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Hall Of Fame Luncheon
honoring
Stanley Thomas
William Earl Wynn
and
James B. Herbert

Stanley Thomas

Stanley Thomas holds the distinction of being the first black athletes selected co-captain a City College of New York Swimming Team (1937 – 1938).

Stanley became a member of the City Varsity Swimming Team, during the 1935 – 1936 season.

This swimming program at the Harlem YMCA provided the young man with an opportunity to develop the talents of a swimming champion. He played basketball on the Y Cubs, but most of his time was spent training to break records in the Y pool.

At George Washington High School, placed third in PSAL city-wide competition for 50 yards.

At City College, he became a versatile member of a fine team, competing individually in events and in team and medley races. he was instrumental in helping his team win a major share of eastern college swimming meets. He was also denied access to a meet at Annapolis, Maryland, the home of the United States Naval Academy, in 1935, when officials at the Academy learned that the City College team was integrated. Stanley was forced to compete in segregated meets sponsored by the AAU. He placed first twice, second twice and third ones in the Negro National AAU Championships, held in Washington, D. C. in 1936. During this period he broke the record for 50 yards at the City cool, and was co-holder for the pool record for 100 yards. In his Senior year he was awarded the Murray Gardner Trophy, the emblamatic MVP for swimmers.

In 1939 Stanley graduated from City College. He returned to the Harlem YMCA team and won the 100 yard Tri-State Championship at Bridgeport, Connecticut and swam anchor leg on the 200 yard championship relay team.

During 1937 he was a member of Harlem Ys Shark Club Team, that won the Parks Department Championship for the Bronx and Manhattan.

Stanley was one of the first regular life guards at the Colonial Pool.

As a member of the Y's "Four Bees", he competed on a team that never lost a 200 yard relay race.

In 1941 Stanley became a Patrolman. He retired from the Police Department with the rank of Lieutenant in 1961 to practice Law, after graduating from Brooklyn Law school while still working full time. He was subsequently admitted to the Bar of New York State.

He is currently active in a number of legal assiciations.

Laurence Hunt, Physical Director of the Harlem YMCA in 1939, paid the following tribute to Stanley Thomas at a Testimonial at the Harlem Y:

"The thing that most impresses us about Stanley is his cheerful disposition and infectious smile. He truly represents the 'Y' ideal as he is not only an outstanding athlete with a healthy and well developed body, but also able student and a perfect gentleman. Carry on ole fellow."

The John Hunter Camp Fund salutes Stanley Thomas.

William Earl Wynn

Willie played like a winner, but you won't find a lot of front-page headline stories on Willie Wynne.

He's a ballplayers' ballplayer, a player you would go to see and get a front seat wherever he played. Willie was someone you had to watch, and artist at work who shot with either hand and possessed a quick, deadly, accurate two-handed set shot from anywhere on the floor. Every Metropolitan and CIAA All-Star team of his era included Willie as a top scorer and team leader. He led his teams to great winning seasons at Boys High School and Howard University.

At Boys High in Brooklyn, he was on the Varsity for three years. He was the basketball team Captain in his Junior and Senior years. (The first black in the school's history.) The newspapers made him a unanimous selection on the All-Scholastic Team in both his Junior and Senior years. He was among the first five top scorers for three years. He was a member of the Handball, Soccer, La Crosse and Ice Hockey teams.

Willie was a leader in student activities foremost in the Student Government, where he became the first black to be elected the President of the Student Council. He graduated with honors and picked up numerous awards: Senior Class President, Most Popular Student, Outstanding Athlete Award.

At Howard University in Washington, D.'s., Willie led the basketball team, coached by Johnny Burk, to national prominence. He captained and played on Howard's Championship CIAA teams, and was among the top three scorers all four years that he was a member of the team. He was a fine tennis player and a star on the Soccer Team. He was an active student who was a member of the Howard University Players, Howard Men's Glee Club and Vice President of the Physical Education Forum. He graduated with a B. A. degree.

Willie joined the professional basketball ranks during the 1940's, as an original member of the World Champion Washington Bears Team, that included such greats as Tarzan Cooper and John Isaacs. He played briefly with the New York Rens Big Five and was a popular basketball referee. He was also a member of the first professional basketball team of Richmond, Virginia, and a member of Arthur Clinton's Dixie Giants and Chain Gang teams.

Willie has been teaching in the New York City School System for over 23 years. He continued graduate work at Howard, Brooklyn College and City College of New York.

Willie Wynne was a major influence in the early years of New York City basketball and Black Colleges Basketball. His caliber of individual and team play guarantees him all-time star status. Those who had a chance to see him play and watch him in action, still rank him as one of the best ever.

William Earl Wynne was born in Newport News, Virginia. He moved to Brooklyn, New York when he was five and still makes his home there.

Congratulations to a true champion.

James B. Herbert

The late Amsterdam News columnist Dan Burley, described Jim Herbert as "The Lad Who Had the Heart To Win."

Dan, who was one of the best black newsmen ever, ranked Jim as tops!

"In my book, Herbert, now retired and working in the post office, is one of the all-time greats among our middle-distancers… He had heart, plenty of it and the track know-how that brought him from bad starts, poor positions and from the middle of the pack to that last lunge that took him across the winner! Ability rates high, but without heart, nothing doing, this ability of having heart to carry on in spite of a bad start, a drop baton, elbowing on the turns, handicaps and that sort of thing propels you into the Hall of Fame — heart! That's it, old man, heart!"

Jim Herbert, commanded the attention of the track world for more than a decade. (1936-1946). His potential was so high that his track coach at New York University, Emil Von Elling, felt that he should have won a berth on the Olympic team in 1936, before he became a NYU star.

As a part-time runner, he showed through outstanding performances on the NYU Freshman Team, that he would become one of the best middle-distance runners in the world.

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