January 27, 2017
Former Men's Basketball Star Dwight Durante to Enter NC Hall of Fame
Catawba College alumnus and basketball great Dwight Durante '74 of Charlotte is one of eight individuals who will be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame during a banquet scheduled on the evening of Friday, May 5, at the Raleigh Convention Center. The Hall of Fame inductees were announced on January 19.
Durante, a one-time Harlem Globetrotter and a career points leader for Catawba, was also one of the first African-American students to register at the college in 1965. Recruited by then Catawba Basketball Coach Sam Moir, Durante and Lawrence Bullock ’69 were Catawba’s first black basketball players in the 1965-66 season. They joined their then fellow Catawba student, Talmadge "Ike" Hill ’70, in making history as they enrolled and integrated the college’s student body.
Durante will become the third individual with ties to Catawba College to be inducted into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, joining former Catawba coaches Sam Moir and the late Gordon Kirkland. He was inducted into the Catawba College Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, as was Ike Hill.
A five foot, eight inch guard from West Charlotte High School, Durante averaged 29.4 points a game in his career at Catawba College and holds Catawba records for most career points as well as for most points in a game (58) and highest single season scoring average (32.1). He is the third of three highly talented black stars of his era in the Carolinas Conference that included Henry Logan and Gene Littles. After touring for a time as a star for the Harlem Globetrotters, Durante became a teacher in Fayetteville. He now lives in Charlotte.
In addition to Durante, other 2017 inductees into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame include Glenn Bass, who played football and baseball at ECU before spending several years in the AFL as a receiver with Buffalo and Houston; Caulton Tudor, who is best known as a columnist for the News & Observer with nearly 40 years of sports writing experience and was the North Carolina sportswriter of the year three times; Stephanie Wheeler, an Olympic gold medalist in Women's Wheelchair basketball; Mike Fox, who has won over 1300 games as a college baseball coach at North Carolina Wesleyan and UNC-Chapel Hill; Chasity Melvin, a N.C. State University basketball star who played 12 seasons in the WNBA and 14 years overseas; Ben Sutton, the founder of ISP Sports in Winston-Salem, a college media and sports marketing company that was acquired by IMG; and Steve Vacendak, a key player on two of Duke University's Final Four teams of the 1960s who played three seasons in the American Basketball Association before enjoying a career as a collegiate coach and athletics administrator.
Ticket information for the banquet is available at ncsportshalloffame.org or 919-845-3455.
The N.C. Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1963. A permanent exhibit, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, is located on the third floor of the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh and features significant objects and memorabilia donated by inductees. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
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