The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (TSHF) honors were formally presented as part of the Hall’s 2022 Banquet on July 23 at the Omni Nashville Downtown. Top honors included a celebration of the 50 anniversary of Title IX, Memphis Grizzlies, Middle Tennessee State Head Track & Field Coach Dean Hayes, Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Candace Parker (Chicago Sky), Jack Leiter (Vanderbilt Baseball), Rachel Heck (Stanford Golf), East Tennessee State Football, and Tennessee Southern Women’s Soccer. John Ingram topped the list as the TSHF 2022 Tennessean of the Year.
The TSHF 2022 Induction Class includes Sharrieffa Barksdale, RA Dickey, the late Harry Galbreath, Artis Hicks, Jevon Kearse, Randy Lambert, David Legwand, Nikki McCray-Penson, David Suddeth, Tony White, the late David Williams II and Toby Wilt.
The David Williams Significant Historical Achievement Award went to the Title IX 50 Anniversary. 2022 marks the 50 Anniversary of Title IX, which gave women athletes the right to equal opportunity in sports in educational institutions that receive federal funds, from elementary schools to colleges and universities. Title IX was signed into law on June 23, 1972. The state of Tennessee has seen many contributors to the advancement of Title IX, and this year’s David Williams Significant Historical Achievement Award is a spotlight to those contributors.
The Female Professional Athlete of the Year for 2022 is Candace Parker, F, Chicago Sky. Candace Parker was named to the W25, consisting of the 25 players considered by a panel of media and pioneering women’s basketball figures to have been the best and most influential in the league’s 25 seasons. Parker joined the Chicago Sky in 2021. The regular season ended with Parker and the Sky earning the No. 6 seed in the playoffs. They won two single-elimination games, followed by an upset of Connecticut in the semifinals, before beating the Phoenix Mercury to win the 2021 WNBA Finals. Parker averaged 16.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on the way to her second World Championship. The Male Professional Athlete of the Year is Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies.
TSHF announced the honorees for its 2021 Achievement Awards, with Derrick Henry topping the list as the TSHF 2021 Tennessean of the Year. Other top 2021 awardees included Belmont Women’s Basketball, Alysha Clark, Joan Cronan, Anastasia Hayes, Memphis Men’s Basketball, Memphis Grizzlies Guard Ja Morant, Jerry Robertson, Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Six and Brady White.
The TSHF previously announced its 11-member 2020 Induction Class, which included Voice of the Titans Mike Keith, U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone, Tennessee baseball star Todd Helton, former MTSU defensive standout Mike Caldwell, ETSU Basketball great Tommy Woods, Memphis women’s basketball coaching legend Mary Lou Johns, Tennessee football legend Bill Bates, Vanderbilt women’s basketball trailblazer Cathy Bender, Tennessee basketball star Reggie Johnson, and wheelchair basketball champion and Jackson native Brandon Rowland and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer and General Manager of the NHL’s Predators, David Poile.