CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame will have four new legends inducted in October at a ceremony downtown.
Ben Curtis, PGA Professional and British Open Champion 2003, Cleveland Cavaliers legends Larry Nance Sr. and Zydrunas Ilgauskas and late media personality Les Levines are inducted into the 2021 class.
Curtis, a Kent State University graduate, is best known for winning the 2003 British Open with odds of 300-1. He was also a member of the 2008 Ryder Cup-winning US team, bringing the Cup to US soil for the first time in nine years.
After retiring from the PGA Tour, Curtis started the Ben Curtis Golf Academy at the Hudson Country Club and worked alongside his wife Candace to help end child hunger in Portage and Summit counties. thanks to the Ben Curtis Family Foundation.
Nance has become a Cleveland legend over his last seven seasons playing in the National Basketball Association with the Cavaliers. During his time in the league, which he also spent six years with the Suns, Nance became the first-ever NBA Slam Dunk Champion in 1984, formed three All-Star teams, and helped Cleveland qualify six times. in the playoffs.
The NBA legend has played 433 games with the Cavs, averaging 16.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 blocks. Nance is the only player in Cavs history to make the NBA All-Defensive team three times.
The Cavs removed Nance’s No.22 jersey and it hangs from the rafters, but also granted Nance’s son and current rider, Larry Nance Jr., to wear the number to continue Nance’s legacy in Cleveland.
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Ilgauskas, drafted by the Cavs with the 20th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, played 12 seasons in Cleveland, averaging 13.8 points, 7.7. rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 771 games.
The two-time All-Star was a member of the squad when they made their very first NBA Finals appearance in 2007, playing alongside LeBron James. Ilgauskas is the only player in Cavs history to have recorded more than 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 1,000 blocks in his career.
The Cavs retired the No.11 Ilgauskas jersey in 2014, and it now hangs from the rafters at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Levine, a media legend known for hosting “More Sports and Les Levine,” broadcasting over 2,500 sporting events as a play-by-play voice and writing a weekly sports column while hosting a radio show based on -match during the 2016 Cavs Championship Race.
Self-proclaimed as the “voice of truth and reason,” Levine has left a lasting mark on Cleveland sports media. He died in February after battling diabetes and Parkinson’s disease at the age of 74.
RELATED: Legendary Cleveland sports broadcaster Les Levines dies at 74
On Tuesday, October 19, the induction ceremony will take place at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown in Key Tower. To learn more about the event or how to purchase tickets, click here.
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