St. John's University has announced their 19th Hall of Fame class on Wednesday afternoon. The formal induction ceremony will be held on campus at the D'Angelo Center on March 1.
"We look forward to honoring this distinguished group of former student-athletes, as well as the memory of all-time great Malik Sealy, for the significant impact each of these individuals has made to our athletics history..." stated St. John's Athletic Director Chris Monasch.
The group of inductees includes fifteen year MLB veteran Rich Aurilia, who batted .275 in his career, mostly with the San Francisco Giants, earning an All-Star selection in 2001. He spent 12 of his 15 years in the Bay Area with the Giants.
As much of a deserved honor it is for Aurilia, it is also a well-deserved and long awaited honor for Malik Sealy, who was an iconic member of the Johnnies' alumni club before he lost his life in a car accident.
For those who don't remember:
From the Bronx, Sealy was named after Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X) as his father served as a body guard for him. He won multiple awards on the Big East and Metropolitan level. As junior, he averaged 22.1 points a game and led Lou Carnesecca's Johnnies to the Elite Eight in 1991.
Sealy was two-time Haggerty Award winner and named to All-Big East teams throughout his four years at St. John's. This led to him being selected by the Indiana Pacers 14th overall in the 1992 NBA Draft.
Off the court, Sealy was featured in the movie Eddie, featuring Whoopi Goldberg, playing the chartacter Stacey Patton on the New York Knicks. Patton's me-first approach causes him to force low percentage shots because he is unwilling to pass, and his poor attitude hurts the team's morale (which couldn't be more opposite of Malik).
Unfortunately, just as his real NBA career was taking off, Sealy's life was taken way too early when he was killed by a head-on collision with a drunk driver leaving teammate Kevin Garnett's birthday party in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
One of the top power forwards in NBA history, Garnett continues to honor his close friend in multiple ways. On one of Garnett's signature shoe he had "2MALIK" on the tongue. Garnett also has a tattoo honoring him on his right arm. Lastly, KG is wearing number "2" in his first year with the Brooklyn Nets.
"It was only right to [honor] someone that I respected so much and have a lot of respect for who he is as a person more than anything. It was only right to pay homage to a dear friend of mine," Garnett said back in July.
2014 St. John's Hall of Fame Class
2,000 point scorer Malik Sealy
15 year MLB Veteran Rich Aurilia
3-time Volleyball All-American Wioleta Leszczynska
Women's soccer all-time goals leader Adriana Viola
Lacrosse leader in goals and assists Mike Bolger
Women's basketball 1,000 point scorer Janet Roos
Men's soccer single season goal record holder Fred Bischoff
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