Thornton, Tinsley inducted into Ky Black Sports Hall of Fame

By Mark Mathis, Messenger-Inquirer

Dallas Thornton and George Tinsley keep making history for themselves and the Kentucky Wesleyan College basketball teams they helped make so successful in the late 1960s.

Thornton and Tinsley were inducted Saturday into the Kentucky Black Sports Hall of Fame in Louisville. The former All-American teammates will be inducted in a class that includes Muhammad Ali. The ceremony was held at the Actor’s Theatre Ballroom at 316 Main St.

“I’m excited about this because Dallas and I played together in high school and college, and Dallas was always an example for me, I wanted to be like Dallas Thornton,” Tinsley said by telephone from Florida, where he lives. “When stuff got tough for us, he was the lead man to show us the way. He is a personal friend and great teammate, and we accomplished a lot of great things together.”

Thornton was a two-time NCAA champion in 1966 and ‘68. He was fifth in career points (1,929) and seventh in rebounds (903). Thornton played professionally for the Harlem Globetrotters for 16 years.

Tinsley was a three-time NCAA champion (1966, ‘68 and ‘69), was the school’s all-time leading rebounder (1,115) and was fourth in career points with 2,014. Tinsley played professionally with the Kentucky Colonels, Washington Capitals and New Jersey Nets, among a couple of other former ABA teams.

Both Thornton and Tinsley were two-time All-Americans. Both were in the 1968 Olympic Trials, and both had their jersies retired by KWC. Tinsley was the All-Century team top vote-getter from fans, and Thornton was also on that All-Century team.

Muhammed Ali (boxing), Wade Houston (basketball), Frank Minnifield (football), S.T. Roach (basketball), Troy Jackson (basketball), Joe Hocker (horse racing), Wilbert Hacket (football), Gail Strange (track), Jim Green (track), Sammy Moore (basketball), Clarance Wilson (baseball) and Bruce Branch (journalist) will be the other inductees into the Black Sports Hall of Fame.

For Tinsley, this will be the first of two Hall of Fame inductions he will have this spring/summer. He will also be inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame this summer.

“They both mean a lot to me, and not only that, but it also means a lot to Kentucky Wesleyan, but to other Division II and small schools around the state,” Tinsley said. “The focus has always been on (the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville), and the bigger schools. But when you look at our achievements, both for our teams and for myself and Dallas, they are off the map.”


Kentucky Black Sports Hall of Fame 2011 Inductees

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