FILE - In this March 24, 2013, file photo, Florida Gulf Coast's Sherwood Brown, center, celebrates with teammates after their 81-71 win over San Diego State in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Philadelphia. The team's leading scorer and Atlantic Sun player of the year who received honorable mention for the AP All-America team — Sherwood Brown got seven NBA tryouts before beginning his pro career overseas. Without Dunk City, NBA teams probably wouldn't have taken notice of the player who showed up at FGSU as an unrecruited walk-on. (AP Photo/Michael Perez, File)

FGCU Athletics announces inaugural Hall of Fame class

Florida Gulf Coast University on Sunday announced its inaugural Hall of Fame class, and among it are some of the school’s historic heavyweights.

The 2012-13 men’s basketball team, which put Fort Myers in the national spotlight as “Dunk City” during March Madness, leads the class, joined by Major League Baseball star Chris Sale and Olympian Brooke Youngquist Sweat.

Three men who helped build the university – Dr. Ben Hill Griffin III, Dr. Bill Merwin, and Duane Swanson, Sr. – will also receive the honor.

The FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame was announced last summer, with the Dunk City team being the unanimous favorite for induction. The 2012-13 Eagles remain the first and only 15-seed to reach the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.

A World Series Champion with the Boston Red Sox, Sale is a seven-time Major League Baseball All-Star. This marks the second time Sale has been part of an inaugural Hall of Fame class, as he was among the first honored by the ASUN Conference as well in 2015. Youngquist Sweat was also inducted into the ASUN Hall of Fame in 2018 and continues to be one of the top beach volleyball athletes representing Team USA in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. She’s currently looking for a repeat experience in Tokyo this summer alongside partner Kerri Walsh Jennings.

The honors for Griffin, Merwin and Swanson all come posthumously. Dr. Ben Hill Griffin III is considered the father of FGCU after his generous philanthropy and land donation literally set the foundation for the campus. Dr. Bill Merwin was the school’s second president and instrumental in FGCU’s ascension to the NCAA Division I level. Duane Swanson, Sr., for whom the FGCU baseball stadium is named, was critical in bringing to fruition that complex along with the softball stadium, soccer facility and Outdoor Sports Complex.

To read bios for all of the inductees, click here.

Due to COVID-19, the official induction ceremony will not be held until early 2022.

Writer:WINK News
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