NEMCC Sports Hall of Fame Celebrates Ten Years with Another Decorated Class

October 10, 2017

The Northeast Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame has selected another outstanding group of dignitaries for its 10-year anniversary program.

Emma Braddock, Dontae’ Jones, Jim Lamb and Josie Lindgrin are set for enshrinement during a ceremony in the Claude Wright Room of the Haney Union at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 12.

These four individuals will also be recognized prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Tigers’ homecoming football game against league opponent Mississippi Delta Community College.

This group of distinguished individuals includes two Northeast icons in the coaching and administrative realm plus two student-athletes that both earned All-American honors and led their respective programs to the national tournament.

Tickets are on sale for this event and its accompanying meal at a cost of $15. For more information, contact athletic director Kent Farris at 662-720-7309 or by email at wkfarris@nemcc.edu.

Emma Braddock (Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach, 1980-1986; 1988-89)

Emma Braddock was hired by then-Northeast Mississippi Junior College in 1965 to serve alongside legendary coach Bonner Arnold as one of three physical education instructors for the institution.

She went on to serve Northeast for more than 25 years. Braddock saw the athletic department evolve from only men’s basketball and cheerleading to seven sports strong when she retired following the 1989-90 academic year.

Braddock was a member of the faculty at Northeast for well more than a decade before taking over the duties of tennis coach for both the men and women from fellow Northeast Sports Hall of Famer Ken Lindsey in 1980.

She was the first female head coach in school history and eventually became Northeast’s most successful tennis instructor with multiple players advancing to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament.

Northeast started to find its groove under Braddock in 1982 when both squads combined for a 34-17 record. The Lady Tigers went 14-11 while the Tigers boasted an impressive 20-6 mark.

All Northeast players qualified for the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Tournament that season. The Tigers also had the top two seeds from the north half in the men’s singles bracket.

The Tigers’ Aaron Parsons and John Tate captured a doubles state championship after defeating Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the title matchup. Lisa Mills finished as the state runner-up in women’s singles as well.

Mills gained her revenge one year later as she teamed with Kathy Arnold to attain both the state and regional doubles crowns. They advanced with their victories to the NJCAA National Tournament, which was then played in Ocala, Fla.

Braddock’s women’s teams from 1984-85 may have been the two best squads of her entire tenure. They both travelled to the Sunshine State for the NJCAA National Tournament and won multiple championships along the way.

Arnold won her second consecutive state and regional doubles title with new partner Lori Owens in 1984. She also gained the singles championships at both competitions as the top seed in the entire field.

Melissa Tyre also earned a state title in her singles category that year. Lori Curry and Lisa Aldridge were dominant in 1985 with state and regional crowns in women’s doubles and runner-up results in singles play as well.

The men had several bright spots in that stretch too. Duane Grubbs was the second ranked singles athlete in the state in 1984 while Kevin Cooley and Ken Williams entered the 1985 MACJC State Tournament as the number two seed from the north half.

Braddock took a one-year hiatus from coaching in 1987 with Ricky Gillentine serving as headman in her absence. She took the reigns of both programs once again in 1988 and stayed in that role for the remainder of the decade.

The Ripley native lifted the Lady Tigers and Tigers back to their proper spot atop the Magnolia State with a third place showing during her return to the teams in 1988 to cap a consistent career on the courts.

Braddock was an avid athlete herself. She has competed in multiple major golf tournaments and even won the third flight at the Women’s Southern Golf Association championship at Southern Pines, N.C., in 1980.

Dontae’ Jones (Men’s Basketball, 1993-94; 1994-95)

Dontae’ Jones is often hailed as one of the best players to ever put on a black-and-gold uniform for the tradition-rich Northeast Mississippi Community College men’s basketball program.

Jones led the Tigers to 51 wins against just 14 losses during his tenure in the City of Hospitality from 1993-95. He also helped Northeast capture four major championships in his two seasons.

The Nashville, Tenn., native was part of perhaps the highest scoring team in school history during his inaugural campaign. The Tigers scored over 100 points in 18 separate games that season on the way to an outstanding 26-5 record.

Jones had several memorable outings during Northeast’s pre-Christmas slate. He had team-highs of 28 points against Calhoun (Ala.) Community College, 23 points versus Shoals (Ala.) Community College and 36 points during a victory over Mary Holmes College.

The Tigers, who were under the tutelage of Northeast Sports Hall of Fame coach Mike Lewis, eventually climbed to as high as No. 12 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings prior to the start of the postseason.

Jones helped the Tigers gain hosting privileges for the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) State Tournament. He tallied 35 points, which included six rim-rattling dunks, in a 115-88 win at Northwest Mississippi Community College that allowed Northeast to capture the division title.

He celebrated again one week later as the Tigers won their first MACJC state championship since 1988 in front of their fans inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum. Jones notched 18 points as one of five double-digit scores in the title tilt.

Jones was a MACJC All-State first-team selection in his first year at Northeast after averaging a double-double with 25.2 points and 11.2 rebounds. He was a 50-percent shooter from the field overall.

The 6-7 guard increased his productivity even more as a sophomore. He became the 11th player in program history to earn distinction as a NJCAA All-American after posting 28.7 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

Jones lifted the Tigers to 10 wins in their first 11 tries, including big wins over Columbia State (Tenn.) Community College 104-98, Jackson State (Tenn.) Community College 114-95 and Mary Holmes 128-102.

He had game-highs of 25 points and 14 rebounds in the Jackson State matchup. Jones also had standout performances in the second half the season with 34 points during a home triumph over Itawamba Community College and 28 points with five dunks in a victory versus East Mississippi Community College.

Jones and the Tigers claimed another MACJC North Division crown, which was the third straight in as many years with Lewis at the helm, before hitting their stride in the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament at Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum.

Northeast cruised into the title matchup with a 91-66 decision over Meridian Community College and a 105-85 win versus rival Northwest in which Jones tallied 35 points.

The Tigers then defeated defending champion Bossier Parish (La.) Community College in a tight 95-89 ballgame to clinch the seventh berth to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in program history. Jones led all scorers in the contest with another 35-point effort.

Jones cemented his legacy at Northeast with a sensational showing in Hutchinson, Kan. He recorded three double-doubles, including 24 points and 21 rebounds in the Tigers’ consolation bracket semifinal contest against Vincennes (Ind.) University, to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team.

He was showered with MACJC All-State first-team, NJCAA All-Region 23 and NJCAA All-Region 23 Tournament honors in addition to his NJCAA All-American and NJCAA Division I All-Tournament recognition following Northeast’s 25-9 campaign.

Jones amassed whopping totals of 1,648 points, 751 rebounds and 111 assists with the Tigers. He made 643 field goals for a 50-percent shooting percentage and was a 62.6 percent free throw shooter.

Jones extended his collegiate career by signing with Mississippi State University following his tenure on the Booneville campus. He was a catalyst for what was perhaps the best season in school history in 1995-96.

The Bulldogs captured their first-ever Southeastern Conference (SEC) Tournament championship with an 84-73 marquee win over the University of Kentucky, which was then the No. 1 ranked squad in the country.

Mississippi State, which was the top seed from the SEC West Division, also bested Auburn (Ala.) University and the University of Georgia to reach the title game inside the Superdome. Jones posted 21.3 points over those three victories to earn Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors for the 1996 SEC Tournament.

Jones continued his brilliance in the postseason by guiding the Bulldogs to their inaugural NCAA Final Four appearance. He scored 16 points, which was second most on the team, in Mississippi State’s semifinal loss to Syracuse (N.Y.) University in East Rutherford, N.J., at the Continental Airlines Arena.

He received NCAA Southeast Regional MVP honors after averaging  15 points in wins over Virginia Commonwealth University and Princeton (N.J.) University at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind., and the University of Connecticut and the University of Cincinnati (Ohio) at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena.

Jones contributed 14.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game during his lone season at Mississippi State. He was recently elected to the 2017 Allstate SEC Basketball Legends Class, which showcased former greats from all 14 SEC member institutions.

He decided to forego his senior campaign with the Bulldogs and was selected with the 21st overall pick in the first round of the 1996 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft by the New York Knicks.

Jones was traded to Boston’s storied franchise prior to the 1997-98 NBA season. He played one full year with the Celtics and set a career-high with 15 points in a victory over Golden State on February 27, 1998.

He concluded his professional career over the next decade by playing overseas in China, Greece, Italy, Korea and Turkey. Jones was the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) scoring champion in 2008 with 32.3 points per game for the Yunnan Bulls.

Jim Lamb (Head Women’s Basketball Coach, 1976-79; Sports Supporter)

Only a select few individuals can claim they have witnessed as many Northeast Mississippi Community College athletic events since the beginning of the institution in 1948 as Jim Lamb.

Lamb has become a synonymous figure inside the Northeast athletic department. He has sat behind the scorers’ table at Bonner Arnold Coliseum and in the pressbox of Tiger Stadium for the better part of 40 years as the official scorer and public address announcer for both the basketball and football programs.

He continues in his role as the public address announcer for the Tigers’ home football games and also serves as a member of the Northeast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee over a decade after his official retirement.

The Winona native was originally hired by fellow Northeast Sports Hall of Famer and former president of the college Harold T. White as a natural sciences instructor in 1966. Among the subjects he taught were botany, general biology, human anatomy and physiology and zoology.

Lamb maintained his teaching position in the department of mathematics and sciences throughout his 36-year tenure as a part of Northeast’s faculty. However, he took on several additional duties during his career.

He stepped onto the Bonner Arnold Coliseum court as a coach himself to lead the women’s basketball team for three seasons from 1976-79. Lamb was the Lady Tigers’ second headman since the program was resurrected in 1973 following a nearly two decade long hiatus.

Lamb had three athletes that secured All-State honors during his first season at the helm, including Jennifer Churchill, Belinda Shelton and Debbie Strickland. Shelton was the leading scorer for the Lady Tigers while Strickland was the team captain.

Shelton was again the top offensive player on Lamb’s 1977-78 squad while Kay Strickland landed in that spot one year later. His final two captains were Mary Lindsey and Wanda Skinner.

Lamb was an advisor for Northeast’s branch of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society from 1972 until he retired in 2002. He was responsible for making the Iota Zeta chapter one of the greatest in not just the Magnolia State, but in the entire country as well.

He received many awards during his work with the Iota Zeta chapter. Lamb was named to the Phi Theta Kappa Hall of Honors in 1992 and one year later was selected as an outstanding regional Phi Theta Kappa advisor.

Lamb was a member of the Mississippi/Louisiana Regional Phi Theta Kappa Advisors Council. He earned one of the organization’s highest honors in 2003 as the Alumnus of the Year for the Mississippi/Louisiana region.

He was tabbed as the acting dean of the college in 1972 and director of student activities in 1973. Lamb was Northeast’s representative for the 1993 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence in Teaching award.

Northeast also recognized Lamb as its annual Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) honoree that same year. Lamb was the building coordinator for McCoy Hall, which is the mathematics and science facility, as well.

Lamb was a grand awards judge for the International Science and Engineering Fair from 1993-98. He also loaned his expertise to the Mississippi State Science and Engineering Fair as a best of fair judge from 1987-99 and to the regional science fair hosted on an annual basis at Northeast.

His personal education included an Associate’s degree from Holmes Community College, a Bachelor’s degree from Auburn (Ala.) University and a Master’s degree from Mississippi State University with post-graduate hours from the University of Mississippi.

Lamb and his wife Donna, who was also employed by Northeast in the campus bookstore, have been residents of Booneville for over 50 years since moving from Akin, S.C., where he worked for the state government with the soil conservation service.

Josie Lindgrin (Softball, 2003; 2004)

Josie Lindgrin secured her place as one of the most dominant pitchers in the tradition-rich history of the Northeast Mississippi Community College softball program with two outstanding seasons.

Lindgrin still holds a pair of school records that might never be broken. She compiled a sensational 0.92 earned run average (ERA) with 198 strikeouts during her phenomenal 2004 campaign.

She became the only Tiger ever to earn National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Player of the Year honors that season with 21 wins and 197.1 innings pitched, which are both second best for a single campaign in program history, to accompany her strikeout total and extremely low ERA.

Lindgrin was a consensus All-American following her record-setting sophomore year. She remains one of only seven Northeast players to receive All-American distinction from both the NJCAA and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in the same season.

She lifted the Tigers to the 2004 Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) state championship game by tossing a no-hitter against East Central Community College. Lindgrin helped Northeast win its annual TigerFest Tournament earlier in the campaign.

The Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada native was an integral part of the best team in school history one year earlier in 2003. That team went 32-17 overall under the direction of Northeast Sports Hall of Fame coach David Carnell with a perfect 12-0 ledger inside the MACJC North Division.

Lindgrin put the exclamation mark on the Tigers’ first-ever undefeated division slate. She led Northeast to a 9-1 game two victory over Northwest Mississippi Community College in the last conference doubleheader of the regular season.

The Tigers finished as the MACJC state runner-up before fighting their way through the losers bracket to capture the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament championship one week later on the campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Lindgrin played a big role in clinching that title. She threw a one-hit shutout over Itawamba Community College in an elimination contest before forcing the if-necessary championship game with a 4-2 triumph versus Hinds Community College.

Another win over the Eagles in Perkinston allowed the Tigers to make what is still their only appearance at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, which was held that year at Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Northeast put up a solid showing in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, but lost two straight heartbreaking one-run matchups to Black Hawk (Ill.) College and top-ranked Parkland (Ill.) College.

Lindgrin posted 120 innings of work as a freshman and struck out 157, which is fourth on the all-time list. She amassed a stellar 1.35 ERA with only 18 earned runs given up all season.

She was well decorated after her inaugural campaign in the City of Hospitality. Lindgrin was named to the NFCA All-South Region and the NJCAA All-Region 23 second-teams for her brilliance in the circle.

Lindgrin completed her time at Northeast with a 36-14 individual pitching record and a sparkling 1.08 ERA. She notched 355 strikeouts and only 59 walks over 314 total innings for the Tigers.

Northeast racked up 70 wins with Lindgrin on its roster, which is the most over a two-year period in program history. The Tigers also rose to as high as No. 7 in the NJCAA’s rankings during her tenure.

She wrapped up her career on the diamond at Southern Arkansas University from 2005-06. Lindgrin still places sixth all-time for the Muleriders with only 1.34 walks allowed per seven inning game during her junior campaign.

Southern Arkansas combined for 56 wins over the two years that Lindgrin was part of its pitching staff with 30 of those victories coming against fellow Gulf South Conference (GSC) adversaries.

The Muleriders were eliminated in the GSC Tournament after finishing in a tie for second in the GSC West Division behind Delta State University in 2005 and fourth when Lindgrin was a senior.

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CUTLINE – Logo for the Northeast Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame. (COURTESY: Northeast Mississippi Community College)

NOTES – Photos for Northeast Mississippi Community College’s four Sports Hall of Fame inductees for the class of 2017 are available by contacting sports information director Blake Long at bdlong@nemcc.edu or 662-720-7448.


Source: TigerWire

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Written by Michael H Miller

mhmiller@nemcc.edu

Michael H Miller is the Public Information Specialist at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

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