Gilloon, King, Sabatini head list of Hudson Hall of Famers
Dinner set for Jan. 24 to honor county's sports legends
For the 12th straight year, the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame dinner will honor some of the greatest legends in the history of Hudson County sports. The dinner, set for the Hi-Hat Restaurant in Bayonne on Thursday, Jan. 24, beginning at 6 p.m., will feature yet another array of excellent sports greats that have graced their respective fields of play in the past.
In all, 17 people will receive their proper recognition and due at the annual induction dinner.
The list of inductees reads like a ledger of athletic excellence. It includes Jersey City native Henry Wittenberg, who won a gold medal in wrestling in the 1948 Olympics and captured a silver in the 1952 Games; Jackie Gilloon, the former Memorial basketball wizard who electrified gyms in the 1970s before heading off to a fine career in South Carolina; Lou King, the former Snyder football standout who had a brilliant career at the University of Iowa; Carol Cook, the holder of many all-time softball records while pitching and hitting for North Bergen High; and Bruce Sabatini, the West New York native who began his athletic career as an 11-year-old playing in the Little League World Series and ending as a highly successful high school and collegiate coach.
Also: Bill McKeever, a fixture in coaching basketball in Hudson County for more than 40 years; Tony Ferrainolo, the former standout athlete at Memorial who went on to become one of the most successful baseball coaches in New Jersey history; Dan Gabbianelli, who went from being the first four-sport star at Weehawken High to becoming a standout basketball player at Georgetown; and Manny Silverio, a legendary track and field fixture at North Bergen High who became an All-American in the hammer throw.
Also: Sam DePiano, the former St. Michael's of Union City hoop star who had a fine career at St. Peter's College; Dan Waddleton, who was an All-American basketball player at St. Michael's in Union City before going on to a fine career at St. John's; and Chuck Wepner, the legendary boxing figure known as "The Bayonne Bleeder" who once knocked down Muhammad Ali and was the inspiration behind Sylvester Stallone's "Rocky" series.
Also: the late Bob Many, the Bayonne native who is the father of the basketball jump shot; the late Rich Dimler, who was a standout at Bayonne High before going on to Southern Cal and the National Football League, and the late James Walling, the long-time basketball coach, soccer coach and athletic director at St. Michael's of Jersey City and St. Aloysius.
Ed Lucas, the long-time sports journalist who lost his eyesight playing baseball as a youngster, but has dedicated his life to helping the students at St. Joseph School of the Blind in Jersey City, is the recipient of the Marty Seglio Memorial Community Service Award.
The Hall of Fame Dinner always proves to be a great night of great memories and nostaligia. Tickets for the dinner are priced at $60 and can be secured by contacting Jane Greene at (201) 459-2083 during business hours...
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