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LOUISIANA SPORTS HALL OF FAME:Mitchell, Perrot among elite Hall induction class

Many would agree, and some would argue, that Brian Mitchell and Kim Perrot are the greatest male and female athletes to ever hit the UL campus.

There would be no argument, however, that both are Hall of Fame worthy, and both will take their place among the state’s all-time sports greats next weekend when they are inducted as part of an eight-member class into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Joining Mitchell and Perrot, who will be inducted posthumously, as this year’s Hall inductees are football stars Pat Swilling and Stan Humphries, recently-enshrined Baseball Hall of Fame member Willard Brown, Southern Lab basketball coach Joel Hawkins, LSU track and field star and Olympic gold medalist Esther Jones and Tulane basketball All-American and NBA first-round draft pick Warren Perkins.

Mitchell, who rewrote UL’s football record book before a stellar 14-year NFL playing career, and Perrot, the Cajuns’ all-time leading women’s basketball scorer and an inspirational story in a too-short WNBA career, were chosen for the state’s top sports honor by a 30-member LSWA panel that considered 126 candidates in 22 different sports categories. Their selections were announced last December.

The 2007 induction class will take part in three days of activities June 21-23 during the Hall of Fame Induction Celebration in Natchitoches, home of the Hall since 1972. Also honored during the weekend will be Pete Dosher and Arthur Schott with the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, and Don Landry and Doug Thornton with the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award.

The highlight of the weekend is the Saturday induction banquet scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center. Tickets are available for $25 and tables of eight may be reserved in advance. Activities also include a kickoff reception on Thursday, a pro-am golf scramble on Friday and a youth sports clinic on Saturday.

Information on banquet tickets, golf entries and other activities is available from the Hall of Fame office in Natchitoches at (318) 357-6467.

The eight new inductees increases membership in the state sports shrine to 253 men and women since it was established 49 years ago. The Hall of Fame is also in the process of beginning construction on a $7.1-million state-of-the-art building to be located in Natchitoches’ historic district.

Mitchell, a standout quarterback at Plaquemine High and USL, set nine NFL records as a dynamic kick returner. He had 13 pro touchdowns on kick runbacks, earning a Pro Bowl berth in 1995.

For the Ragin’ Cajuns, he became the first quarterback in NCAA Division I-A history to pass for 5,000 yards and rush for 3,000 while leading UL to four straight winning seasons.

Perrot was a lightning-quick guard for Acadiana High before a record-shattering career from 1986-90 at UL, where she led the NCAA in scoring with a 30.0 average as a senior.

A standout for Team USA in international competition, Perrot joined the WNBA Houston Comets when the league came into existence and helped lead that squad to the first two WNBA titles before being stricken with terminal cancer. Her No. 10 Comets jersey is retired and the WNBA Sportsmanship Award is named in her honor.

AN Note:  Don Landry, Profile in AN, longtime collegiate athletic administrator will be the ceipient of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award.