4 Cleveland sports legends to be inducted to Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame

Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Posted at 4:32 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 16:32:50-04

CLEVELAND — The Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame will have four new legends inducted this October at a ceremony Downtown.

PGA Professional and 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis, Cleveland Cavaliers legends Larry Nance Sr. and Zydrunas Ilgauskas and the late media personality Les Levine are being inducted in the Class of 2021.

Curtis, a Kent State University graduate, is best known for winning the 2003 British Open with 300-1 odds. He also was a member of the winning USA Ryder Cup team in 2008, bringing the Cup to U.S. soil for the first time in nine years.

After retiring from the PGA Tour, Curtis launched the Ben Curtis Golf Academy at the Country Club of Hudson and has worked alongside his wife Candace to help end childhood hunger in Portage and Summit counties thorough the Ben Curtis Family Foundation.

Nance became a Cleveland legend during his last seven seasons playing in the National Basketball Association with the Cavaliers. During his time in the league, which he also spent six years of on the Suns, Nance became the first-ever NBA Slam Dunk Champion in 1984, made three All-Star teams and helped Cleveland make the postseason six times.

The NBA legend played in 433 games with the Cavs, averaging 16.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 blocks. Nance is the only player in Cavs history to make the NBA All-Defensive Team three times.

The Cavs retired Nance's No. 22 jersey and it hangs in the rafters, but also granted Nance's son and current Cavalier, Larry Nance Jr., to wear the number to continue the Nance legacy in Cleveland.

RELATED: Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. named finalist for 2020-21 NBA Cares Community Assist Award

Ilgauskas, drafted by the Cavs with the 20th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, played 12 seasons in Cleveland, averaging 13.8 points, 7.7. rebounds and 1.7 blocks over 771 games.

The two-time All-Star was a member of the team during their first-ever NBA Finals appearance in 2007, playing alongside LeBron James. Ilgauskas is the only player in Cavs history to record more than 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 1,000 blocks over his careers.

The Cavs retired Ilgauskas' jersey, No. 11, in 2014 and it now hangs from the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Levine, a media legend known for hosting "More Sports and Les Levine," broadcasting more than 2,500 sporting events as the play-by-play voice and writing a weekly sports column while also hosting a playoff post-game radio show during the Cavs 2016 Championship run.

Self-proclaimed as the “voice of truth and reason," Levine made a lasting mark on Cleveland sports media. He died in February after a battle with diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 74.

RELATED: Les Levine, a legendary Cleveland sports broadcaster, dies at 74

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, the induction ceremony will take place at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower. To learn more about the event or how to purchase tickets, click here.

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