NORTH LITTLE ROCK (Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame) — The national championship was on the line when a 6-6 junior named Scotty Thurman hit the most famous shot in University of Arkansas basketball history with 51 seconds left. Thurman's three-point shot snapped a 70-70 tie against Duke. Arkansas went on to win the national championship, 76-72, over a Duke team that was playing in its sixth Final Four in seven years and its fourth championship game. Corliss Williamson, a Russellville native, was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
Thurman, Williamson, their teammates and coaches will be honored Feb. 3 when the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2012 is inducted during the organization's annual induction banquet at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
This is the second time in its history for the Hall of Fame to induct a team. The 1964 national championship Razorback football team was inducted in 2010.
The man who coached the 1994 Arkansas basketball team, Nolan Richardson, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998. Thurman was inducted in 2010, and Williamson was inducted in 2009.
One of the individual inductees in the Class of 2012, meanwhile, is Lee Mayberry, who joined with Todd Day to lead Arkansas to the 1990 Final Four in Denver, where the Hogs lost in the national semifinals to Duke. Day was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will consist of six people from the regular category, three from the senior category and two from the posthumous category.
In addition to Mayberry, those being inducted from the regular category are former Oaklawn Park track announcer Terry Wallace, former Newport High School head football coach Bill Keedy, former Razorback basketball player U.S. Reed, former Razorback football player "Light Horse" Harry Jones and Little Rock native and former Oklahoma State University head football coach Pat Jones.
Those being inducted from the senior category are former Forrest City star athlete Elmer "B" Lindsey, former college coach and NFL scout Bob Ford of Wynne and former Southern Arkansas University women's basketball coach Margaret Downing.
Those being inducted from the posthumous category are former University of Central Arkansas head football coach Raymond Bright and 1892 Kentucky Derby winning jockey Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton.
The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1959. Andrew Meadors of Little Rock is the organization's president, and Ray Tucker serves as the executive director.
The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum on the west side of Verizon Arena is open each Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. It includes an 88-seat theater with a video highlighting the careers of Arkansas sports greats and a touch-screen kiosk with a database of all Hall of Fame inductees.
Members of the Hall of Fame vote each year on inductees. Membership dues are $50 annually. Membership forms can be obtained here.