A Harlem Globetrotter, a NBA Champion and the gala’s namesake are among the inductees of the inaugural class of the Dillard University Sports Hall of Fame “Best of the Best.” The ceremony will take place during the 10th Annual Billy Ray Hobley Scholarship Gala on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, at 7 p.m., in the Georges Auditorium on campus. The Gala is a part of the activities for the Blue Devil Classic, on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, when Dillard basketball teams faces off against their crosstown rival, Xavier University.
The Gala is one of Dillard University’s signature events and the proceeds provide financial assistance to deserving student-athletes who may not otherwise be able to attend Dillard.
“From the Gala to the game, this week is about honoring excellence,” said Dr. Kiki Baker-Barnes, Dillard University’s athletic director. “We are reminded that Dillard has produced some of this city’s and our country’s strongest leaders on and off the court.” Barnes added that is was important to celebrate accomplishments of their alumni and the opportunity to have so many people visiting campus for 10th year of the Billy Ray Hobley Scholarship Gala and makes that milestone even more special.
The University established the Sports Hall of Fame as a way to honor former school administrators, coaches and athletes who epitomize the athletics department’s mission of being excellent in competition, career and civic engagement. In addition, the Sports Hall of Fame will promote the rich legacy of Dillard alumni student-athletes.
Some of the honorees include Ariel “Mighty” Mitchell, the second basketball player from Dillard and one of only 11 women to become a Harlem Globetrotter; Melanie Davis, the first woman to officiate a NCAA Division 1; New Orleans native and international basketball player Alfredo J. Ott Davis, and George Johnson, who played 13 NBA seasons and won a championship in 1975 with the Golden State Warriors, all embody the spirit behind the University’s Hall of Fame.
Each year, the Dillard Athletics Department in conjunction with the ASK Billy Ray Hobley Foundation recognizes people who demonstrate a commitment to community service as well as represent the ideals of former Dillard Great and Harlem Globetrotter, Billy Ray Hobley.