De La Salle Sports Hall of Fame welcomes trio of inductees

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“Our first heroes in sports are high school athletes, because they are real to us. They aren’t on TV; they give us high fives and interact with us,” President Paul Kelly (’83) said Wednesday night at De La Salle’s Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

That night, three new members were inducted and celebrated: Garland Gillen (’95), Marcus Jasmin (’00), and Samantha Ball (’08).

The celebration transformed The CAVS Center at De La Salle High School where 24 Hall of Fame members returned to campus to honor the new inductees. A cocktail hour catered by Pigeon’s kicked off the event, where old classmates caught up with each other and recounted memories of past sport performances. Families of the inductees beamed with pride as they arrived, happily anticipating that moment when each honoree would receive his or her maroon jacket, signifying the wxclusive club that they were soon to join.

The induction began when Master of Ceremonies and 2008 Hall of Fame member Fletcher Mackel (’92) took to the podium to begin the program. He spoke of De La Salle and its lasting legacy, stating “this place is home and makes you feel at home each time you step on campus no matter how much time has passed.” He then recognized the members of the 1971 wrestling team, who were presented certificates to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their State Championship. Afterwards, Mr. Mackel announced every Hall of Fame member in attendance, each being presented with a special commemorative pin for this year’s event.

Mackel then called up his professional colleague and first inductee, Fox 8 Reporter Garland Gillen. Two current student athletes assisted Mr. Gillen in removing his jacket, and Athletic Directors John Charles and Melissa Grubbs placed his maroon Hall of Fame jacket on him. He was presented with a plaque as he moved to the podium to speak. Mr. Gillen recounted, “Sports have played a huge role in my life. I played every sport possible and was coached by my father, a De La Salle grad, in each, but soccer was my passion. From my time at Little Farms Playground to De La Salle, sports have
shaped the man that I am now.”

Next, former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Marcus Jasmin was presented with his maroon jacket. When speaking of De La Salle, Jasmin stated “This place made me who I am today. I always thought of myself as a basketball star. I only played football my senior year which I dedicated that year and played to honor my childhood teammate and friend, Antonio Emukah, who died on the football field our 8th grade year. I never dreamed that it would take me down this road to experience the things that I have. I am deeply honored.” Jasmin concluded by thanking Head Coach and 2017 Hall of Fame member Graham Jarrott (’98), who hired Jasmin to be a part of the De La Salle football coaching staff, where he currently serves as the Defensive Line Coach. “It is a pleasure to be back on campus, the place that shaped me, to coach and help shape the next generation of athletes” said Jasmin.

As Mr. Mackel listed the softball and volleyball accomplishments of the final inductee of the night, Ms. Samantha Ball, her family snapped pictures and took video to document every moment of her induction. “I hope this honor inspires other young women here at De La Salle and in sports in general to strive to better their abilities, to never give up, and most importantly, to have fun” said Ball as she accepted this distinction. Ball, like the other inductees, went on to thank her family for the sacrifices they made while she was a student athlete, the coaches who helped hone her skills, and the teammates with whom she played.

The annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony also served as a time to commend the past, present, and future of the strong athletics programs at De La Salle. President Kelly ended the night reflecting on the effects of sports on our youth, stating “Many see participation in sports as a way out. Athletics isn’t a way out; it’s a way in…a way in to discovering and establishing who you are as a person.” For former De La Salle greats Garland Gillen, Marcus Jasmin, and Samantha Ball, their achievements are now to be forever celebrated as the members of the De La Salle Hall of Fame.

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