Hall of Fame to Present Star of Tomorrow Award
For a second consecutive year, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Crain Automotive Team will present the Star of Tomorrow Award. The award is presented annually to the top college athlete from either an Arkansas-based college or university or an out-of-state school if that athlete is from Arkansas.
The Star of Tomorrow Award will be presented during the Hall of Fame’s induction banquet on the evening of Friday, March 8, at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock. The award will be given for accomplishments during the 2012 calendar year.
“We want this to be one of the most significant awards in Arkansas sports,” says Ray Tucker, the Hall of Fame’s executive director.
Larry Crain Sr. of the Crain Automotive Team says his goal is for the award to be viewed as the “Heisman Trophy of Arkansas sports, something that’s very prestigious.”
Athletes from all intercollegiate sports – male and female – are eligible for the award.
“We will be identifying many of the future inductees into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame,” says Crain, a longtime supporter of the Hall of Fame and a member of the Hall of Fame Foundation Board.
A panel of media representatives determines the 10 finalists each year. The selection of each nominee is weighted as follows: 60 percent based on athletic performance, 20 percent based on academic performance and 20 percent based on community involvement.
Once the 10 finalists are selected each year, the winner is determined using the following formula: 25 percent based on a public vote and 75 percent based on a vote by dues-paying members of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
The winner of the first Star of Tomorrow Award was Joe Adams, a football player from the University of Arkansas.
The 10 finalists for the award to be presented March 8 are:
- Megan Herbert, a basketball player from the University of Central Arkansas
- Ryan Aplin, a football player from Arkansas State University
- Ashley Ray, a softball player from Henderson State University
- Connor Silvestri, a soccer player from Hendrix College
- Tyler Wilson, a football player from the University of Arkansas
- Mickey Hammer, a cross country runner from Southern Arkansas University
- Melissa Clement, a volleyball player from Hendrix College
- Kevin Rodgers, a football player from Henderson State University
- Seth Allison, a football player from the University of Central Arkansas
- Jaime Pisani, a gymnast from the University of Arkansas
More information on the finalists can be found by going to www.arstaroftomorrow.com. The public can also vote at that website.
Members of the Hall of Fame get to vote each year on inductees. Membership dues are $50 annually. Membership forms may be obtained here.
The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1959. Andrew Meadors, a Little Rock insurance executive, is the organization’s president.
Tickets for the March 8 induction banquet at Verizon Arena are $100 each and may be obtained by calling Catherine Johnson at (501) 821-1021.
This will be the organization’s 55th annual induction banquet. Members of the Class of 2013 are:
- Former University of Arkansas track and cross country great Frank O’Mara, a three-time member of the Irish Olympic team
- Former University of Arkansas golf star Stacy Lewis, who is now recognized as the premier player on the LPGA Tour
- Wyn Norwood, the former University of Arkansas at Little Rock golf coach who won two state amateur titles and participated in 14 national amateur championships
- John Outlaw, who died in December 2011 following a high school coaching career that saw him go 303-87-3, including a record of 84-20-1 in nine seasons at Arkadelphia
- Sonja Tate, one of the best basketball players to ever wear an Arkansas State University uniform
- Don Nixon, who had a stellar basketball coaching career at Pulaski Robinson High School, Mabelvale High School, Little Rock Central High School and the University of Central Arkansas
- Marcus Brown, a former basketball star at West Memphis High School who went on to become Murray State Univesity’s third all-time leading scorer
- Jeremy Jacobs, the owner of Southland Park Gaming and Racing at West Memphis
The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum on the west side of Verizon Arena is open each Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. It includes an 88-seat theater with a video highlighting the careers of Arkansas sports greats along with a touch-screen kiosk with a database of all Hall of Fame inductees.