WATCH: Memphis Sports Hall of Fame honors 22 local legends

Penny Hardaway, Rochelle Stevens and late Negro League Pitcher Verdell Mathis among inductees.


Downtown Memphis was nothing short of elite athletes and contributors as the Memphis Sports Council, the Memphis Redbirds and Memphis Tourism collaborated and created the Memphis Sports Experience and Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It was held at the Auto Zone Park on Thursday evening.

“It’s an honor, I’m his granddaughter so I feel honored to be here and accept his award on his behalf and I think he would really be proud, “said Michelle Houston. Houston is the granddaughter of the late baseballer Verdell Mathis. Mathis was considered one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in the Negro League during the 1940’s.

In total, 22 athletes, coaches and contributors were inducted into the Memphis Sports Hall of Fame. Among them: University of Men’s head basketball coach Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway; Tiger basketball legends Keith Lee and player/coach Larry Finch; and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Rochelle Stevens.

Watch the clip above as history unfolded with the first ever Memphis sports hall of fame induction. Our reporter Terrisa Mark was there to capture all the special moments.