Ringgold's Payne honored; area hall of fame banquets announced
Ringgold High School graduate Ulice Payne was inducted into the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame during ceremonies Jan. 26 at the Double Tree Hotel in Moon Township.
The club's fourth Hall of Fame class featured honorees in the divisions of coaches, contributors, distinguished community service and legends.
Payne was a member of the Legends Divisions that also included former area standouts (high school and college in parentheses) Jarrett Durham (Aliquippa/Duquesne), Dennis Wuycik (Ambridge/North Carolina), Cleveland Edwards (Farrell/Robert Morris/Pitt), Reggie Wells Sr. (Clarion University), Danny Forston (Shaler/Cincinnati), Ron Rowan (Beaver Falls/St. John's) and Jennifer Bruce Scott (Carrick/Pitt).
A native of Donora, Payne distinguished himself as an athlete at Ringgold High School, where he starred on the Rams' first WPIAL basketball championship team in 1973.
He received a scholarship to Marquette University and played for the school's 1977 NCAA championship team.
He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association in 1978.
Payne received his business administration degree from Marquette in 1978 and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the Marquette School of Law in 1982.
He is president of Addison-Clifton, LLC, global trade compliance advisers, in Milwaukee.
Payne also is the former president and CEO of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club and was inducted into the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
Coaches honored with the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Class of 2013 included Tim Grgurich of Pitt, Matt Furjanic of Robert Morris, Bernie Matthews of St. Vincent College, Harry Jenkins of Fox Chapel High School and LaRoche College, Hank Kuzma of Midland High School and Ed Olkowski of Midland High School.
Honored for their contributions to basketball were Tribune-Review columnist Kevin Gorman, Blackhawk High School athletic director Jack Fullen, Shaler High School athletic director and coach Paul Holzshu, Ellis Cannon of the Pittsburgh Sports Report and officials Paul Skirtich and Tony Court.
The PBC also recognized Frank Gustine, John Connomikes, John Hobart, Jim Lind and Terry Engel for their work in the community.
John Giammarco is director of the Pittsburgh Basketball Club, which is a nonprofit organization that organizes, directs and promotes youth basketball throughout the tri-state area. Additional information about the organization is available at www.pittsburghbasketballclub.com.
HOF banquet dates
Recently, several Hall of Fame banquets which will take place later this calendar year were announced.
The induction banquet for the Mid Mon Valley chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame will take place on Friday, June 21, at the The Willow Room in Rostraver beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m.
In alphabetical order last year's induction class comprises Fred Angerman, Darrell Harding, Brian Herman, Ben Jones, Walter Malinchak (deceased), Tom Urbanik and Casper Voithofer.
The fifth annual Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame will take place at the Eberly Campus of Penn State-Fayette on Saturday, June 22. Last summer's induction class consisted of Jim Braxton (deceased), Tom Dolde, Pat Mullin (deceased), Chuck Muncie, John “Wally” Schroyer, Gene Steratore Sr., and Larry Vignali.
The Western chapter's Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame event will take place on Saturday, May 4, at the Sheraton North, Cranberry Township. The 2012 induction class consisted of Dan Cardone, Baron “B.B” Flenory Ray Goss, Bob Kopnisky, Larry Lucchino and Ed Manning.
The seventh annual WPIAL Hall of Fame festivities will be on June 7 at the Radisson Doubletree in Green Tree. The sixth WPIAL class included Derek Bochna, Frank Fuhrer III, Kelly Kovach, John Miller, Sean Miller, Mel Nash, Ron Sepic, Jess Strom, Andy Urbanic, Chuck Wagner, Neil Walker and Robert “Red” Worrell (deceased).
The Washington-Greene County Sports Hall of Fame will be on Friday, June 14, at the Meadowlands Double Tree by Hilton. The 2012 honorees were Scott Belcastro, J. Bracken Burns, Amanda Burchett, George Coleman, William A. Cree (deceased), Michael Czerwien (deceased), Tom Diamond, Chris Dorazio, Raymond Fischer, Dale Murdock, Kerry Novak-Drilak, Tim O'Connor and Eric Pizzi.
Bruce Wald is a freelance writer.