Ottawa Hills alumni scholar-athletes returned to their alma mater during the second Hall of Fame event in mid-February. During halftime of the boys' varsity basketball game, they walked across the court and were recognized for their past awards and accomplishments achieved during their high school athletic career.
The event kicked off with a Meet & Greet, where friends and families could speak with the past scholar-athletes personally and learn about their history in a variety of athletics.
Later in the evening, the Hall of Fame ceremony began, and the room filled with the cheers of Ottawa students, families and staff.
The 19 new inductees and the 1989 girls' basketball state champion team were recognized for their varsity letters, All-City honors, and other athletic awards along with the amount of time they had spent in sports, whether that be as successful teammates or team captains or coaches. Many individuals continued with their athletic careers after high school, and their accomplishments during that time were also recognized.
“It’s a reunion, but also an honoring of what that group or individual was able to accomplish in the past,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Brandy Lovelady Mitchell, an alumni scholar-athlete from the 1989 girls basketball state champion team.
Dr. Lovelady Mitchell recalled a decade ago when members of the championship team met at Ottawa Hills during halftime of one of the girls' basketball games. That was the first time they had seen each other since high school, and she remembered feeling inspired that the team was back together again in the same location that they practiced in years ago. Last week, this moment happened for a second time.
“The Hall of Fame ceremony is a great milestone for the legacy work of sports at GRPS.” said Dr. Lovelady Mitchell. “Our legacy work is hopefully setting the stage for more girls to be able to participate in that way and have opportunities for the next level athletically and academically.”
At the Hall of Fame ceremony, members of the 1989 team were able to embrace each other and celebrate that they were back together once again, 34 years later. Each teammate proudly held up their Hall of Fame plaque with smiles on their face.
This event not only inspires the current athletes of Ottawa Hills, but it establishes a sense of community among GRPS. It is a unique opportunity for different generations of Ottawa Hills athletes to come together, make connections, and leave a legacy.
- Click to see a larger version Ottawa Hills alum Heather Dutcher Williams walks across the stage with her Hall of Fame plaque
- Click to see a larger version Ottawa Hills alumni catch up in conversation after receiving their Hall of Fame plaque
- Click to see a larger version Eric Large and Brittina Williams after receiving their Hall of Fame plaque and walking across the court
- Click to see a larger version 1989 girls basketball state champion team go in for their team huddle
- Click to see a larger version All Ottawa Hills Hall of Fame inductees after the ceremony