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2007 INDUCTEES

Dennis R. James
Dennis R. James moved with his family to Albany in February 1963, where he enrolled in the 9th grade at Albany High School. In spring of that year, James tried out for the baseball team, which was coached by Phil Clark. At that time, James was the only freshman to make the team. In the four years following, James pitched for the Albany High Team, compiling a record of 22 wins against 4 losses and earned a run average of less than .25 percent and averaged almost two strike outs an inning. James was "the best left-handed high school pitcher I have ever seen," said Clark. James also played American Legion baseball, earning a record to rival that of his high school career. Just after graduation from high school in 1967, James signed a contract with the L.A. Dodger, and according to a press release, they paid him the largest bonus ever to a player from Georgia or Alabama. After nine years with the Dodgers, James' career ended after a rotor-cuff operation on his throwing arm. For the past two years, James has managed the American Legion baseball team in Centerville, Ga.


Janet Knight Linder
Janet Linder graduated from Riverview Academy in Albany with two state championships in women's basketball in 1981 and '82 with the SAIC. She also played All State in 1980-82, All Regions from 1979-82. Her career point total was 2,649 and her average was 24.1, her senior season earning 31.4 average points peer game. As a freshman at Clemson University, Linder averaged 11.4 points per game hitting a high in her junior year with 20.1. In her sophomore year, Linder was second-team All ACC selection in 1983-'84. She followed that up her junior year with team Most Valuable Player, first team All-ACC selection and third team All-America pick by Fast Break. Throughout her college career, Linder played 114 games, averaging 15:7 points with a total of 1,795 points. She entered the Tiger's record book with shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 8.2 percent from the free throw line, ranking 4th and 2nd all-time, respectively. She led Clemson in free throw percentage all four seasons and is currently ranked third on the all-time scoring list of the Clemson Lady Tigers. Linder was named to a total of six all-tournament teams at Clemson and was a three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. She earned the Hustle Award all four seasons, as well as the Outstanding Academic and Athletic Achievement Award given by the College of Liberal Arts during Women's History Week in March 1984. She was presented with the Rupert H. Fike Award by the Atlanta Clemson Club for her contributions to Clemson University as Outstanding Athlete in 1985. In September of 1999, Linder was inducted into the Clemson University Athletic Hall of Fame, then was inducted as a Atlantic Coast Conference Legend at the ACC tournament in 2006. Linder earned her bachelor of arts degree in Secondary Education-English Teaching from Clemson in 1987 and her masters degree in Guidance and Counseling Services. She taught English and coached basketball at T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C. from 1987-95 and currently works as a guidance counselor at Broome High School in Spartanburg, S.C .. This season, she is coaching the Junior Varsity Girls' basketball team. Additionally, Linder has written a booklet, "Basketball Fever, Clemson Lady Tiger Shares Lifelong Lessons Learned from Shooting Hoops," and is a motivational speaker to basketball teams, Fellowship of Athletes groups and church groups.


Sam Brown Lippitt Jr.
A native and life-long resident of Albany, Sam Brown Lippitt Jr. exhibited his athletic talents at an early age. In 1938, at the age of 12, Lippitt won the Georgia State YMCA backstroke and free style swimming events. At 14 years, he won the first of several City of Albany Badminton Championships. While a student at Albany High School, young Sam excelled in basketball and golf. He lettered in basketball and won the Georgia State High School Golf Championship in 1942 and again in '43. During his freshman year in college in 1944. Lippitt lettered in basketball at Emory at Oxford College. He continued his basketball and golf practice during his tint in the U.S. Army, serving as a lieutenant in the Pacific. In 1946, Lippitt was the playing coach for the 32nd Regiment, Seventh Infantry Division's Basketball team in South Korea. He was also a member of the Army's South Korea golf Team and took 4th place in the "Occupation Open" played in Ito, Japan. He also participated with his team in the "Mid-Pacific Golf Tournament" in Hawaii. Returning to Emory after his military service, Lippitt was the No. 1 man on the Emory University Golf Team in 1947, '48 and '49. This team included Bobby Jones II, son of the "The" Bobby Jones. Like the great Bobby Jones, Lippitt pursued a career in law, and it was during this period in Albany that he played the game of golf to standards that few ever achieve. In addition to winning the City of Albany Golf Championship in 1955 and '57. Sam won the ''Radium Springs Invitational" Golf Tournament in 1948 and again in '53. The "Invitational" was a very prestigious event that attracted the best amateur golfers from Georgia, Florida and Alabama. It's winner included future Masters Champion Tommy Aaron and numerous notable golfers of the era. When the record score at Radium was set at 61, it was Lippitt who did it, and his record of 29 for nine holes at Radium remains unbroken for more than 50 years and counting. In the 1960s, Lippitt continued to win golf tournaments, including the Doublegate Country Club Champions on two occasions. Today, Lippitt continues to play impressive golf with a capability of scoring better than his age of 78, and he continues to be a mentor to others both on and. off the field of athletics. He and his wife, Dudley, raised six children


Hampton Smith
In his 24 seasons at Albany State 'University, Coach Hampton "Hamp" Smith molded the dynamic ASU Golden Rams football program into one of the best in the nation. Under Smith's leadership, Albany State won nine southern intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) championships. Last season, he guided the golden Rams to a 9-2 record. Smith's career at Albany State University put him in the national spotlight. He is the only coach in the history of the SAIC to lead his team to five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Under. Smith's leadership, the team continued to get bigger and stronger and better in its efforts to win the 1999 SIAC crown after a tie with Fort Valley State University for second place for the title in 1998. Smith believes in hard work and has used it to accomplish his coaching goals. Month after month he was found on the recruiting trail going after the prize recruits or working on his plan of long after quitting time. No one works harder to make Albany state Golden Rams a household name. His hard work and persistence and dedication to the coaching profession made him one of the most successful coaches in college football and a model for which other coaches try to emulate. He is responsible for bringing ASU football to national prominence. One od Smith's specialties was recruiting talented student athletes. His keen ability to spot talent was reflected in the blend of size, speed power and quickness assembled on the golden Rams' roster and the success of the teams throughout the years. A native of Greenwood, Miss., Smith, who retired recently started his first stint at ASU in 1971, and  ended in 1976, with 27 wins, 28 losses and three ties. He returned to ASU in 1980 and took the head coaching rank in January 1982, and brought back a winning tradition to the gridiron. Since his return, ASU has enjoyed 13 winning seasons. Smith is a 1956 graduate of Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Miss. During his undergraduate days, he played on  the Delta Devils' football team and  has the dubious distinction of being a member of the very first Delta Devil team. After completing his studies at MVSU, Smith earned a master's degree in health and physical education at Tennessee State University in Nashville. He served as a graduate assistant football coach under the late coaching legend  John Merritt. Smith also coached at Mississippi Valley State and in the Mississippi public school system before joining the ASU family. Coach, teacher and recruiter, Hamp Smith provided solid and proven leadership for the Albany State football program. He is known as a relentless task master who believes that mental preparedness is just as vital physical ability in molding a winner. Smith won SIAC Coach of the year awards in1984, '86, '93, '94 and  '96, and was named Coach of the Year by the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. and the 100% Wrong Club of Atlanta m past years. In May 1999, he was inducted into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. He was inducted in the Albany State University Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.  He is married to the former Charlene Johnson, and they reside in Albany.


Millege White Jr.
A honors graduate of Albany High School in 1957, Milledge White Jr. lettered in baseball, football and basketball. He was a member of the Beta Club and the Key Club from 1953-'57 and was awarded the American Legion Post 30 Sportsmanship Award in 1956. In 1957, White earned the Albany High School faculty's McIntosh Award as a Senior who shared outstanding qualities in citizenship and leadership throughout high school. He was also awarded a Star Student, the Thronateeska D.A.R. medal, the Hal & Ed Outstanding Athlete Trophy. medal for Outstanding Achievement in Forensic Speaking, and was the salutatorian of his graduating class. White was awarded the Touchdown Club Scholarship in 1957. as well. After a year playing baseball for Georgia Tech, White transferred to University of Georgia where he became a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. His college baseball career earned him the UGA Outstanding Athlete Award for baseball in 1961. That same year, White was also name All SEC Baseball utility Infielder and Georgia All Star Baseball Player for the South Team. After graduating, Write served as a 2nd lieutenant in the Hawk Missile Battery for the U.S. Army in El Paso, Texas, and Bad Aibling, Germany, from 1961-63. in 1964, he began working for C&S Bank in Albany until 1966, when he became a self-employed insurance broker. White has served as chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the Southwest Georgia Chapter from 1965-'75, earned the Distinguished Service Award from Albany Jaycees in 1974 and the Service of Mankind Award by Albany/Dougherty County Sertoma Club in 1975. Since 1978, White has been a member of the board of directors for the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.


Robert Heidt
During his early teenage years, Robert "Goo Goo" Heidt spent a lot of time at the old YMCA on Pine Avenue in Albany under the guidance of Mr.
Moody, a strict disciplinarian. Heidt learned the fundamentals of basketball, swimming, volley ball, handball and body building, which kept him in great physical condition. Between the Y and peddling a bicycle on a paper route for The Albany Herald, Heidt was prepared for the next physical step, which was junior high football. Coach Paul Robertson introduced him to junior high football and promised to make a halfback out of him because of Heidt's speed. Coach Rob persuaded him to play center for two years, simply because of his snapping ability on punts and extra points. No one else had that talent at the time. Beginning his Junior year, along came Coaches Bernie Reed and Pat Field. Field built a fire under Heidt after recognizing his talent. Field gave Heidt great support, and "Goo Goo" was grateful and honored to have played for him. Field was a special person and a great coach. In 1952, his Junior year in football, Heidt helped lead Albany High to the Regional Playoffs. In 1953, he broke the Region 1-AA yards rushing record, gaining more than 1,000 yards in nine games and lead his team to the State Championship. Heidt received several honors in '53, including being elected to the All Region, All state, All South Georgia and All Southern Teams; voted the team's "Most Valuable Player;" and was elected to the Annual All Star Game at which he in Atlanta, representing the South All-Stars. Other high school honors included being a member of SOECO Club, co-captain of the football team in 1952-53, Block A club from 1950-53, Progressive Thinkers Club in 1952-53, Freshman boys President in 1949-'50, Sophomore Boys Vice-president in 1950-51, played baseball from 1950-53 and was a member of Bookworm from 1952-53. After graduation and college, Heidt coached little league football and became a member of Albany Football Officiating Association and of the Albany Jaycees. Heidt is married to Mary Lou Heidt, and they have three children and five grandchildren. Heidt worked for a wholesale distributing company and was in commercial and residential real estate. He is now retired and reside in Marietta, Ga.

The Selection Process
 This year the selection process was restructured by dividing the Selection Committee into two groups. The first group reviewed all of the applications and' narrowed the list to their top ten choices. The second group reviewed the top ten, and the final five nominees were chosen. The nominees were approved by the Albany Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors. We would like to thank all members of the committee. Once again, they have chosen an outstanding class of inductees.
Selection and Nominating Committees


Board of Directors
 
Alan Dismuke, Tracy Goode, Debbie Gates Devane, Bobby Jackson, Brenda Horton, Walter Strickland, Jerry Brimberry, Margaret Jo Hogg, Robert Margeson III, Foy Shemwell, Wilfred Benson, Dennis Hester, Jeffery Field, Bobby Stanford, Aileen Conner, Brandon Seely, Frank Orgel, John Davis, Joe James, Cleve Wester, Pete Cox, Wilber Wright, Johnny Seabrooks.
 
Albany Sports Hall of Fame - P.O. Box 72203 Albany, Georgia 31708-2203