The 10th induction class to the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame (GWSHOF) was officially enshrined into local sports history on Sunday as four new members joined a packed crowd for the annual ceremony at UNCW’s Burney Center.
David Glenn, syndicated sports radio show host and editor and writer for the ACC Area Sports Journal and ACCsports.com, served as event’s emcee.
“We’ve created the Greater Wilmington Hall of Fame wall at the airport and these new additions will join some great names from Trot Nixon, Sunny Jurgenson, Roman Gabriel, among some of those who were very instrumental in making this thing happen including Sheila Boles, George Rountree and Coach Joe Miller, who passed away this past year,” said Jon Rosborough, GWSHOF Chairman. “We have four new inductees for the 2015 class and they include Chuck Caree, Mel Gibson, Jim Hebbe and Jim Moore.
“We have a plethora of great people in this group who deserve to be on this wall.”
The event kicked off on Saturday with the sold-out Joe Miller golf tournament and silent auction at Cape Fear National in Leland. Earlier this year, the annual outing was named in honor of Coach Miller, who was recently inducted, posthumously, into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Hall of Fame.
Miller made his mark at New Hanover High School where he was head football coach for 20 years, compiling a 186-56-1 mark with nine conference titles.
“Joe loved being a part of this and losing him last year on May 13, it became a no-brainer to name the tournament in honor of him,” said Boles, a member of the GWSHOF. “I think Joe would be really proud of what we did at this year’s tournament. We had some great donors contribute to our scholarship fund and it’s been an unbelievable response, but I know a lot has to do with Joe Miller’s name being in front of this.”
Chuck Carree covered sports for The Wilmington Star News for 35 years. His first story was a high school wrestling match in 1978. During the ensuing years, he covered sports ranging from recreation, youth, high school and college athletics, including ACC sports and UNCW.
“I’ve been a part of this community for 41 years and Chuck Caree is one of the most likeable guys you could ever meet,” said Boles. “I think he took a lot of pride in his work. He’s been a big part of this area for a longtime.”
He was also a college basketball correspondent for The Sporting News and wrote the 2007 CAA baseball preview for Baseball America.
James Hebbe became coach of Roland-Grise Middle School, than was named head coach at Hoggard High School in 1967, when the school opened. He was the all-time winningest basketball coach in school history until Brett Queen surpassed his mark for total victories earlier this year.
Hebbe won four basketball titles and two football championships while at Roland-Grise. His 1969-70 Hoggard team finished runner-up in the 4A state tournament in Greensboro.
“Coach Hebbe, what a character and I love him so much,” said Boles. “We named our gymnasium in his honor at Hoggard. He was everything at Hoggard for so many years. He did it all and gave so much.”
Mel Gibson has the highest NBA overall draft pick in West Carolina University history and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1964. He served as the backup to Jerry West during his time in Los Angeles.
His coaching career spanned more than two decades, from teaching and coaching at the high school level in Charlotte and Charleston, South Carolina, and then as head coach at UNC-Wilmington.
“Coach Gibson was one of my professors at UNCW and I learned more basketball from him than anybody,” said Boles. “He’s still competing athletically at the age of 74 and it’s just a testament to what sports is all about.”
Gibson also won nine gold medals and nine silver medals in his age group in the North Carolina Senior Games state finals in Raleigh over the last eight years
Moore is a Wilmington native and a three-sport star at New Hanover High School. Moore and his teammates won the 4A basketball state championship his junior and senior years and, in 2010, the staff of The Charlotte Observer named his senior team the sixth-best high school basketball team ever in the state of North Carolina.
“Jim Moore was Dean Smith’s first recruit at Carolina and a two-sport star there,” said Boles. “What he’s done for the community on and off the field, he’s just a real giver to this area.”
In baseball, his high school team won an unofficial 4-A state championship and, during his high school years, his American Legion baseball teams won two state championships.
He accepted a full scholarship offer to play basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels under their new coach, Dean Smith.