposition and work ethic, those traits endeared him to everyone he met.

N.C. State great point guard Chris Corchiani once referred to Brown as the best teammate he ever had. It was with the Wolfpack Brown made a name for himself.

This quote, which he stated during a podcast following retirement from the National Basketball Association, best summed up Brown.

“I always tell people I’m not rich with money by any means, but I’m rich as far as knowing people, knowing teammates and just being able to stay in contact with former teammates.

PHYLLIS MASON

Phyllis Ann Fox was born on Dec. 19, 1947 to Boyd and Dorothy Fox in Hickory, North Carolina. The second of five children, she has a talent for swimming and competed for her city team against surrounding cities, specializing in the butterfly. At age 17, she was awarded a National Science Foundation scholarship to study Marine Biology. She spent the summer in Sarasota, Florida and Bimini studying sharks and crustaceans. In 1966, she graduated from Hickory High. At that time, her favorite hobby was waterskiing for hours on end.

Phyllis graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.  The following year she married David Mason and moved to Chatham County, where she put him through medical school by working as a quality control chemist for Reichold Chemicals.  They moved to Wilmington in 1975 and had sons, David and Stephen. After converting from family breadwinner to stay at home mom, she turned to strenuous exercise to maintain physical and emotional health.

She entered the Wrightsville Beach Triathlon in 1986 and found it to be her calling. Over the next 33 years, she completed 244 triathlons of all distances. USA triathlon named her All American 15 times. She was ranked number 1 in the nation in her age group over a 10-year stretch beginning in the mid 1990’s.

Setting Phyllis apart was her competition on the world stage. She completed the Hawaii Ironman in 1992 and 1995. She placed fifth in 1998 in Lausanne Switzerland, second (winning silver medal for Team USA) in 2003 Queensland New Zealand, fifth in 2007 Hamburg Germany, and fourth in 2017 Rotterdam Germany.

Even though swimming was her specialty, she qualified in the World Duathlon (run/bike/run) Championships one year and finished sixth.

Phyllis served as the original coach of the YMCA triathlon team and also coached the Wilmington Athletic club team. She pioneered youth participation in the sport by convincing several race directors to suspend the 18 and over requirement, allowing her 12 and 14-year-old sons to compete in many races across the state. Current races now have competitors age 10 and up. Now retired from racing, Phyllis is the proud grandmother of four:  Ben and Abigail Mason in Raleigh, and Ansley and Harrison Mason in Chapel Hill, and she enjoys watching them get involved in competitions.

JOE ROBINSON

Carroll Bennett Robinson was born in Columbia, South Carolina, April 11, 1941. From age nine; he grew up at the Presbyterian Home for Children in Black Mountain, NC. (At nine, he changed his name to Joe from Joe Bazooka Bubblegum wrapper).

In high school he played football, basketball, baseball and track. He held the shot and discus record for his school. He lettered all four years in football, basketball and track. He also was active in Church and was the Moderator of Asheville Presbytery.  He was also president for three years and president of the student body his senior year. He received a full football grant with Jim Tatum at UNC, where he played running back and lettered for two years. He was also high scorer at the Gator Bowl against the Air Force in a 35-0 win; UNC’s first bowl victory.  After

graduation, he became assistant football coach at Wilson Fike, where he also and started the wrestling team.

He returned to Carolina for a masters’ degree, but was drafted by the Army, where he headed up special services for 140,000 troops in Maryland, training them in football, basketball and softball.

After service duty, Joe coached VMI freshmen and returned to complete his masters’ degree at UNC. There, he coached the freshman team in football before being defensive line coach at Duke before becoming wide receiver coach at Virginia.  In 1973, Joe became the Westminster High School head coach in Atlanta for football and golf. His football team won the state championship in 1978 for all divisions and he was named coach of the year for Georgia. He then became athletic director and football coach at Episcopal High School, and in 1984, his team won the IAC state championship in Virginia.

In 1985, Joe went back to UNC as the Director of Recruiting under John Swofford (athletic director) and Dick Crum (head football coach) and head coach Mack Brown. Joe was instrumental in moving the high school football playoffs to college campuses, hosting the first at Kenan Stadium.

Joe became a Hall of Fame recipient for Charles B. Owen High School in Black Mountain, N.C.

The last few years, Joe has spent in private business in Wilmington. He has been on the board of the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame for over 13 years and works with the golf tournament. He has organized the 1963 Gator Bowl Reunion several times in Chapel Hill. He was honored at Westminster in 2015 by having a film about him directed by his granddaughter Cate Davis. The name of the film was: Touchdown for Hope”.

JONES ANGELL – EMCEE

This year’s emcee will be Jones Angel is the voice of the Tar Heels, in his third season as a play-by-play announcer for the football and men’s basketball teams.

Angell lived the majority of his life in Jacksonville, N.C., where he listened to long-time voice of the Tar Heels, the late Woody Durham and Mick Mixon on football and basketball on the radio.

As a student at UNC, he majored in journalism and mass communications. As a sophomore and junior, he interned on the Tar Heels sports network.

Broadcasting was clearly his calling because he started doing high school football and basketball games in 1999 in Jacksonville.

Angell’s first job with the Tar Heels sports network was play-byplay for a little league baseball game as an intern.

Following graduation from UNC, Angell worked in several roles within the Tar Heels sports network before succeeding the legendary Durham, whom he served beside as a host and color analyst from 2000-2001. Angell is married with two children. Jones’ wife is Elizabeth Martin Angell, a former public school teacher.