Rockland Community College will hold their annual Sports Hall of Fame dinner event on Saturday, January 19, 2013. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. at the Italian-American Social Club in West Haverstraw. Three people are being honored as this year’s inductees, joining the 30 previous members in the RCC Sports Hall of Fame. They are:

Emil Willis, Coach and Professor, Physical Education
Willis began his RCC career in 1969. During his many years of service he was the longtime chairperson for the Physical Education Department, the head coach for baseball, and for men’s volleyball, women’s volleyball, and bowling, and the assistant coach for men’s basketball. The popular Summer Sports Academy at RCC, about to enter its 40th successful year, was founded by Coach Willis, and continues, under his directorship, offering children an opportunity to experience a range of different sports, all in a safe and nurturing environment. In 2001 Kids College was added to the summer program with specialties in Performing Arts, an Art Institute, Computers, or Awesome Science.

Tim O’Brien ’88, Basketball

O’Brien scored over 1,000 points while at RCC, and after being the team’s leading scorer at Ithaca College, he played professionally in Europe and for the historic Washington Generals.  The Generals were famously known as the traveling team that played against the Harlem Globetrotters.  The Suffern High School graduate works and lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Chris Lemonis ’93, Baseball

Lemonis was a member of the Hawks’ 1993 JUCO World Series team.  He transferred to St. John’s University and earned First Team All-Big East Team honors in 1995.  Following college, Lemonis played 11 years of professional baseball, mainly in the Detroit Tigers organization.  As a current member of the Greek National Baseball team, he has helped the squad capture four European Championships and one World Cup. He also appeared in the 1999 movie about baseball, “For Love of the Game,” which starred Kevin Kostner and Kelly Preston.

The Athletic Department will also present the Dr. Cliff L. Wood Service Award to Fred Greenberg of Suffern NY, for exemplary community service. Since 1960, Rockland Athletics has produced 51 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Americans and more than 50 former student-athletes have become coaches after their playing careers.

Admission: $50 includes music and dancing, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, salad, pasta, prime rib, coffee, and dessert. For reservations or more information, please call the RCC Athletic Office at 845-574-4452 or 845-574-4512.

(Make checks payable to the RCC Association).

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