Orlando Magic guard E'Twaun Moore and future NFL draft pick Kawaan Short are among the five chosen for the 2013 East Chicago Sports Hall of Fame induction class.
E.C. HOF founder Jim Platis anticipates both former E.C. Central and Purdue stars to have long pro careers in their respective sports.
"But I wanted to make sure they get inducted now," said Platis, who said both athletes will be placed in the hall's "Legends" category of 37 select East Chicago-based athletes.
After leading the Cardinals to a Class 4A boys basketball championship in 2007, Moore became a two-time All-Big Ten and Honorable Mention All-American for the Boilermakers before getting drafted by the Boston Celtics. The guard now plays for the Magic, where he has started 10 out of the first 45 games this season and is averaging just less than nine points a game.
Short, also an outstanding basketball player and member of the 2007 state championship team, is coming off an All-American career as a defensive lineman for the Boilermakers. He is projected to go in the first or second round in the NFL Draft to take place April 25-27.
Among the other athletes to be enshrined is East Chicago Roosevelt girls basketball star Lisa Sanchez, who will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame this spring in Indianapolis. Sanchez was a member of the Rough Riders' undefeated state championship team in 1977, and later continued her career at California Lutheran, where she was a three-time team MVP and set team records in most points scored in a season (456) and in a game (42).
Vernon Burgess, who was a state champion and runner-up while wrestling for the East Chicago Washington Senators during the late 1940s, will be enshrined; likewise for four-sport athlete Henry Hardy, who played football, basketball and baseball, and for one year participated in track for E.C. Washington before serving in World War II.
"Like so many guys who came back from the war, Henry didn't play much sports afterward," Platis said of Hardy, who was star end and kicker for the Senators football team, and helped a Junior American Legion baseball team go undefeated while stealing 12 bases including home twice during the 1944 state tournament.
"We had him in a special category (of the HOF), but we decided to put him in the (E.C.) Sports Hall of Fame will everyone else," Platis said. "He could have been a major leaguer without a doubt."
Date for a formal induction ceremony has yet to be determined.