ETSU Basketball Standout Tommy Woods Announced as 2021 Inductee of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
ETSU Basketball Standout Tommy Woods Announced as 2021 Inductee of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
Monday, March 1, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – March 1, 2021 – Tommy Woods, the first African-American basketball player at East Tennessee State University, is a 2021 Inductee of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Woods was told of his inclusion Monday during a surprise meeting with ETSU Athletics Director Scott Carter, the Voice of the Bucs Jay Sandos, and Brad Willis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Tommy Woods played for the Buccaneers from 1963-1967, after prepping at Hall High School in Alcoa. Woods was not only the first African-American player at ETSU, but the first African-American player at a non African-American Tennessee public institution.

As a freshman in 1963, Woods was subject to catcalls, bigotry, and discrimination, but by his senior season at ETSU, Woods was a beloved figure and a transcendent athlete. Woods was named All-OVC in 1966 and 1967, and still holds records for rebounds (1034), rebounds per game average (10.2), and single game rebounds (38).

After an injury-shortened career with the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels, Woods entered a life of public service in Louisville. For over 30 years, Woods was a probation officer for troubled youth, and upon retirement, he served as the Athletic Director of the Louisville Police Department Athletic Programs, and after a second retirement, he is now a special assistant to the Mayor of Louisville.

“Tommy Woods is a shining example of what makes up a Tennessee Sports Hall of Famer,” said Brad Willis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. “His contributions to the sport, to ETSU, and to his community embody the true spirit of athletics.”

Woods joins President of US Soccer Cindy Parlow Cone, former MTSU defensive standout Mike Caldwell, and wheelchair basketball champion Brandon Rowland as announced inductees of the Class of 2021. The full class of 11 will be announced over the coming weeks.

Established in 1966, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame honors figures from every sport including basketball, baseball, football, golf, soccer and track & field, along with coaches, teams, sports writers and others who made an impact. The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development oversees all operations along with the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

For more information, visit www.tshf.net.

About the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

Established in 1966, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame enshrines and honors athletes, teams, coaches, sports writers and sports administrators who have made an impact on the history of Tennessee sports. The Hall serves as a platform to connect athletes, coaches, sports fans, and supporters by acknowledging life achievements implemented through sports. The Hall celebrates athletes of all forms, from all across the state. Additionally, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame aspires to educate youth about the importance of healthy habits and the positive impact they have on lifestyle choices. The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is located at 501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for children and can be purchased at the Visitor Center in Bridgestone Arena, right outside of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Group rates are available for 10 or more. For more information, visit www.tshf.net.

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