The Baxley-Appling County Board of Tourism formed the Appling County Athletic Hall of Fame to honor individuals worthy of recognition. The selection is based on guidelines set be the Board of Tourism.
The Individuals must be a present or previous resident of Appling County who has greatly influenced athletics on a local, state, regional or national level. He or she may be an accomplished athlete.
The inductee must be retired for a period of two years from his/her sport or may participate in a life-long sport, such as bowling or golf. The inductee may be living or deceased.
During the 63rd Annual Chamber Banquet, held on January 25 at the Appling Elementary Complex, Tourism Chairman Stephen Tillman thanked the Baxley-Appling County Chamber of Commerce for allowing Tourism to present the Athletic Hall of Fame Award during their annual banquet. Also a special thanks to the Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee who had a tough job reviewing the great nominations received this year. Nominees for 2011 were Jordan Sellers Vaughn, DeLois Williams-Jones, Rufus McDuffie, and Steven Douglas Harris. Tillman announced DeLois Williams Jones as the 2011 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee.
DeLois Williams, daughter of David and Annie Lois Williams, was born and raised in Baxley, Georgia. At age thirteen DeLois began to sharpen her skills while playing basketball at her Junior High School in Baxley. Williams started on the B-Team for the Appling County High School Basketball Team. In 1972 her athleticism quickly advanced her to the varsity team in her Sophomore year. Over the next few years DeLois practiced and played hard. She received a scholarship from Savannah State University, where she attended college in 1976-1978. She later transferred to Alcorn State University in Mississippi to play basketball from 1978-1980. During DeLois Williams basketball career at Savannah State and Alcorn State Universities she earned her nickname “Super Star” and was recognized with numerous accomplishments: She led her teams in scoring and rebounding for three years, was on National Association for Women Sports All-American Team for four years, was recognized as Most Valuable Player in 1977, 1978, and 1980; was recognized as National Scouting Association All-American for 1977-1978 Season, All GAIAW in 1977-1978 Season, 1977 named to the Muhammed Ali Black All-American Women’s Basketball Team, All Regional All Tournament Team 1978-1979 Season, All MAIAW in 1979 & 1980, named to the All MAIAW Conference Team in 1979 & 1980, All MAIAW All Tournament Teams in 1979 & 1980, On Mississippi Sportswriters All State Team in 1979, Held the ASU’s All Time Leading Scorer and Rebounder Record. In 1980 DeLois Williams was named to the Alcorn State University Basketball Bravettes 100 Sports Club and was drafted in the First Round by The Milwaukee Does, a professional ladies basketball team. Following DeLois Williams’s basketball career she returned home to Appling County and began working for the Appling County Board of Education. DeLois shared her love for the game with others by being the Assistant Coach for the Appling County High School Lady Pirates Junior Varsity Team and also coaching for the Appling County Recreation Department. DeLois resides in Baxley with her husband Jimmy Jones and has three children Kimberly, James, and Ashley. Her motto is: “If you want to excel search it out. Then you sleep it, think it, eat it and play it. When you have done all these steps you are ready to perform.” DeLois Williams Jones was nominated by Theresa Williams.
Mrs. Jones was presented with a plaque and a matching plaque with photo will be placed in the Athletic Hall of Fame case at the Appling County Recreation Department along with the Hall of Fame scrapbooks.
If anyone would like to submit a nomination for the 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame please contact Karen Tharpe, Executive Director with the Baxley-Appling County Board of Tourism and turn in your nomination letter with supportive material by December 23, 2011.