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West Florida Athletics Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2006

Sept. 20, 2006

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The University of West Florida Athletic Department has officially announced the Hall of Fame class of 2006. West Florida athletics will host the Hall of Fame Luncheon during Homecoming weekend on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006 in the UWF Field House Gymnasium from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. The 2006 edition of the Hall of Fame class features six inductees: Greg Blackmon (baseball), Jill Burnett (softball), Brandon Cruickshank (men's tennis), Stephen Jackson (baseball), Boniface "Bazooka" Okafor (men's soccer), and Anthony Russell (men's basketball).

Greg Blackmon (Pensacola, Fla.) competed at UWF from 1989 to 1990 for former head coach Jim Spooner as a standout first baseman. He is number one in the career record book for batting average (.375) and second in on-base percentage (.461). Blackmon contributed to the local baseball community as the head baseball coach at Tate High School in Cantonment, Fla. for eight years, leading the Aggies to two state championships in 1998 and 2005.

Jill Burnett (Lakeland, Fla.) played first base at West Florida from 1997 to 1998 for current head coach Tami Cyr. Burnett was a two-time GSC Player of the Year. She is first in career batting average (.455) and slugging percentage (.768). In 1997, Burnett set the season record for batting average (.464), on-base percentage (.555) and doubles (27). In 1998, Burnett shattered the single season home run (19) and slugging percentage (.823) records.

Brandon Cruickshank (Flagstaff, Ariz.) excelled on the men's tennis team from 1986 to 1987 for former head coach Ralph "Skeeter" Carson. In 1987 he was an NAIA First Team Singles All-American. Cruickshank competed as UWF's number one and two singles and number one doubles team. He won 20 matches per season and participated at the NAIA National singles and doubles tournament both years. Cruickshank was a two-time NAIA Academic All-American for his chemistry studies.

Stephen Jackson (Jay, Fla.) also played for Spooner from 1995 to 1998 as an outfielder and pitcher. In 1998, Jackson was an NCAA Division II Third Team All-America selection, along with being named to the All-Gulf South Conference First Team. He is the career leader in six offensive categories, including home runs (23), runs batted in (134) and hits (231). Jackson also holds six single-season records, including batting average (.476), slugging percentage (.797) and hits (89).

Boniface "Bazooka" Okafor (Enugu, Nigeria) played for former head coach Charles Long from 1988 to 1990 as a standout forward. Okafor was an All-America Honorable Mention selection in 1989 and 1990. He was a three-time NAIA All-District 27 selection. He was an All-Area selection in 1989 and an All-South Team selection in 1990. He is second all-time in career points (119) and goals (51). Okafor scored 20 goals in 1990.

Anthony Russell (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) played for current head coach Don Hogan from 1995-98 as a power forward. He was an All-Gulf South Conference First Team selection in 1998. Russell is the all-time leading scorer at UWF with 1,477 points. He is also the career leader in rebounds (866) and field goal percentage (.657). Russell owns the single-season record for field goal percentage (.673) and rebounds (310).

"This year's hall of fame will be something special, since it is during our homecoming celebration," explained West Florida Athletic Director Richard Berg. "It is always great to recognize our former student athletes' outstanding accomplishments."

The six inductees in this year's class increase the West Florida Athletics Hall of Fame count to 44 honored Argonaut alumni.

Please RSVP with UWF Sports Information Director, Jake Fish, at (850) 474-2140 or (850) 474-2428.

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