It’s been far too long since Shady Grove High School alumnus Angela Turner Johnson has been in the spotlight. Saturday night, she takes a permanent place in a big one.
Turner Johnson, the pride of Shady Grove in the late 1970s, helped the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters reach four Final Fours in her career at Tech. She was Final Four MVP as a junior in 1981 when the Techsters won the first of two straight national championships, and she earned all-America honors as a senior. Her jersey is retired. After years of coming close to election, she has finally earned induction this weekend in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
She was the state MVP for a 46-1 state championship team as a senior, was voted Miss Shady Grove and graduated atop her class. A.T. was a three-year All-State basketball star.
The state’s most spectacular sporting event of the summer takes place in Louisiana’s most historic and charming town, Natchitoches, today through Saturday night with the pandemic-delayed Class of 2020 Induction Celebration.
Reservations for the free Junior Training Camp and four ticketed events, including Saturday evening’s induction ceremony, are still available at LaSportsHall.com or by calling 318-238-4255. There’s also a free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday night in Natchitoches, featuring fireworks at 9:15 after introduction of “A.T.” and the other 2020 inductees.
The Class of 2020 also includes world-famous Louisiana sports figures Ronnie Coleman and Phil Robertson, world-traveler Sweet Lou Dunbar of the Harlem Globetrotters, and nationally-acclaimed network sports broadcaster Tim Brando.
Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, NBA standout Kerry Kittles, and iconic Monroe-Richwood high school football coach Mackie Freeze are also among the star-studded class.
Coleman and Freeze are Grambling legends. Robertson, Mr. Duck Dynasty, is like Turner Johnson a holder of bachelor’s and masters’ degrees from Tech.
The Induction Celebration kicked off Thursday. Friday’s schedule begins around lunchtime with the Hall’s BOM Bowling Bash pairing 2020 inductees and more sports celebrities, including past inductees, with bowlers at All-Star Lanes in Shreveport.
Friday evening brings a free riverbank concert — the third annual Rockin’ River Fest presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center with bands and fireworks over Cane River Lake in historic downtown Natchitoches.
Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys are the feature act, preceded by Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, with surprise special guests, and other musicians beginning at 6.
Tickets are on sale for the Taste of Tailgating party, presented by Hancock-Whitney, in an air-conditioned tent near the stage.
Saturday morning offers the last free event, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Junior Training Camp, presented by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, will be held on the Northwestern State campus. Up to 300 youth ages 8-17 will be participating at no charge.
Hall of Fame inductees will be the featured instructors for drills in football and basketball while healthy living initiatives and other positive lifestyle messaging will be presented to boys and girls, and Raising Canes is providing a coupon for a free lunch to all the kids.
Campers should be registered before Saturday on the LaSportsHall.com website, or by calling 318-238-4255. They should report to the Webb WRAC in the middle of the NSU campus between 8:30-8:45 a.m. Saturday with the camp running from 9-11.
The 2020 Induction Class will be celebrated in the annual Induction Ceremony presented by State Farm Agents of Louisiana, Saturday night at the Natchitoches Events Center.
Guests will first enjoy an array of appetizers from 5-6:45 at the nearby Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum, and can migrate to the Events Center starting at 6 to be in their seats for the 7 p.m. kickoff with the stirring Walk of Legends. Cox Sports Television live coverage begins at 6.
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