Seven Georgia high school alumni to be inducted to the 2024 class of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is set to induct their 68th Hall of Fame class this weekend as seven former Georgia high school sports stars will get their name etched into history.

This year’s inductees include former NBA player Shareef Abdur-Rahim, longtime NFL defensive stars Eric Berry and Thomas Davis Sr., former MLB players Brian McCann and Cris Carpenter, former UGA SID Claude Felton, and tennis star Wendy White-Prausa.

In high school, Abdur-Rahim attended Wheeler where he was dominant on the court for the Wildcats. In his senior season, he averaged a double-double,  close to 30 points and 12 rebounds a game while leading Wheeler to a victory in the Class 4A State Championship game. He earned Georgia State Player of the Year in his final season of high school basketball and scored nearly 1,500 points in his four-year high school career.

Abdur-Rahim attended the University of California-Berkeley to continue his athletic career after Wheeler and became a starter immediately for Cal during the 1995-1996 season. His impressive play earned him PAC-10 Player of the Year honors, the first freshman to ever take home the award, as well as a third team All-American. When the Golden Bears were defeated in the first round, Abdur-Rahim thought long and hard before declaring for the 1996 NBA Draft where he was picked by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the third pick. He played in the NBA for 12 years, averaging over 18 points and seven rebounds throughout his career.

Berry attended Creekside where he played on both sides of the ball as a quarterback and a safety. He helped lead his team to two region championships and only five losses during his high school career. He earned Georgia Gatorade High School Player of the Year before leaving Creekside to further his football career at the University of Tennessee. His play helped him earn SEC Freshman of the Year as he helped lead the Vols to the SEC Title game.

In his Tennessee career, he totaled 245 tackles and 14 interceptions leading him to become the fifth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Chiefs. In 2014, Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and beat the disease a year later, earning him NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2015. Berry’s professional career accolades also include being a five-time Pro Bowler and three first team All-Pro selections. He was inducted into the Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame in 2022.

Davis attended Randolph-Clay where he played football, basketball, baseball and track for the Red Devils. On the football field, Davis played a multitude of positions, playing on offense, defense and special teams, helping the the team in any way he could. He was a Class 2A-All State Honorable mention by the AJC and GSWA.

Though he excelled in more than just football in high school, Davis decided to continue pursuing football, enrolling at the University of Georgia and joined their football program from 2002-2004. Playing linebacker and safety for Georgia, Davis played in 39 career games as a Bulldog, totaling 272 tackles and 10.5 sacks in his college career. He was selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers and remained with the organization for a majority of his career. In his 13-year career in Carolina, Davis earned First-Team All-Pro selection in 2015 and was a three time Pro Bowler. Davis earned Walter Payton NFL Man on the Year in 2014 for his incredible work off the field.

McCann was the 24th-ranked player in the nation coming out of Duluth in the 2002 recruiting class as a catcher. Though he was committed to join the Alabama baseball program after high school, McCann was drafted in the second round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves, where he spent 13 seasons within the Braves organization in both the minors and majors. He made his MLB debut in 2005 and hit five home runs in his first season. In 2006, his first full season in the majors, McCann recorded 147 hits, compared to his 50 from the year before. In his career, McCann registered 1,590 hits and over 280 home runs.

Carpenter attended Gainesville where he pitched on the school’s baseball team, played quarterback and punter for the football team and was an All-State guard on the basketball team. He then went to the University of Georgia where he remained a two-sport athlete, punting on the football team and pitching for the baseball team. In three seasons in the Georgia baseball program, he totaled 22 wins and 260 strikeouts and was a member of the team when they made the 1987 College World Series. After three seasons, Carpenter was drafted with the 14th pick in the MLB Draft to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1987 draft. He remained in the MLB for eight seasons, playing for four different teams in his professional career. Today, Carpenter assists in coaching the Gainesville High School baseball team, giving back to the community that helped shape him into what he became.

Felton was a Sports and Information Director for UGA athletics for 45 years and helped turn the UGA athletic department into what it is today. The Savannah-native joined the program in 1979 and recently retired from his position in January of 2024. Throughout his tenure, Felton was involved in many major sporting events such as multiple Olympics such as 1984 in Los Angeles and 1996 in Atlanta, Final Fours and has been on site for 17 NCAA Championship events. He was one of Vince Dooley’s first hires when he became the UGA Athletic Director in 1979.

White, an Atlanta-native, is regarded as one of the best women’s tennis players to come out of the state of Georgia. She attended Westminster for high school but played in numerous tennis tournaments outside of school as she played in over 30 junior amateur tournaments where she either won or got second from 1977-1978. In 1978, for her terrific play throughout the year, she was awarded Georgia Player of the Year and was selected to play in multiple big tournaments from the USTA. She attended Rollins College after Westminster and continued to excel on the tennis court as she was awarded All-American status and Collegiate Player of the Year in 1979 and 1980. After winning the AIAW Championship as a sophomore, she turned pro in 1980 where she played on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour (WTA) for 12 years. In her pro career, she was ranked in the top-100 in singles throughout every year of her professional career, and was ranked in the top-20 for most of her career in doubles. She won one WTA singles title and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open two times in doubles. White played in numerous big tournaments such as the U.S. Open and Wimbledon during her professional career before retiring in 1992.

All six Georgia high school alumni will be honored on both Feb. 23 and 24 at the 68th Annual Induction Ceremony for the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame held in the Macon City Auditorium.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply