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East Point native Shareef Abdur-Rahim was a two-time “Mr. Basketball” in the state of Georgia while playing for Wheeler High School in Marietta. Wheeler claimed the State Championship in 1994 and Abdur-Rahim opted to play his college ball at the University of California, Berkley. Shareef was named the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year as a freshman and decided to enter the NBA Draft after just one year of college. Abdur-Rahim was the 3rd overall pick by the
Vancouver Grizzlies. He quickly became the team’s leading scorer and was named All-Rookie First Team. Shareef went on to play for the Atlanta Hawks in 2001 and was selected to the All-Star Game in 2002. He also had stints in Portland and Sacramento before retiring in 2008 with a career average of over 18 points-per-game. Abdur-Rahim was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Basketball team that claimed a Gold Medal in Sydney. After his playing career, Abdur-Rahim completed his undergraduate degree and also claimed a Master’s degree before going to work for the NBA’s front office. He was later named President of the NBA’s G-League.

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Fairburn native Eric Berry excelled in both football and track at Creekside High School but ultimately decided to play college football at the University of Tennessee. Playing defensive back, Eric was a two-time first-team All-SEC and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. He also received the Jim Thorpe Award in 2009 as the best college defensive back in the nation. Eric was drafted fifth overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, was named first-team All-Pro three times and twice tied for the league lead in pick-sixes (2013 and 2016). After being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and undergoing successful treatment in 2014, Berry was named the 2015 NFL Comeback Player of the Year. But an Achilles injury would force his retirement after the 2018 season. Eric was named to the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team at safety. In 2023, Eric was named to the College Football Hall of Fame.



Gainesville’s Cris Carpenter was an All-State performer in baseball, football, and basketball in high school and named Georgia’s High School Athlete of the year in 1984. Carpenter went to the University of Georgia on a football scholarship becoming a standout punter for the Bulldogs, while at the same time excelling as an ace relief pitcher for the Dawgs baseball squad. Carpenter was All-SEC as a punter and a baseball All-American. After being drafted in the first round of the 1987 MLB, Cris made the difficult choice to leave football and pursue a Major League career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Most of his time spent in relief, Carpenter pitched five seasons, his finest being in 1991 when he went 10-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 59 games for the Cards. He spent an additional 4 seasons between Florida, Texas, and Milwaukee before retiring. Carpenter returned to Gainesville to embark on a teaching and coaching career. He’s a member of the Gainesville Athletic Hall of Fame and Cris was named an SEC Baseball Legend in 2016.

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Thomas Davis, Sr., was a four-sport athlete at Randolph-Clay High School in Cuthbert, Georgia. He accepted his only Division One scholarship offer to play football for the Georgia Bulldogs. Switching between linebacker and defensive back, Davis was a consensus All-American and first-team All-SEC in 2004. He was drafted with the 14th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2005 NFL Draft. Thomas spent 14 seasons playing linebacker with the Panthers and is believed to be the only player to overcome three torn ACL injuries in their career. Thomas was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, as well as a first-team All-Pro in 2015. That same year, Thomas played in the Super Bowl as the Panthers lost to Denver 24-10. Davis finished his last two seasons in the league playing for the LA Chargers and the Washington Football Team. Thomas has also been acknowledged for his off-the-field contributions by being awarded the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2014 and he captured the prestigious Bart Starr Award in 2016.

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Savannah native Claude Felton served in the Georgia Athletic department for 45 years before retiring in 2024. Hired by legendary coach Vince Dooley in 1979, Claude has held various titles leading the Bulldogs Sports Communications department. In addition to being front and center for the Bulldogs accomplishments on the field, Felton has served as media coordinator for 17 NCAA National Champion events and was the chairman of the Ethics Committee of the College Sports Information Directors of America from 1985-91. He received that organizations Arch Ward Award in 2004. Claude has won myriad of other awards during his career, including The Football Writers Association of America’s prestigious Bert McGrane Award. He was honored with the UGA Grady College of Journalism Fellowship in 2009 and given their John Holliman Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Claude was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

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North Carolina native Paul Johnson arrived in Georgia in 1983 as an assistant coach at Georgia Southern under the legendary Erk Russell. While Johnson was hired as a defensive coach, he moved to the offensive side and his innovated approach helped lead the Eagles to back-to-back 1-AA (now FCS) Championships in 1985 and 1986. Paul left Statesboro in 1987 to serve as offensive coordinator for the University of Hawaii then took the same post at Navy in 1995. In 1997, Paul returned to Statesboro, this time as head coach. He led the Eagles to five SoCon titles and two more NCAA I-AA championships in 1999 and 2000. Johnson was twice named the 1-AA National Coach of the Year. He returned to Navy in 2002 as head coach leading the Middies to 5 straight bowl appearances before landing as head coach at Georgia Tech in 2008. In 11 seasons on the Flats, Johnson posted 82 wins and made three trips to the ACC Title game. The Jackets lead the league in rushing each year of his tenure. Paul was named National Coach of the Year by CBS in 2008. He’s a member of the Georgia Southern Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2023 Paul was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

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Brian McCann was a top baseball prospect while catching at Duluth High School. After committing to play at the University of Alabama, McCann changed course when he was drafted by the hometown Atlanta Braves in the 2002 MLB Draft. After quickly migrating through the Braves farm system, McCann made his debut with the Braves in 2005. Over the next nine seasons, Brian garnered seven All-Star Game appearances and earned five Silver Slugger honors. He was named the All-Star game MVP in 2010. In 2012, Brian attained a rare feat by homering in six straight games. In 2014 Brian joined the New York Yankees spending three seasons and claiming a sixth Silver Slugger Award in 2015. He joined Houston in 2017 and won a World Series with the Astros that same season. Brian returned to Atlanta for a final season in 2019 capping a 15-year-career  with a .262 batting average, 1018 RBIs, 282 home runs, a .337 on-base percentage, and a .993 fielding percentage. 

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At Atlanta’s Westminster School, Wendy White claimed 4 straight State Tennis Titles and became Georgia’s #1 ranked junior player at almost every age category. She was #1 in the south, held a #8 National ranking in the 18-and-under age group and was named Georgia Player of the Year in 1978. Wendy missed her high school graduation in order to play in the French Open before starting her college career at Rollins outside of Orlando. White was a finalist in the Division I Collegiate Championships as a freshman and then won it as a sophomore becoming a two-time All-American. She claimed the prestigious Broderick Award in 1980 as the nation's best collegiate female tennis player. Wendy turned pro and was ranked in the Top 100 in singles each year – reaching as high as #21. White claimed the Virginia Slims Kansas title in 1986. She was ranked as high as #18 in doubles and teamed to win three tournaments. Wendy was inducted in the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame, the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame, and the Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame.

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