Courtesy: Winston-Salem State University Athletics
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Winston-Salem State University Athletics Hall of Fame Committee has announced the 2023 inductees into the Clarence E. “Big House” Gaines Athletic Hall of Fame. The class of 2023 will include seven individuals to take their place among the WSSU greats. The inductees will be entered into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Friday, September 22, 2023, at the Anderson Center on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). The inductees will also be honored at halftime of the WSSU versus Bluefield State football game on Saturday, September 23rd at Bowman Gray Stadium.
“The opportunity to represent one’s Institution on the field/court of play, in the community, as a donor, and as an alumnus is both an honor and a privilege and each of these Rams have” said Etienne Thomas, Director of Athletics. “Each of these Rams has served their Alma Mater as Champions. Congratulations to each of the former athletes and supporters of WSSU Athletics on their selection by their fellow Hall of Famers and the University as inductees in this year’s class.”
The Winston-Salem State University Clarence E. “Big House” Gaines Athletic Hall of Fame is the highest individual honor that a former athlete, athletic administrator, or private individual can receive at Winston-Salem State University. The WSSU C.E. “Big House” Gaines Athletic Hall of Fame honors an annual class of new inductees in the fall of every academic year after an exhaustive year-long nomination, review, and induction voting process by a 15-member panel.
The 2023 C.E. “Big House” Gaines Hall of Fame Inductees:
James Johnson – Meritorious Service
James Johnson was a member of the football team from 1983-87 and was a part of the 1987 CIAA Championship team. James was the radio DJ for WSNC from 1985-1986 and he received his bachelor’s in mass communications in 1988. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He currently serves on the board of the Lumber company where he provides services to individuals of the homeless population in Mecklenburg, County. From 1992-1995 he was the two-time Social Worker of the Year. He is also a board member of Ram Athletics. He is a large contributor of the WSSU Bill and Carolyn Hayes Endowment, a donor of 1000 HORN$, and a donor to the kidney foundation. In the spring of 2021, he partnered with the WSSU Career Development Service and sponsored 300 students to eat and participate in the fashion show. In the fall semester of 2022, he financially secured the professional consultant to speak with students about the importance of money management, and the sponsorship allowed 50 students to participate and enjoy a great meal.
Kelvin Walton – Meritorious Service
Kelvin Walton was a residence assistant, sophomore class vice president, junior class president, university usher a member of the Phi Beta Lambda Business Fraternity, and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Kelvin has been a consistent donor to the University and the Department of Athletics since graduating in 1986, including the purchase of uniforms for the Cheerleading program for the past 15 years. He was the first African American to serve as Director/Chief Procurement Officer of DeKalb County Government. He currently is the CEO & Managing Director of E. Holland & Associates, LLC A Consulting Services Firm based in Atlanta, Georgia.
NeSheila Washington-(Curry) – Cheerleading
NeSheila Washington was Co-Captain of the junior varsity team in 1998 and Captain of the Varsity cheer team in 2001. She was named an All-CIAA Cheerleader in 2001 and was Miss Varsity Cheerleader. She earned her bachelor’s in biology with a minor in chemistry and psychology. In 2021, she was named the Head Cheerleading Coach after previously serving as the Junior varsity coach in 2002. She was the WSSU Cheer Alumni Chapter (CAC) president from 2013-2021 and is the project/program coordinator at Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, a position she has held since 2014. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and was a 2017 WSSU Forty under 40 Alumni Award honoree. She led the WSSU Powerhouse Cheerleaders to performances on the REAL talk show, and organized the WSSU Powerhouse Cheerleader’s appearance in the Ciara JUMP music video and on the Today Show.
Lonnie Charles Pulley, Jr. – Football
Lonnie Pulley, Jr. was a four-year starter and letterman in football from 1984-87. During his freshman year, he was All-CIAA and again in 1987 and was a part of the 1987 CIAA championship team. He also participated in the 1987 Freedom Bowl All-Star game. His most impressive stat came against Division I-AA Middle Tennessee State where he rushed for 232 yards. Lonnie was a free agent and signed a contract with the Dallas Cowboys. He graduated with a degree in health and physical education. He currently works for the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School system. He is also in the Lauren District 55 High School Football Hall of Fame and the Lauren County Sports Hall of Fame.
Kameron Smith – Football
Kameron Smith was the quarterback of the 2012 CIAA Championship football team. He was named CIAA Offensive Player of the Year, was a first-team All-CIAA selection, named BOXTOROW Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-American. He also earned accolades being named the Doug Williams Black College Football Offensive Player of the Year and the Mary Gerber WSSU Male Student Athlete of the Year. He earned All-Region selection by Don Hensen’s Division II Football Gazette and was named an Associated Press Division II Second Team All-American. Kameron was also named the Jet magazine Offensive Player of the Year. In both seasons with the Rams, he was named team MVP and WSSU finished 31-4. Currently, Kameron is the Co-Owner of RDU Delivered.
Barry Turner (posthumous) – Football
Barry Turner was a four-year letterman in football, 1985-88. In 1985 and 1986 he was named All- CIAA Center. In 1987, he was a part of the CIAA Championship team and was named an AFCA All-American and participated in the Freedom Bowl. He graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Professionally, he worked as a correctional officer and with high-risk juveniles.
WyKevin Tremont Bazemore – Men’s Basketball
WyKevin Bazemore was a four-year starter on the men’s basketball team and was team captain for three years. He was a two-time MVP winner and team coaches award. He made history as one of four players in the CIAA conference to be named All-Conference all four years. WyKevin was a four-time BOXTOROW All-American and in 2014 was named to the All-Atlantic Region second team. He was a starter on the 2011-12 CIAA Tournament championship team and made three CIAA championship game appearances out of the four years. During his freshman season, he was named National BOXTOROW Black College Freshman of the Year for Divisions I and II. He finished with a total of 1337 career points and 984 rebounds and ranks third all-time in career rebounds. He graduated with a degree in psychology and was a member of the student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) all four years. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and currently is the assistant men’s basketball coach at Shaw University.