Watch the Ceremony on Fox Sports Arizona:
- Sat., Aug. 10 at 5:30 p.m.
- Mon., Aug. 12 at 5:00 p.m.
- Thur., Aug. 15 at 10:00 p.m.
- Mon., Aug. 19 at 1:00 p.m.
- Wed., Aug. 21 at 2:00 p.m.
- Sun., Aug. 25 at 3:30 p.m.
- Mon., Aug. 26 at 5:00 p.m.
43RD ARIZONA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
INDUCTION CEREMONY & YOUTH SPORTS AWARDS
HELD MAY 9 AT THE SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Heather Farr, Lafayette “Fat” Lever, Dr. Michele Mitchell and Karl Eller Inducted
More than 750 people were in attendance at the 43rd Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Youth Sports Awards held May 9, 2013 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts to honor this year’s inductees: professional golfer Heather Farr, USA Olympic diver Dr. Michele Mitchell, NBA All-Star Lafayette “Fat” Lever, and Arizona business leader and nationally recognized entrepreneur Karl Eller.
Each year, the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission honors athletes, coaches, administrators and others who have made significant contributions to sports in our state.
“We are thrilled about this year’s class, as it represents two of our state universities and those who have enriched our community through sports,” said Interim PRSC Executive Director Justin Balich. “As with every year, these individuals serve as inspiration for us all.”
Phoenix-born Farr is receiving the PRSC award posthumously after dying of cancer in 1993. She was a member of the National High School Sports Hall of Fame and played in her first-ever LPGA event at age 14. Farr was a three-time All-American golfer at Arizona State University and joined the LPGA tour at the age of 20, at the time, the youngest woman ever to do so.
Dr. Mitchell is a Scottsdale native, University of Arizona four-time All-American athlete and two-time U.S. Olympic diving silver medalist. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995 and today serves as the director of operations for swimming and diving at the University of Arizona where she earned her doctorate degree in 2007. She is a four-time U.S. Olympic Committee Athlete of the Year honoree.
A native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Lever attended Arizona State University and was a first round draft pick (11th) by the Portland Trailblazers. He was considered one of the NBA’s best point guards of the 80’s and ranks sixth all time in career triple doubles. Lever was a two-time NBA All-Star and is one of only three players in NBA history to record 15-plus points, rebounds and assists in a single playoff game.
Eller moved to Tucson at an early age, from Chicago, and attended the University of Arizona where he played football and basketball. Over the years he has had an illustrious business career, and in 1968, he became a founding investor of the Phoenix Suns. After hiring away an assistant coach from the Chicago Bulls, he named the young man, Jerry Colangelo, as the team’s first general manager. In 1971 he helped establish the Fiesta Bowl, and in 1988 helped attract the NFL’s Cardinals from St. Louis to Arizona. He was also a member of the Phoenix Thunderbirds for over 40 years. Eller is also well-known for his wide-ranging business acumen and success within the outdoor advertising industry, for which he was inducted into the American Advertising Federations’ Advertising Hall of Fame. In 1999, Arizona named its business college the Eller College of Management.
Each year the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission (PRSC) also recognizes exceptional youth athletes, coaches and sports contributors throughout Maricopa County with its Youth Sports Awards. This year, the Youth Sports Awards portion of the Induction Ceremony paid tribute to 22 nominees and their outstanding accomplishments. The winners of the 2013 Youth Sports Awards are:
- Contributor of the Year: John Wilborn, Horizon Huskies Boys Lacrosse
- Coach of the Year: Kathy Knadler, LPGA-USGA
- Athlete of the Year: Alex Reynolds, Arcadia High School, Football & Baseball
“We are proud to recognize and support the great youth sports programs and individuals who are helping to “Enrich Our Community Through Sports,” said Balich.