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The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)
On one of his visits to his alma mater Mitchell, Thaddeus Young went to the school's weight room and was dismayed by what he found.
"They were still using some of the stuff from when I was in high school," he said. "I walked in and said, 'No, no. We've got to figure this out."
Considering he last played for the Tigers in 2006 — the year he was named a McDonald's High School All-American — that shows you what the school's athletes have been up against.
But as he's done ever since graduating, Young has given back. Last Tuesday, the school cut the ribbon on a refurbished state-of-the-art weight room paid for by the 11-year NBA veteran. As a thank you, the school honored him by retiring his No. 33 jersey when Young and his Indiana Pacers teammates were in town to play the Grizzlies.
"It's something that was needed," he said. "The kids already love it ... and it's a great addition to the sports program at Mitchell."
Young — who was averaging 13 points heading into the weekend — joins current Mitchell coach Andre Turner, Curtis Green and Linda Street as Tigers basketball players who have had their jerseys retired.
Young said he's humbled to join the ranks of players who have been embraced by Mitchell and the nearby Walker Homes community.
"It's the love," he said. "I feel it each and every time I step into the gym. The people ... when they love you they love you. I'm ecstatic they chose me. I didn't choose them; they chose me."
Allison to be inducted into Tennessee Hall
Former University of Memphis kicker Joe Allison will be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Omni Hotel in Nashville on June 16.
Allison kicked for the Tigers from 1990-1993 and won the inaugural Lou Groza Award in 1992.
That year, he connected on 23 of 25 field goals and all 32 extra-point attempts. The field goal total is a school record shared with Jake Elliott (2015). Allison ranks third on the school's career field goal list (51) and in points (262). He was the first kicker in school history to score 100 points in a season, something only Elliott and Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots have accomplished since.
Other notable names in the 2018 class are former Munford High and Tennessee running back Johnnie Jones, former Vol basketball All-American Allan Houston, All-Pro safety Blaine Bishop of the Tennessee Titans, football playing brothers Raleigh and Reggie McKenzie, 2004 Olympic pole vault champion Tim Mack and legendary Maryville High football coach George Quarles.
Tigers' Hall on CoSIDA academic team
University of Memphis defensive back Austin Hall has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and will now appear on the Academic All-America ballot.
Heading into Saturday's game against SMU, the junior from Collierville High led the Tigers with 66 tackles while recovering two fumbles and intercepting three passes. Earlier this year, he was named the Bronko Nagurski national player of the week and has also won the AAC's weekly award.
In the classroom, Hall carries a 3.45 grade point average while majoring in criminal justice.
Panthers to take part in Unified meet
Bartlett High has been invited to take part in the inaugural Unified Track and Field Invitational, which will take place during Spring Fling. The meet is designed to pair students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team and is being sponsored by the TSSAA and Special Olympics Tennessee.
Other schools competing are Glencliff, Hardin Valley, Harpeth, Lebanon, Sycamore, Volunteer and White County.
Said TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress, "We are very pleased with the leadership displayed by these eight schools in the first year of this event. We think this is just the first step in a program that will continue to expand and include more and more student athletes and we are excited about the direction this is heading."
The meet will be May 24 at MTSU's Floyd Stadium as part of the large class state championships. Athletes will compete in the 100, 400, 400 relay, shot put and long jump. Medals will be awarded to individuals, the runner-up team and champion.
Redbirds selected as top organization
The Memphis Redbirds have another honor to add to this year's Pacific Coast League championship. Trinity Sports Holdings, which oversees the operations of the city's AAA baseball team, has been named "Organization of the Year" by Ballpark Digest.
"It's a true honor," Trinity principal owner Peter Freund said in a statement. "I'm very humbled by it and I'm very appreciative of it."
Among the organizational highlights this past season were the "authentically Memphis" re-branding of the team, a new team store at AutoZone Park, the addition of the Miracle-Gro Rooftop Garden on the stadium's third level and the return of Rendezvous barbecue to the concessions. Attendance increased eight percent over 2016 and has risen 26 percent in the last two years.
Trinity was also cited for its work with the Williamsport Crosscutters in the short-season Class A New York-Penn League.
Sunday Sports Brunch is a weekly look at movers, shakers and newsmakers on the Memphis sports scene, from youth level to the pros. If you have an item of interest, please contact John Varlas at firstname.lastname@example.org
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