Knoxville Hall of Fame to honor three Tennessee legends

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/SUBMITTED) -- Three University of Tennessee legends will be honored next month when the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame holds its annual induction dinner on July 11 at the Knoxville Convention Center.

In addition to the 10 hall of fame inductees, former Lady Vol basketball standout Tamika Catchings will receive the Pat Summitt Ignite Greatness Award and former Vol baseball players Rick Honeycutt and Chase Headley will be presented with the Thanks for the Memories Award and Chad Pennington Professional Athlete of the Year Award, respectively.

Catchings, who started on UT’s unbeaten 1997-98 team as a freshman, helped UT to its fifth national championship that season. Currently in her 13th year with the Indiana Fever, she led the squad to its first ever WNBA title last summer. A six-time All-WNBA honoree, Catchings was named the 2011 WNBA MVP and 2012 Finals MVP.

Serving as a community leader and a positive role model, Catchings began the Catch the Stars Foundation, Inc. in 2004, which helps disadvantaged youth achieve their dreams by providing goal setting programs that promote fitness, literacy and youth development. In 2008, Catchings was awarded the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award for her work in the Indianapolis community with her foundation.

Currently the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Honeycutt pitched in the Major Leagues for 21 years following his collegiate career at Tennessee. A two-time All-Star, he played with six different franchises, including the 1989 Oakland Athletics World Series championship team.

A Chattanooga native, Honeycutt played for the Vols from 1973-76 and put together one of the most special senior campaigns in school history. During the 1976 season, he hit .404 with 10 home runs and 57 RBIs in addition to going 8-2 with a 2.88 ERA and eight complete games on the mound en route to first team All-American accolades.

Headley, who will share his honor with Alcoa native and current Green Bay Packer Randall Cobb, finished fifth in the 2012 National League MVP voting after winning both a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award and leading the senior circuit in RBIs. The San Diego Padres third baseman established himself as one of the top all-around players in the National League this season, finishing with a .286 batting average, 31 home runs and 115 RBIs.

A Vol from 2004-05, Headley helped lead Tennessee to the College World Series in his final year at Rocky Top. At UT, he hit .357 with 16 home runs and 88 RBIs in 110 career games. As a junior, he earned third-team All-America honors after winning the SEC batting title by hitting .387. He also led the league in walks (63), runs scored (82) and on-base percentage (.530).

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