Three Former Tiders Named To ASHOF

Something has been made of Alabama having lost its last game in the Louisiana Superdome to Oklahoma in last year’s Sugar Bowl. More should be made of the number of national championships the Crimson Tide has won or validated in New Orleans.

One of the greatest Alabama victories for the national championship in the Louisiana Superdome was orchestrated by Jay Barker (along with a punishing Crimson Tide defense) in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 1992 season. Bama defeated overwhelming favorite Miami, 34-13, to complete and undefeated national championship season.

Sunday, Jay Barker was one of three former Crimson Tide athletes to be announced as having been selected for induction into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Barker is joined by former Crimson Tide basketball stars Derrick McKey and Ennis Whatley.

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Also selected were former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, and former football players Tommy Neville of Mississippi State and Bobby Hunt, Tony Richardson, and Chris Gray of Auburn.

These bring to 329 the number of inductees since the first class in 1969. The 2015 induction banquet will be May 16 at the Birmingham Balroom of the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel.

Barker, born July 20, 1972, is a native of Trussville and now a popular sports radio personality in Birmingham. He received the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as a senior in 1994. He was named to the Academic All-SEC Team, Birmingham News SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and Nashville Banner SEC Player of the Year in 1994. As a senior he was first team All-SEC. He played briefly in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and Carolina Panthers. He also played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League; and finished his career with the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the XFL.

McKey, a native of Meridian, Miss., who was born Oct. 10, 1966, was a small forward for Coach Wimp Sanderson. He was SEC Player of the Year and second team All-America in 1987. McKey was a member of the Gold Medal USA Team at the 1986 FIBA World Championship. He was a first-round draft pick to the Seattle Sonics in 1987 (9th overall). He was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team (1988). For two consecutive years he was named to the NBA All-Defensive second team (1995 and 1996). He played in the NBA from 1987-2002 for the Sonics, Indiana Pacers, and the Philadelphia 76ers. For his career he had 10,266 points, 4,387 rebounds, and 2,254 assists.

Whatley, a native of Birmingham, born Aug. 11, 1962, was one of the most electric players ever in the SEC. He played for Sanderson in 1982 (helping Bama to the SEC Tournament Championship and a berth in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and final ranking of 13th) and 1983. He entered the NBA draft after his sophomore season and was a first round pick of the Kansas City Kings. He played 10 years in the NBA for seven teams. His best year was 1986-1987 with the Washington Bullets, appearing in 73 games and averaged 8.5 points per game. For his career, he scored 2,150 points, averaging 5.6 points per game.?

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