Archibald, Gonzales Among AAESHOF’s Class of 2007

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: June 30, 2007


Nate "Tiny" Archibald

OAKLAND — The African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, which is dedicated to honoring black and other ethnic sports legends, will induct legendary basketball star Nate “Tiny” Archibald, legendary tennis player Pancho Gonzales, along with seven other retired professional athletes at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem, New York on Saturday, July 7, 2007.

The black-tie optional event will be held at the Alhambra Ballroom located at 2116 Adam Clayton Blvd. The event will begin with a “VIP Reception with the Stars” at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Halls’ signature induction ceremony.

No one can say that Nate “Tiny” Archibald doesn’t return a favor. Growing up in the drug-infested South Bronx Patterson housing projects, Archibald stayed out of harm’s way by playing basketball instead of experimenting with drugs. Archibald repaid the game by using it to positively influence children who were fleeing the same temptations he had resisted as a youngster.

Archibald was tiny by NBA standards as a 6-foot-1, 160-pound guard. After starring at Dewitt Clinton High and for the University of Texas at El Paso, he averaged 18.8 points and 7.4 assists from 1970-84. He was nickname “Nate the Skate,” when he played for the Cincinnati Royals and average 16 and 28 points in his first two seasons.

Archibald remained a productive player until he retired in 1984 after scoring 16,481 points and producing 6,476 assists.

Joining Archibald, former Minnesota Twins star player Tony Oliva and Pancho Gonzales and six others will also be inducted “It’s was easy to assume that if not for a knee injury that basically left him crippled, Oliva would have been a first ballot Hall of Famer”, shares Hall of Fame Founder Arif Khatib. Oliva knew how to come into the league and make a name for himself. In his very first year in 1964, Oliva was named Rookie of the Year and won the batting title.

Oliva would then go to win a total of three hitting crowns in his career. On his way to winning that first batting title, Oliva also set an AL record for most hits in a rookie year with 217. He topped the majors in total bases with 374, tying Hal Trosky’s rookie record. Oliva led the AL in runs scored with 109 and doubles with 43, while smacking 32 homers.

Richard “Pancho” Gonzalez is considered by many to be the greatest tennis player that ever lived. The Mexican-American youth was given a 51-cent racquet by his mother when he was 12 years old and taught himself to play at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. Within two years he became the best in his age group in Southern California but was soon banned from competition due to truancy. He then spent three years away from tennis serving two years in the Navy.

Leaving the Navy at age 18 Pancho could no longer be prevented from competing. In 1948 he won the US Nationals (now the US Open). He defended his title in 1949 defeating Wimbledon Champion Ted Schroeder 16-18, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 and 6-4.

Other inductees include: Tree Rollins (Basketball); Ken Hudson (Basketball); Dr. Lillian Greene-Chamberlain (Track & Field); Dr. Herbert Carnegie (Hockey); Joe Bostic (Jounalist/Wendell Smith Media Award); and Mark Breland (Boxing).

Two members of the military from Pelman Memorial High School in New York will be honored with athlete/military awards. Lt. Col. Eli Page Howard and Lt. Eugene Evans were outstanding athletes and both were killed while serving their country in the Korean and Vietnam War respectively.

“This event will allow us to recapture, remember and honor some of the greatest athletes ever who have become living legends, and you are invited to participate. While witnessing the induction of the class of 2007 and help make dreams come true for our academic achievers. These athletes have a rich history worth telling, one that reflects commitment, determination and dignity, “said Journalist Ron Thomas.

The AAESHOF is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and is dedicated to the development of opportunities for young, less fortunate people to gain exposure to positive aspects of life.

This is the AAESHOF’s first major Hall of Fame scholarship fund-raiser for students to attend historically black colleges and universities. It helps students from economically challenged backgrounds fund their education through our “Academia Achievers Award Program.”

The event will be video taped and video streamed unto the Internet on . Negotiations are in the process for televising the event on a delayed basis, which will become part of a planned documentary. National, international and local print media, television and radio will be represented and interviews will be conducted on a regular basis, prior to and after the event.

Sponsored in part by Southwest Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Alhambra Ballroom, New Yorker Hotel, Harlem Globetrotters, Five Star Limousines and Overslav Posters.

NOTE: Tickets can be purchased at . For more event information contact, Marion DeCosta 347-684-0519 , or Arif Khatib at , 510-508-3309 .