The Oklahoma Eagle Sports Wire



Sixteen will be inducted in Booker T. Washington’s inaugural “Hornets Ring of Honor” ceremony scheduled for Feb. 8 between games of a basketball doubleheader against Union at Nathan E. Harris Field House.

BTW Basketball Alumnus Fred Jones stated: “It’s so nice after two years to see this event began to come to pass. Coach Conley Phelps, Coach Greg Nash. Melvin Gilliam and I came up with this concept a few years ago to honor and continue branding “The pride of the great Southwest”. We owe a great deal of gratitude to Principal Mellissa Wooldridge a 1987 graduate of BTW, without whom none of this would be possible.

2019 Ring of Honor Inductees Bio’s Listed Below

Reuben Gant-Football (1970)

Was a 1969 Parade All-America selection as he helped the Hornets win their third consecutive state football title. Played at Oklahoma State and was a first-round selection (18th overall) in the 1974 NFL Draft. Spent seven seasons as a tight end for the Buffalo Bills (1974-1980). Was the shot-put state champion as he helped the Hornets win the state track and field championship in 1970.

Melvin Gilliam-Football (1985)

The quarterback/safety was a Parade, USA Today and Scholastic Coach All-America selection as he led the Hornets to a state title in 1984. Also was the Tulsa World’s state player of the year. Was a standout on the 1984 and ’85 basketball teams that won state championships. In 1985-86, became the first freshman in Big Eight Conference history to be a starter on the football and basketball teams.

Taleya Mayberry-Basketball (2009)

Was the leading scorer and most valuable player in the state tournament for the 2008 and ’09 Class 5A championship teams. Ranks second in University of Tulsa career scoring with 1,752 points and played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament after she set the C-USA Women’s Basketball Championship record with 100 points. Selected twice to the C-USA first team. She is an assistant coach at Tulsa.

R.W. McQuarters- Football (1995)

Was a USA Today, Parade and Schutt Sports Group All-America defensive back in 1994. Also as a senior, he was the Tulsa World’s state basketball player of the year as the Hornets won a state title. Played three seasons for Oklahoma State before being selected 28th overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1998 NFL Draft’s first round. During his 11-year NFL career, he also played for Detroit, Chicago and was on the New York Giants’ Super Bowl champions for the 2007 season.

Kenny Monday-Wrestling (1980)

Won four state wrestling titles from 1977-80 and the Hornets won three team titles during that span. Also won the 1977 Junior National championship. Had a high school record of 140-0-1.Was a three-time All-America selection at Oklahoma State as he helped the Cowboys win two Big Eight titles. Participated in three Olympics, winning a gold medal in 1988 and a silver in 1992. Also won a title at the 1989 World Championship.

Julius Pegues-Basketball (1953)

Was a standout player on Hornets teams that won three Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Association basketball titles from 1951-53 and also was class valedictorian. Was a three-year starter at Pittsburgh, where he broke that university’s basketball color barrier and played in two NCAA tournaments. Scored 1,050 points at Pitt and was selected by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1958 NBA Draft.

Kim Schumpert- Track (1997)

Helped the Hornets win state track-and-field titles in 1994 and ’97. She was a three-time state champion in the 200 meters and two-time state champion in the 100. Won three state titles in the 800 relay and two in the 400 relay. Was chosen to participate in the Great Southwest Track and Field Classic.

Etan Thomas-Basketball (1996)

After helping the Hornets win state titles in 1995 and ’96, he played at Syracuse University. In 2000, after being named Big East Defensive Player of the Year, and selected to the All-Big East first team and the NABC All-America third team, he was  was the 12th overall selection by Dallas in the NBA Draft. Played in the NBA from 2001-11 with Washington, Oklahoma City and Atlanta.

Wayman Tisdale-Basketball (1982)

Although his first love was music, he helped the Hornets win the 1981 state title and was the Tulsa World’s co-state player of the year in 1982. Was the first college basketball player to be an AP All-America selection as a freshman, sophomore and junior while at  Oklahoma. Won a gold medal with the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. The Wayman Tisdale Award is given annually to the nation’s top college freshman basketball player. Played 12 seasons in the NBA after being the second overall pick by the Indiana Pacers in 1985. 

Melanie VonHartizsch-Swimming (1995)

Won six individual state titles and another in a relay. Began her athletic career at the  University of California, Berkeley, on the swim team before switching to water polo. From 1996-99, she helped Cal post a 117-27 record and three national runner-up finishes. She was a three-year team captain and had 113 career goals. In 1999, she was an All-America second-team selection and team MVP.

Michael Wilson-Baseball (2001)

Batted .506 as a senior and had 56 stolen bases without being caught. Signed a football scholarship with Oklahoma, but the outfielder signed with the Seattle Mariners after being a second-round selection in 2001 and reached the major leagues with them in 2011. Also played in the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds organizations. Was a Tulsa World All-State football linebacker with 457 career tackles and he had 1,201 rushing yards with 11 touchdowns in 2000.

John Winesberry-Football (1970)

(Shaheed Nuriddin)

Selected as the Tulsa World’s co-state player of the year in 1969 as the Hornets won their third consecutive state title. In the 1972 Rose Bowl, he caught eight passes for 112 yards to lead Stanford’s 13-12 upset win over Michigan. Drafted by the Denver Broncos in 1974, he did not play pro football due to a knee injury. Earned a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.


Nathan E. Harris-Basketball (1982-2007)  

Led the Hornets to 10 state titles, two state runner-up finishes and 23 state tournament appearances in 25 seasons. The 1965 BTW graduate was an All-State player, played at Oral Roberts University and coached in the 1996 McDonald’s All-American Game. The current field house is named after him because of the championships as well as great success he had coaching and developing young men for life.

Ed Lacy-Football (1966-73, ’80)

The 1939 BTW graduate led the Hornets to five state football titles in nine seasons as head coach with a record of 78-11-32. Was the Tulsa World’s state coach of the year in 1967. Also started the school’s wrestling program in 1962 and tennis program in 1963, and coached track and field. Was the Tulsa Public Schools athletic director from 1974-91. Remained a staple at BTW and in the community until his death in 2006.

Ulysses Mitchell-Basketball (1953-63)

Was 201-32 in 10 seasons at the Hornets’ basketball helm and was athletic director during that span. His ’53 team went 29-1 and reached the National Negro High School Basketball Tournament semifinals in Nashville. A 1927 BTW graduate, he was a standout quarterback for the Hornets and at Central (Ohio) State. Returned to BTW as an assistant for S.E. Williams in 1931.

S.E. Williams-Football/Basketball/Track (1920-52)

Coached BTW to 19 state football titles in the Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Association, before desegregation enabled the Hornets to join the OSSAA. Had a 290-23-11 record with 14 unbeaten seasons from 1920-51. Was the first president of the National Negro Coaches Association and received its Founders Award in 1955. Also coached the BTW to 13 OIAA state basketball titles and won five national championships. Led the Hornets to six national track titles. BTW’s stadium was named for him in 1972.




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