LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A national champion, a Super Bowl MVP, a radio announcer of nearly three decades, an Olympian and two trailblazing college football players have been selected to the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame's 2019 class.
The class was announced Wednesday and was voted on by a 16-member selection committee comprised of current KSHOF members.
Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame's 2019 class:
- Former Kentucky basketball great Derek Anderson helped lead the Wildcats to the 1996 NCAA Championship. Anderson, a Louisville native who starred on the court at Doss High School, went on to become the 13th overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He won an NBA title with the Miami Heat in 2006.
- Former Louisville football standout Deion Branch went from an all-conference receiver for the Cardinals to the Most Valuable Player of the 2005 Super Bowl. At the time, Branch tied the record for most receptions in a Super Bowl with 11 for 133 yards in the New England Patriots' 24-21 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. He finished his NFL career with 518 receptions for 6,644 yards and 39 touchdowns.
- Former Kentucky State University Athletic Director William Exum became the first African American football player at the University of Wisconsin in the 1930s. Exum also ran track during his time at Wisconsin and went on to lead the KSU men's cross country team to the Division II national title as a coach in 1964. He also served as head manager of the U.S. men's Olympic track and field team in 1972 and 1976.
- Ralph Hacker spent nearly 30 years as an analyst and play-by-play announcer for University of Kentucky football and basketball from 1972-1998. Hacker worked extensively with Cawood Ledford during his time on the air and eventually became president of HMH Broadcasting.
- Willis Augustus Lee won seven medals at the 1920 Olympics as a member of the U.S. rifle team before a career in the U.S. Navy. Lee's record of seven medals (five gold, one silver and one bronze) at the 1920 games stood until 1980. In 1942, Lee lead a group of American battleships as Rear Admiral to victory over Japanese forces near Guadalcanal and was awarded the Navy Cross.
- Nate Northington became the first African America player in Southeastern Conference football history when he took the field for Kentucky against Mississippi on Sept. 30, 1967. Northington was an all-star high school player at Thomas Jefferson in Louisville. He is one of three players depicted in a statue outside of Kroger Field in honor of their breaking the SEC's color barrier.
The 2019 class will be honored Aug. 19 at the Galt House Hotel.
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