- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY The Gazette-Virginian
Faith, devotion, determination and perseverance were keys to success for Terry Davis, the late Tigue Day Sr., Bill Vanney and Tisha Waller, the four newest members of the Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame, inducted at the 22nd annual HOF banquet on Saturday at Halifax County Middle School.
Davis, a standout basketball player at Halifax County High School and Virginia Union University, played for the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards and Denver Nuggets.
In his senior season at Virginia Union, he averaged 22.3 points and 11.9 rebounds a game, and Davis followed that up with a solid NBA career, playing in 480 games.
His best season was 1992-93 with the Mavericks, where he averaged 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds a game, with a high of 35 points and 17 rebounds against Atlanta on Nov. 14, 1992.
Faith in God and a lot of hard work allowed him to have a stellar basketball career, according to presenter Ed Owens, who said Davis benefited from faith in Jesus Christ and the love of family and community.
“God’s blessings gave him all the talent he needed, and he distinguished himself through hard work,” said Owens.
“He loves God, his family and his community.”
Davis said he always understood God made all his success possible, and he has always appreciated the support given him by his community.
“While I was in the NBA people asked me where I was from,” Davis said, adding he always tried to represent his community the best way he knew how.
“I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family, community and my personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Davis gave personal thanks to Halifax County resident and another former NBA player, Jamie Waller, who preceded him at Virginia Union.
“Thanks for all the support. You taught me the ropes at Virginia Union,” said Davis.
Tigue Day Sr., who served as coach in a number of youth baseball leagues, was also a standout bowler, winning the prestigious King of the Hill Bowling tournament 10 straight weeks, earning enough money to build his first home, according to presenter Addison Marable.
Marable, a coaching contemporary of Day and fellow member of the South Boston Bowling Association Hall of Fame, said Day worked hard for the youth of Halifax County, but he added his love of young people went beyond the ball field.
“If a kid needed shoes or a jacket, he’d have one the next day,” Marable said of Day.
“People say about him that there wasn’t a kid in Halifax County he didn’t like.”
Marable shared several memories of himself and Day in their coaching heyday, always recalling Day’s sense of humor and positive outlook.
David Day thanked the Hall of Fame for honoring his father, adding Tigue Day Sr. thought about sports all the time, and that he would love to have been at the induction.
Bill Vanney was a standout athlete who participated in youth sports, middle school sports and high school sports in Halifax County.
He lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball in high school, before going to East Carolina University and finally Western State College in Colorado, where he served as co-captain and starting safety his senior year in football.
After coaching in Arizona for several years, he returned to Halifax County High School to coach football before becoming a teacher and athletic director.
He moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1978, where he was an athletic administrator and assistant principal before retiring in 2003.
Cameron McRae, who coached Vanney in the first organized youth football league in Halifax County, detailed Vanney’s accomplishments in both athletics and administration.
He also noted Vanney’s perseverance after a disappointing freshman year at East Carolina and his success at Western State, in addition to Vanney’s success while athletic director at the high school level in Arizona, where his school’s sports teams were state champions 15 times, runner-ups 10 times and regional champions 35 times in Vanney’s tenure.
Vanney was a member of the first organized little league baseball team as well as first organized youth football program, noting he came to Halifax County at just the right time.
“Success comes when preparation and opportunity come together,” he said.
Vanney thanked both Marable and the late Hugh Moore, whom he described as “pioneers” in the youth sports movement in Halifax County.
“They touched a lot of lives, and as reporters they were very supportive of me, my family and Halifax County High School,” said Vanney.
Acknowledging he had too many people to thank personally, he mentioned his wife, mother, coaches McRae, Coleman Starnes, Hank Hamrick and Bob Murray, and the community as a whole for their support.
Tisha Waller is a two-time Olympian in the high jump, having competed in 1996 and 2004, and was the 1996 and 2004 Olympic Trials champion.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina, and holder of a master’s degree from that same institution, Waller is a 2003 USA Track & Field Humanitarian Award recipient, she is a five-time USA outdoor champion, a five-time USA indoor champion, a 1998 Goodwill Games champion and a 1999 World Indoor Championships bronze medalist.
Outside the track, she was named 1996 Teacher of the Year for DeKalb County, Georgia.
Older sister and high school track standout in her own right, Petra Waller asked everyone not to let Tisha Waller’s athletic accomplishments define her as a person.
Noting a training accident during her sister’s senior year, Petra Waller said her sister was not one to look at outward beauty, but rather one who possessed courage and determination.
“It’s her inner beauty that makes her a great mentor, said Petra Waller, who introduced Tisha Waller as her “best friend, hero and sister.”
Noting her sister’s injury that derailed a promising track career, the HOF inductee said Petra Waller did not choose to be bitter and hurt, but supportive of her younger sister.
“She cheered me on, and I was proud of her for encouraging me…my hero was in my own house,” said Tisha Waller.
Waller said she was most proud of the fact that her success began at home, in Halifax County where she received support from family and coaches at both the middle and high school.
The gave her the encouragement and support she needed to succeed in the high jump, at a time she wasn’t quite sure what she was capable of.
“This induction isn’t about me but about all of you who encouraged me and supported me,” she noted.
“It speaks volumes of the people here in Halifax County and South Boston.”