Local sports hall of fame inducts four


By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent

Four people were inducted on Saturday (Apr. 13) into the Etowah County Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

Jason Ivey, Kim Welch Nails, Dr. Lucian Newman III and the late Max Wayne “Barto” Wilson were honored at a banquet at Convention Hall in Gadsden.

Ivey attended Emma Sansom High School, where he played basketball. During his time with the Rebels, Ivey was chosen to the Birmingham News pre-season Super 12 Team and the post-season Top 10 Team.

As a senior, Ivey averaged a double-double in points and rebounds while earning Class 5A, Area 12 MVP honors.

Ivey helped lead Emma Sansom to the 1992 Class 5A state championship for Alabama Hall of Fame Coach George Baker. Ivey was also elected to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game that season.

Ivey signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Hall of Fame Coach John Chaney at Temple University. While at Temple, he played in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including the 1992-93 Elite Eight. In team honors that year, Ivey was awarded two sixth man awards, best rebounder award and best 3-point shooter award.

In 1996 Ivey was voted team co-captain and was awarded the Philadelphia Big 5 Sportsmanship award. Ivey graduated from Temple’s Fox School of Business in 1997 with a double major.

Ivey played professionally in the Continental Basketball Association in Australia for the Frankston Blues and in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Beijing Ducks. He was inducted to the Emma Sansom Hall of Wall of Fame in 1999.

Ivey also served as assistant coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and was the Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Hartford.

“This is a fantastic honor, I never saw it coming,” said Ivey. “This means that your peers think a lot of you. I played for two Hall of Fame coaches (George Baker, Don Cheney) and I learned from the best. I am definitely happy to be here.”
Nails graduated from Glencoe High School in 1984 in the top five percent of her class. She played basketball for four years and was selected to the All-Etowah County and All-Area teams for four years and as an All-State player for two years.

Nails also lettered in volleyball, tennis and track for the Lady Yellow Jackets. Nails attended Jack-sonville State University, where she lettered as a point guard for four years. Nails was a member of the All-Gulf South Conference Academic Team for three seasons and an NCAA Division II Academic All-American for two years. She was the Gamecocks’ team captain on the first JSU women’s team to make the NCAS Division II National Tournament.

After graduating JSU with a masters degree in early childhood education, Nails became one of the most respected basketball coaches in Etowah County.

Coaching at Gadsden High School from 1990-2000, Nails led the Lady Tigers to a 270-79 record while winning eight area championships and four Northeast Regional Tournament titles. She also led GHS to four AHSAA Final Four appearances and five state tournament Appearances.

Nails then coached women’s basketball at Gadsden State from 2001-2007. She led the Cardinals to a 146-45 overall record that included two Alabama Community College Conference Northern Division titles and a pair of ACCC state championships. Nails was selected ACCC Coach of the Year after the 2001-2002 and 2003-2004 seasons and twice was named National Junior College Athletic Association District Coach of the Year.

In 2007, Nails moved to Southside High School, where she has led the Lady Panthers from a 10-14 record in 2007 to a 17-6 record and a program-first area title this past season.

“I am truly honored that someone thought of me to nominate me for this great honor,” said Nails. “As a coach, what has been the highlight of my career is not measured in wins and loses, but when kids go on to excel and overcome adversity. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.

“Hopefully something I’ve shared or helped with helped them to reach their own goals. The sport of basketball has always been a vehicle to carry me where I wanted to go, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to play and go to school doing something I loved to do.”

Lucian Newman III began playing football at age 7 and competed in football, basketball and baseball throughout his high school years at Westminster School. During his senior year at Westminster, Newman lettered in football, basketball, baseball, tennis and golf. He earned All-State honors in football during his junior and senior years. Newman also played on the National Basketball Team with a record of 33-0 during his senior year. He received scholarship offers in golf, basketball and football.

In 1985, Newman won the first of seven golf championships at the Gads-den Country Club. He finished in the top 10 in the state amateur tournament, third in the Montgomery Country Club Invitational and runner-up in a playoff in the Alabama State two-man championship. He also won the Gadsden Country Club Invitational in 2004.

Newman lost his left arm in a hunting accident in January 2005 but returned to golf just three months later. He entered the National Amputee Golf Championship in Chicago in 2007 and finished fifth overall while qualifying for the International Cup. Newman has remained undefeated in International Cup play every year since. He has won five consecutive amputee arm division titles at the National Amputee Tournament and won this year’s senior division tournament in Indianapolis.

“I’m humbled by the honor,” said Newman. “I have a great regard for athletics and the discipline required to participate in sports. This is a special time for me to recognize my past and some things that have happened, most recently my accident that created my opportunity to be an amputee golfer. I had the opportunity to play for some great coaches. Danny Clayton, Raymond Hill, Rex Keeling and Dr. Levan Parker played important roles in my athletic career.”

Max Wayne “Barto” Wilson was born in 1932 and passed away in 2001. Wilson lettered in basketball, baseball and track at Gadsden High School, where during his senior year he was named to the All-County and All-District teams He was team captain and was voted team MVP. Wilson also broke the Gadsden High all-time scoring record.

In 1952 Wilson was awarded a basketball scholarship to Jacksonville State University. In 1954 he entered the US Army, was stationed at White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico and played on the championship team in the Fourth Army Basketball Tournament. That team included Sam Jones, a future All-Pro with the NBA Bo-ston Celtics.

In 1956, Wilson returned home, where he was a basketball referee and earned BS and MS degrees from Athens College. In 1964 he became an assistant basketball coach and head baseball coach at Athens. During Wilson’s coaching time there, Athens won the Alabama Collegiate Conference three consecutive years and competed in the NAIA national tournament.

In 1968, Wilson was hired as the head baseball coach at Gadsden State, where he was instrumental in building the Gadsden State baseball field.

From 1982-82 Wilson coached varsity basketball at Westminster Christian School and won the ACA Conference state title.

From 1986-2001 Wilson was a real estate broker in Gulf Shores, served as president of the Gulf Shores Lions Club, chaired the Lions Club Charity Golf Tournament for several years (later names the Max Wilson Memorial Tournament) and was a charter member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club in Gulf Shores.

“Dad was a humble man who rarely spoke of his athletic accomplishments,” said Tim Wilson in accepting the award for his late father. “He would be at a loss for words. This is a huge honor to accept this award for my father. He was a great athlete, coach and mentor, much of which we have only learned of recently from athletes and former students.”

Biographical information courtesy of Etowah County Sports Hall of Fame.

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