Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame Class Adds Six Members at Induction Ceremony Held Inside The Dollar Loan Center
Champagne toast held prior to ceremony to thank donors for permanent display located on arena concourse
After a two-year hiatus, the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame enshrined the Class of 2022 tonight at The Dollar Loan Center in Henderson. This class included Larry Brown, Shawn Davis, Glen Gondrezick, Ryan Ludwick, DeMarco Murray and Amy Purdy. Counting this induction class, the Hall of Fame now consists of 116 members.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are so excited to move forward on the enshrinement of the Class of 2022, one of our most diverse classes we’ve had,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Jim Lambright. “This class includes two distinguished UNLV athletes in Glen Gondrezick and Ryan Ludwick who went on to enjoy success at the professional level, a former Minor League Baseball pitcher in Larry Brown who has dedicated his life to public service and improving our community, a running back in DeMarco Murray who has excelled at every level, the man responsible for growing the National Finals Rodeo into the spectacle that it is in Shawn Davis and Amy Purdy, a courageous Paralympian athlete who continues to inspire with her story and message. We are honored to bestow upon them the state’s highest sports recognition by welcoming them to the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.”
Prior to the induction ceremony, the evening also included a champagne toast on the concourse adjacent to the SNSHF’s permanent display. The SNSHF acknowledged the donors that made the display possible, including Rich and JoAnn Abajian, the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, The Boyd Family, Teresa and Lorenzo Fertitta, The Findlay Family, The Gaughan Family, The Herbst Family and UFC.
As for the inductees, Brown has made an impact on the field and off. A graduate of Harvard University he was inducted into the Harvard Athletic Hall of Fame for his collegiate sports career that included both football and baseball. He went on to play six seasons of Minor League Baseball, which eventually brought him to Las Vegas. He pitched two seasons for the Las Vegas Stars (1983-84). After amassing 30 wins, he called it a career. However, his impact on Las Vegas was just beginning. He has served as a councilman for the City of Las Vegas and a Clark County Commissioner. An avid sports fan, Brown has been involved in youth sports and an advocate for open spaces and parks in our community. He also serves as the director of business operations for the Las Vegas Aviators.
A native of Whitehall, Mont., Davis is simply one of the most influential individuals the sport of rodeo has ever known. A three-time saddle bronc world champion, he suffered a fractured and dislocated spine in 1969. Despite this set back, he returned to the National Finals Rodeo as a qualifier five times after the injury. In 1982, Davis was named the president of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. During that tenure, it is well known that he cast the deciding vote to move the NFR from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas and later became the general manager of the NFR in 1986, a position he held through 2018. With more than 300 consecutive sold-out performances, he has been integral in building the legacy of the NFR and changing the way that Las Vegas operates in December.
As a graduate of Boulder (Colo.) High School, Gondrezick was one of Jerry Tarkanian's first recruits at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and lettered from 1973-74 through the 1976-77 season. He went on to finish as the 16th-leading scorer in UNLV basketball history with 1,311 points and played a major role in the Runnin' Rebels advancing to their first NCAA Final Four in 1977. After his stellar career at UNLV, he was a second round NBA draft pick and spent six seasons in the pro league –
two (1977-79) with the New York Knicks and four (1979-83) with the Denver Nuggets. The 6’ 6” forward went on to play 435 games in the NBA. He would later return to UNLV, spending 17 seasons as a radio and television analyst for his alma mater. His jersey number 25 still hangs in the rafters at the Thomas & Mack Center after it was retired on Dec. 27, 1995. Sadly, Gondrezick passed away on April 27, 2009 at the age of 53 after complications from a heart transplant.
Ludwick is one of the finest ball players to come through Las Vegas. He graduated from Durango High School and went on to enroll at UNLV. After playing three years for the Rebels, he finished his career among the school’s leaders in batting average (.363) and home runs (43). He was then chosen in the second round (60th overall) of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft by the Oakland A’s. After overcoming various injuries, he became a starting outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 and his career took off from there. He made the NL All Star Team in 2008 and went on to hit 37 home runs and knock in 113 that same year. Ludwick went on to win the Silver Slugger Award at the end of the 2008 season for this impressive offensive performance. Ludwick finished his career in 2014 after amassing 154 homeruns, 587 RBI and a batting average of .260.
A native of Las Vegas and graduate of Bishop Gorman High School, Murray excelled at every level on the gridiron. During his distinguished high school career, he was honored as an All-American and elected to the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. At that game, he announced his decision to attend the University of Oklahoma. After a tremendous four-year stint at Oklahoma – in which the Sooners won 43 games and three Big-12 Championships – Murray left with 6,718 all-purpose yards and 65 touchdowns. Murray was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft and totaled 1,560 rushing yards in his first two seasons. In 2013, he emerged as an All-Pro with 1,121 yards and nine touchdowns, before a career-year in 2014 when he rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns. During that season, he added 416 receiving yards for a total of 2,261 scrimmage yards, which was, at the time, the 12th-most in NFL history. He retired following the 2017 season with 7,174 rushing yards, 2,165 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns.
Purdy is a Las Vegas native and graduate of Cimarron Memorial High School. She began snowboarding at the age of 15. However, in 1999, her life hung in the balance after contracting Neisseria meningitis, a form of bacterial meningitis. Her chance of survival at that time was less than two percent. Incredibly, she was able to survive the infection, but lost both of her legs below the knee. Shortly thereafter, she also needed a kidney transplant – one that she received from her father, just a week before her 21st birthday. But none of those challenges ever stopped her. She co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization and branch of Disabled Sports USA that is dedicated to introducing people with physical challenges to action sports. Purdy went on to become a two-time Paralympian, having appeared at the Sochi Games in 2014 and the PyeongChang Games in 2018, and a three-time Paralympic medalist. She continues to inspire through her work as a model, actress and motivational speaker through her “Live Inspired” message.
The Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization committed to recognizing the outstanding achievements by Southern Nevada athletes, both in the world of sports and the local community. Proceeds from the event will be donated to organizations committed to the support and enhancement of Southern Nevada youth through active participation in programs designed to promote leadership, values and character through sports.
Over the past 25 years, the SNSHF has awarded more than 75 scholarships to Clark County students. This year, seven graduating seniors are recipients. They are Olivia Pretner (David Humm Scholarship Award for Courage); Eunice Choi, Emma Foster, Taylor Gauthier, Kennith Rose and Sariah Wilkinson (Rich Abajian Leadership Scholarships) and Reagan Parise (Simon Keith Heart of a Champion Award).