Three downstaters headed into Del. Sports Hall of Fame

WILMINGTON — Three former Henlopen Conference basketball standouts — two players and a coach — are among a group of 10 people who will be inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame this year.

Former players Tyresa Smith (Polytech) and Charles Rayne (Indian River) along with Jerry Kobasa, who coached at Smyrna and Sussex Tech High as well as Wesley College, are part of the Class of 2020, which was revealed today.

Those three are joined by former high school baseball coaches Mel Gardner (William Penn) and Tom Lemon (St. Mark’s); award-winning Sports Illustrated writer Gary Smith; college football coach and administrator Jack Gregory; ex-high school football coach George Kosanovich (Wilmington, McKean, Concord); Wilmington Track Club founder Art Madric and multi-sport athlete Lou Romanoli.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Hall of Fame banquet has been moved from the spring to Oct. 14. It will be held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington.

Jerry Kobasa coached Wesley College to a record of 163-109 and four NCAA Division III playoff appearances in 10 seasons. (Delaware State News file photo)

A Dover native, Smith was named the state Player of the Year in 2003 when she led Polytech High to the state title. That’s still one of only two girls’ basketball state crowns won by Henlopen teams.

Smith was a two-time first-team All-Stater who was named to the Delaware high school all-decade team.

In a Hall of Fame career at Delaware, Smith was twice named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, and twice was named first-team All-CAA. As a senior, she helped pace the Blue Hens to a 26-5 record and the NCAA tournament, with a league-leading 19.8 points, and university record 632 points. She was the first Blue Hen named All-Region 2.

Later named to the CAA silver anniversary team, Smith was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury in the second round of the 2007 WNBA draft, the 18th player taken that year and the first ever from Delaware. She played for the Detroit Shock, then in Germany, Russia and Greece.

Polytech High grad Tyresa Smith was second on the Blue Hens’ all-time scoring list with 1,632 points and was twice named the CAA’s Defensive Player of the Year. She was named UD’s outstanding female athlete, as well as the state’s top athlete, in 2007 when she helped the Hens go 26-5 and reach the NCAA Tournament. (University of Delaware file photo)

Rayne led IR to back-to-back state championships (1980, ‘81) before starring at Temple and playing in the NBA. He was named first-team All-Atlantic 10 and was a sixth-round draft pick of the Phoenix Suns.

At IR, Rayne was the first Delaware player to be named a top-10 player three times, earning first-team All-State twice.

Kobasa was a football and baseball standout at both Wesley and Delaware State, before successful basketball coaching tenures at Smyrna and Sussex Tech. He then coached Wesley to its first four appearances in the NCAA Division III tournament in men’s basketball.

In 16 seasons as a high school basketball coach, Kobasa was named the state Coach of the Year twice (1979, 2004), led four teams to Henlopen Conference championships, and twice took Sussex Tech to the Final Four.

In 10 years at Wesley, Kobasa’s teams went 163-109. He was named the Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year once.

Kobasa also served 15 years on the board of directors of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association, including eight years as chairman. He became Seaford High’s athletic director in 2015.

Kobasa is already a member of the Wesley College Athletic Hall of Fame (2001), Blue-Gold All-Star Basketball Hall of Fame (2013), Delaware Afro-American Athletic Hall of Fame (2015), Delaware Legends Basketball Hall of Fame (2016), and Delaware State University Athletic Hall of Fame (2017). He also received the Delaware Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Tickets to the 45th annual banquet are $65 each with tables of 10 available for $600. Social hour and silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the dinner and ceremony at 6:45.

Tickets to the event are on sale now and can be purchased online at the DSMHOF website at www.desports.org/events. The deadline for reserving tickets is Wednesday, Oct. 7.


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