The Athletic Department announced its 2022 Hall of Fame class late last month.
The department posted the names of seven individual Colonials being inducted into the GW Athletic Hall of Fame in a release on Sept. 30 along with the 1992-93 men’s basketball team and former administrator Karen Ercole, who will be honored at the induction ceremony on Feb. 4. The 2022 class is headlined by a trio of student-athletes who made history by breaking the color barrier at the University.
Norman Neverson will be recognized as the first Black student-athlete at GW to receive an athletic scholarship, which he earned in 1963 when he was recruited to the now-defunct Colonials football team. Neverson went on to become an All-American selection at linebacker and also attended the March on Washington during his time in Foggy Bottom.
It was not until five years later that a Black basketball player would receive a scholarship, which the late Garland Pinkston achieved while averaging 12.5 points per game in his freshman season.
Pinkston graduated in 1970 and went on to receive a law degree from Boston University in 1974. He worked as a clerk in the D.C. Court of Appeals and passed away in 2019.
Officials will honor former GW baseball player Danny Rouhier, who made his mark all over the record books of the baseball team during his four years at GW. Rouhier batted .368 in his freshman year as the Colonials took home the 1998 West Division title and earned All-Conference honors in his junior season.
At the time of his graduation, Rouhier ranked among the program’s top five players all-time in seven different statistical categories, topping the career runs batted in chart with 194 knocked in.
Today, Rouhier hosts a radio show for 106.7 The Fan here in D.C. Current baseball head coach Gregg Ritchie phoned in during Rouhier’s show to break the news that he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In addition to the individual honorees, the entire 1992-93 men’s basketball team will be inducted for its success in reaching the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. Led by 1993 Sports Illustrated Freshman of the Year Yinka Dare, the No. 12 Colonials eventually fell to No. 1 Michigan and the Fab Five in a 72-64 defeat.
Despite losing three of its final four games of the season, GW received an at-large bid to the big dance as a 12 seed. The Colonials upset No. 5 New Mexico in the first round in an 82-68 victory before taking down No. 13 Southern 90-80 in the second round. The team still holds the record for the deepest NCAA Tournament run in program history.
Noelia Gomez, one of the most decorated women’s basketball players in program history, will also be in the 2022 Hall of Fame class. Gomez was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in 1997 and a first-team All-Conference selection in her sophomore year.
The Spanish forward was then named A-10 Player of the Year in 1999 after averaging 19.9 points per game. Gomez still holds the program record for most career points per game with 18.0, propelling the team to two A-10 regular season championships and an Elite Eight appearance in the 1997 NCAA Tournament.
Diane Kelly will enter the Hall of Fame as one of the most prolific scorers in women’s soccer’s history despite playing just two seasons at GW.
Kelly ranks second in career goals as a Colonial with 44 to her name as well as 96 career points, helping GW earn a Northeast Regional ranking for the first time ever in 1987.
Chris Peterson was a member of the wrestling team from 1983-87, with his 320 career points ranking second all-time. Peterson won a NCAA Eastern Regional Championship and was named GW Outstanding Senior Athlete in 1987.
Ercole was hired as an academic advisor at GW in 1991 and over the next 24 years rose to be the associate athletics director for educational support services and student-athlete development and the deputy Title IX coordinator.
Under her guidance, the University created the Office of Student-Athlete Development and the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy. Ercole left the University in 2015 and now works as a consultant for higher education in the D.C. area.
The class of 2022 will expand the GW Hall of Fame to 183 members along with three team honorees.
This article appeared in the October 11, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.