Hall of Fame leaving Vicksburg – for now|[12/6/2005]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Vicksburg’s five-year hold on the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet ended Monday, but officials said a return to the River City is a serious possibility.

The 44th annual induction ceremony is scheduled for the Hilton Hotel in Jackson. BancorpSouth signed a three-year deal to be the corporate sponsor for the event.

&#8220During the three years of the BancorpSouth sponsorship, we will be in central Mississippi,” MSHOF Executive Director Michael Rubenstein said. &#8220We got a great approach from Vicksburg and they have a wonderful facility over there and we may look at Vicksburg again.

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&#8220We were treated well and received a great bid from the convention center over there. But we felt that for the first year, with a chance to show off the museum, we wanted to take advantage of it. That’s why we are having it in Jackson.”

The Vicksburg Convention Center has hosted the event since 2001 and each year the banquet was either at or near capacity.

The time of the event will also change, moving from its original April date to a weekend in July. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, July 28. On the next day, a Meet the Inductees program is scheduled for the Hall of Fame. Current and former inductees will be on hand to greet fans and sign autographs.

&#8220There was so much going on that first weekend in April,” said Calvin Wells, director of the Mississippi Sports Foundation.

Earlier this year, the Hall of Fame and Jackson Touchdown Club agreed to allow the Hall to take over the inductions and the banquet. The Touchdown Club for years had been in charge of the inductions.

The 2006 Hall of Fame class will be led by former Warren Central and Delta State women’s basketball coach Lloyd Clark. The Bovina resident guided the Lady Statesmen to three national championships.

Other inductees are: