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Georgia Sports Hall of Fame adds class of eight

Patricia Roberts admitted that during her playing days, she never realized that she was doing something that was special enough to make anyone's Hall of Fame.

But Roberts' numbers as a basketball player speak for themselves, and she was part of an eight-member class that headed into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday night. The other new members are basketball player Mike Glenn, coaches Luther Welsh and Glen Wilkes, baseball's Chipper Jones, football's Hines Ward and Jimmy Robinson and contributor Phil Schaefer.

Saturday night marked the fifth Hall of Fame Roberts has been inducted to. She played on the 1976 Women's Olympic basketball team and won a silver medal. She was one of the leading scorers, tallying 60 points in the five games in the Olympics.

Roberts played three years of college basketball at Emporia State before transferring to Tennessee for her senior year to play for Pat Summitt, who had actually been an Olympic teammate. In her very first game at Tennessee, Roberts scored 51 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, which was the start of a season that saw her average 29.9 points per game and score 929 points.

"Playing for Tennessee and Coach Summitt was the best place I have ever played, and that includes the Olympics," said Roberts, who played professionally after her college career before starting a coaching career that has spanned more than 25 years. "The Olympics was also a great thrill for me because it was the very first time that women's basketball was played in the Olympics."

Roberts, who is coaching at Agnes Scott, said being voted into a Hall of Fame never gets old.

"I played 35 years ago, so to be recognized for what I did that long ago is something very special to me," Roberts said.

Wilkes probably leads the new class in Hall of Fame inductions, with the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame being his eighth.

"Being inducted into any Hall of Fame is always special, but being elected to the Georgia Hall is extra special because I still consider myself a Georgian," said Wilkes, who grew up in Eatonton and starred on the basketball court for Mercer before starting a long coaching career in which he earned 552 wins at Stetson. "The Georgia Hall of Fame has made it a very special weekend for us, and I have to commend them for the great job that they do."

Robinson played at Georgia Tech and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.

"I am a first-year nominee so it is somewhat overwhelming to know that I made it," said Robinson, who caught 101 passes at Georgia Tech and added 85 more in the NFL before turning to coaching. "I mean, I was very lucky to even get a scholarship to Georgia Tech but had the help of so many people, and then I was able to catch a few passes. After that, I was drafted by the Falcons but got cut, which was very disappointing for me. But by the next year, I was playing for the New York Giants and was able to stick around and start some games. But that was a long, long time ago. That's what makes this so special. It is just really nice to be remembered."