Minden native Louis “Sweet Lou” Dunbar is accustomed to the spotlight. Beginning today and culminating Saturday night, he takes a permanent place in a big one.
Dunbar, the state’s Mr. Basketball in 1971 at Webster High School, became an iconic member of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. His basketball life has earned him induction this weekend in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
The state’s most spectacular sporting event of the summer takes place in Louisiana’s most historic and charming town, Natchitoches, today through Saturday night with the pandemic-delayed Class of 2020 Induction Celebration.
Reservations for the free Junior Training Camp and four ticketed events, including Saturday evening’s induction ceremony, are still available at LaSportsHall.com or by calling 318-238-4255. There’s also a free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday night in Natchitoches, featuring fireworks at 9:15 after introduction of Dunbar and the 2020 inductees.
The Class of 2020 also includes world-famous Louisiana sports figures Ronnie Coleman and Phil Robertson, and nationally-acclaimed network sports broadcaster Tim Brando.
Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, NBA standout Kerry Kittles, Lady Techsters basketball great Angela Turner Johnson and iconic Monroe-Richwood high school football coach Mackie Freeze are also among the star-studded class.
The 2020 Induction Celebration begins Thursday at 3 with a nationally-televised (Cox Sports Television) afternoon press conference. The Saturday evening induction ceremony will be covered on CST from 6-9:30 p.m.
Thursday’s first public event is a free welcome reception from 5-7 at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located at 800 Front Street.
Friday’s schedule begins around lunchtime with the Hall’s BOM Bowling Bash pairing 2020 inductees and more sports celebrities, including past inductees, with bowlers at All-Star Lanes in Shreveport.
Friday evening brings a free riverbank concert — the third annual Rockin’ River Fest presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center with bands and fireworks over Cane River Lake in historic downtown Natchitoches.
Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys are the feature act, preceded by Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, with surprise special guests, and other musicians beginning at 6.
Tickets are on sale for the Taste of Tailgating party, presented by Hancock-Whitney, in an air-conditioned tent near the stage.
Saturday morning offers the last free event, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Junior Training Camp, presented by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, will be held on the Northwestern State campus. Up to 300 youth ages 8-17 will be participating at no charge.
Hall of Fame inductees will be the featured instructors for drills in football and basketball while healthy living initiatives and other positive lifestyle messaging will be presented to boys and girls, and Raising Canes is providing a coupon for a free lunch to all the kids.
Campers should be be registered before Saturday on the LaSportsHall.com website, or by calling 318-238-4255. They should report to the Webb WRAC in the middle of the NSU campus between 8:30-8:45 a.m. Saturday with the camp running from 9-11.
The 2020 Induction Class will be celebrated in the annual Induction Ceremony presented by State Farm Agents of Louisiana, Saturday night at the Natchitoches Events Center.
Guests will first enjoy an array of appetizers from 5-6:45 at the nearby Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum, and can migrate to the Events Center starting at 6 to be in their seats for the 7 p.m. kickoff with the stirring Walk of Legends.
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