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Friday, June 21, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Battle headlines Hall of Fame night

The Center for the Arts was buzzing on Friday night as the University at Buffalo Alumni Association recognized some of the school's favorite sons and daughters for their outstanding athletic achievements at the 38th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

This was the first year that the event was held in the CFA. The venue welcomed the largest audience in the history of the Hall of Fame induction.

The official 2010 Hall of Fame Class included Korry Miller (Swimming, Class of '98), Jennefer B. Brankovsky (Swimming, 2005), Jeffery Howard (Wrestling, Class of '90), Turner Battle (Basketball, Class of '05) and former University at Buffalo president William Greiner.

Also honored on the night were three individuals who contributed to Buffalo athletics outside of competition. Nanette Harvey received the Pioneering Award for her work within women's athletics, Peter Rao was given the Distinguished Alumni Award for his work with the Lewiston Porter football team, and Kevin Brinkworth received the Russell J. Gugino Award for his dedicated support of UB athletics.

All of the honorees made invaluable contributions to Buffalo athletics, but the most notable of the 2010 class was Battle.

Turner Battle earned his spot on Alumni Arena's wall by leading the 2005 Bulls basketball team to the brink of the NCAA Tournament. The 2005 team came one heartbreaking overtime game away from March Madness but fell short in the MAC Championship game. Battle felt honored to be given the Hall of Fame distinction.

"It's kind of surreal," Battle said. "It hasn't really hit me yet. It's a great honor and a great achievement. I've been blessed."

The main focus of the night was family. Buffalo's athletic director Warde Manuel stated in his opening speech that none of the people on stage with him could have been there without family. Many of the honorees focused on the ways their families helped them in achieving their goals. However, the honorees made sure to thank their Buffalo family as well.

During his speech, Battle discussed why he, a North Carolina native, decided to come to Buffalo to play college basketball. He said that it was the fraternal atmosphere that sold him on our school over all others.

"On that team I met a great group of people," Battle said. "They're family to me now."

As a self-described "momma's boy," Battle knew that it was important for his family to know that he would be safe and accepted in his new home. Friday night may have been the final step in the process of Buffalo making him one of its most beloved sons.

"Thank you to all the people in the Buffalo family," Battle said. "It was a great honor to play here and a great honor to coach here now. Now I consider myself a Buffalonian. It's my home away from home."


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