Minden’s Lou Dunbar headed for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame next month

Minden native Lou Dunbar, one of Webster Parish’s all-time sports heroes who became an iconic personality for the world-renowned Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, will be honored next month with induction in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches.

His Induction Celebration is June 24-26.

Dunbar, who led Webster High to a 1971 Class AA state championship and was named Mr. Louisiana Basketball, was a collegiate star at the University of Houston. Since his college career, he’s been with the Globetrotters, playing into his 40s before shifting to coaching and administrative roles.

Throughout his world travels, his days in Minden and his deep ties to the community have always been treasured.

“It’s home,” said a man who made the world his home in his professional career. “My family, my oldest friends, they’re in and around Minden. So this is a very special honor to share with them.”

He is among 11 sports figures selected for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. Their enshrinement was originally set for last summer, then December, and postponed both times due to COVID-19 protocols.

The 2020 LSHOF Induction Celebration festivities are based in Natchitoches, the home of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum.

The free-of-charge La Capitol Kickoff Reception Thursday evening, June 24, from 5-7 at the museum starts the festivities. The BOM Bowling Bash is Friday in Shreveport, followed by a free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday night in Natchitoches sponsored by Rapides Regional Medical Center. There’s a free Junior Training Camp Saturday morning from 9-11, a Roundtable Luncheon from noon-1:30, then the Induction Warmup Reception at the museum and the Induction Ceremony presented by State Farm Agents of Louisiana on Saturday evening, June 26.

Ticket purchases are available through the LaSportsHall.com website. For more information or assistance, call the Hall of Fame Foundation office at 318-238-4255.

Also headed for induction at the end of June: Eight-time world bodybuilding champion Ronnie Coleman, a Bastrop native and Grambling graduate, outdoorsman Phil Robertson, a Vivian native recognized internationally as the Duck Commander, and along with Pro Bowl football standout Chicago Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, a star at UL Lafayette.

The Class of 2020 also showcases two extraordinary basketball players: New Orleans native Kerry Kittles, a two-time All-America guard at Villanova who averaged 14 points in an eight-year NBA career, and Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters basketball legend Angela Turner Johnson, a Bienville Parish native who helped the Techsters to four straight national championship game appearances including wins in 1981 and 1982.

Monroe-Richwood High School football coaching icon Mackie Freeze, unbeaten as a pitcher on Grambling’s baseball team, will become the oldest-ever inductee when he is enshrined at 94.

Inducted as winners of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism will be LSU sports publicist Kent Lowe, a Shreveport native, and Baton Rouge Advocate prep sportswriter Robin Fambrough.

Opelousas native Joan Cronan, one of college sports’ most influential administrators in her career as athletics director at the University of Tennessee, will be inducted as the 2020 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award winner.

Enshrined as the first recipient of the Louisiana Sports Ambassador Award will be Shreveport-based broadcaster Tim Brando, whose pride in his home state has been evident throughout his four decades among the best in his business around the country.

Dunbar will join Springhill’s John David Crow and Minden’s Jackie Moreland in the LSHOF.

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