DSU legend Hairston inducted into Del. Basketball Hall of Fame

DOVER — Major Hairston was inducted into another Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Hairston, a former Delaware State University two-sport standout, was one of eight members of the 14th annual Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame class. The class was inducted at a ceremony on Delaware Tech’s Terry Campus in Dover on Saturday.

Major Hairston

Hairston, a 1963 Delaware State grad who played basketball and baseball for the Hornets, was inducted into the Delaware State Athletics Hall-of-Fame for both sports in 1988.

His basketball career began in high school at Howard High School in Wilmington where Hairston was captain of the basketball team that was awarded the New Castle County championship during the pre-state tournament era in 1955. He lettered three years in baseball and two years in basketball at Howard.

Hairston later enrolled at Delaware State and was a member of the Hornets’ Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) basketball teams of the late 1950s and early 1960s under legendary coach Bennie George.

Prior to attending Delaware State, he played baseball for four years in the U.S. Army. He continued to play baseball during his DSU basketball career and earned Rookie of the Year as a freshman.

He was a part of two CIAA championship baseball teams while at Delaware State during his junior and senior years.

Hairston continued his two-sport career after graduating from college. He played for several semi-pro basketball teams and played semi-pro baseball in the Wilmington area under the Eastern Professional League and played for the Chester Red Sox.

He was a career educator after college who, in his spare time, founded the Wilmington Athletic Association in 1971.

The association provided additional opportunities for city youth, taking boys and girls teams throughout the East, and sometimes beyond, to give high school student-athletes exposure, and possible college recruitment.

Hairston is also a member of the Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame, which he was inducted into in 2010.

Other honorees who were inducted into the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday include Ted Ware, Will Sheridan, Stephanie Baker, Robin Lee, Ken Reynolds, George Cale and Will Hutton.

Ware (Mount Pleasant High) led Virginia Tech to its first post-season appearances, the 1966 National Invitational Tournament, and the 1967 NCAA tournament. Lee also is a Mount Pleasant grad (1981) and also went to Virginia Tech where she became the first woman to score 1,000 points in program history.

Cale was a two-time state leading scorer at Middletown High before he won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year award at North Carolina A&T in 1987.

Reynolds was the state’s Player of the Year for Concord in 1984, then was a Junior College All-American at Chowan and eventually was twice the team MVP at University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Baker was a two-time Delaware Player of the Year at St. Mark’s, leading the Spartans to state championships in 1996 and 1997. She went on to play at Villanova where she was team captain as a senior.

Another Villanova product honored was Sheridan. He started for three years at Villanova, where he was the leading rebounder for the Wildcats’ fourth-ranked Big East champions in 2006. While in high school at Sanford, Sheridan was the Delaware Player of the Year in 2002.

Hutton was an official from 1956 to 1980, he was voted by officials and coaches to work in each of the first 14 state tournaments, capped by calling the Cape Henlopen-Indian River championship game in 1980, when he concluded his career as the state’s top-rated official.