Beckley, WV (WOAY) – Saturday marked the 11th annual West Virginia Sports Legends Banquet, held this year at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
The 2019 honorees included influential sports figures from around the Mountain State, including Bluefield football head coach Fred Simon and former WVU Tech men’s basketball coach Bob Williams.
This year’s keynote speaker was Princeton native Rod Thorn, who enjoyed an All-America basketball career at West Virginia in the 1960s. He would play several years in the NBA, and later serve as an executive for multiple teams; as general manager for the Chicago Bulls, Thorn was instrumental in the team picking Michael Jordan third overall in the 1984 NBA Draft.
2019 was Thorn’s first year at the banquet, but he is impressed at how the event has grown in the last decade, and is pleased to see honorees from all parts of West Virginia.
The next phase for the group that organizes the banquet – led by Tex Williams – is the construction of a sports museum dedicated to West Virginia sports icons.