SPRINGFIELD, Mo–The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame saluted basketball Tuesday at it’s annual hoops luncheon.
Among the honorees was retired Evangel basketball coach Steve Jenkins and his 2002 NAIA National Championship team.
The Hall gave Jenkins the Pinnacle Award which recognizes his lifetime of service.
Jenkins coached basketball for 39 years at Evangel, at times at Evangel he also coached the baseball and mens golf.
Evangel won seven conference championships and made 13 NAIA Tournaments.
Other inductees include William Fontleroy who was a star on Missouri State’s 1999 Sweet 16 team, Jimmy Wright for his years on MSU’s stat crew, veteran high school coach Denny Hunt, and Southern Boone player Joyce Arnsmeyer Gillespie.
The Walnut Grove girls program, Lockwood boys Final Four teams, and the 1996 Drexel girls team were saluted.
Fontleroy and Jenkins were humbled by the honor.
“1, 2, 3, 4. That’s how many games I’ve coached in college basketball. One thousand, two hundred and 34. Not all those were wins, not all of them were losses. But I would lay down for a teammate. And I think they would do the same,” said Jenkins.
“It’s a lot. It’s a big honor. I never thought a little kid from Gary, Indiana would be in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Let alone be recognized for playing the game of basketball. For something I would do regardless of whether its on TV or getting paid. It was just something that I loved to do,” said Fontleroy.