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SAISD to induct six honorees in Athletic Hall of Fame this summer
May 9, 2023 – San Antonio ISD will celebrate its 9th annual Athletic Hall of Fame this summer. Six honorees will be inducted into the prestigious Athletic Hall of Fame. Honorees include a retired professional basketball player, an NFL alumnus, the “voice” of Alamo Stadium, an Olympic swimmer, a record-setting collegiate basketball star and a historic state championship baseball team. They will be honored at a ceremony Aug. 12 at the Alamo Convocation Center. The event starts at 3:30 p.m.

Individual tickets are $40. A table of eight seats costs $320. Sponsorships are also available. To buy tickets or get sponsorship information, visit or call (210) 554-2655.
The 2023 honorees are: 
Ovie Everett Dotson – Known as a high-flying basketball dunking master, the 1975 Sam Houston High School alumnus soared to incredible heights in high school, collegiate and professional ranks. Dotson was a two-time All-District and All-City basketball player for Sam Houston. He was a three-year letterman that paced the team averaging 18 points, seven assists and eight rebounds a game. At 6-feet, 5-inches tall, he dominated the court. He was recruited by the University of Texas where he starred for the Longhorns all four years. He was a pioneer in UT basketball, being one of the first black players in the mid-1970s. He was a fan favorite in Austin, known for his leaping ability and super-human “dunks.” Dotson helped UT win two Southwest Conference titles and the 1978 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship. He played under the tutelage of flamboyant UT coach Abe Lemon. And he played with Johnny Moore, who later played for the San Antonio Spurs. From 1979-1988, Dotson played for the world-acclaimed Harlem Globetrotters. He starred for the famed traveling Ambassadors of Goodwill on the court for eight seasons. His Globetrotter teammates included Curly Neal and Lynette Woodard, the first woman to ever play for a men’s professional basketball team. Dotson played in more than 100 countries and traveled the world entertaining millions with his spectacular soaring slam dunks.

Jaime R. Garza, M.D. – A record-setting receiver who broke multiple school records on the football field, Garza was a proud 1972 graduate of Jefferson High School. In his senior season, he caught a then school-record 15 touchdown passes, and had nearly 60 pass receptions in 10 games played. He was named an All-City football player by the San Antonio Express-News. Garza’s athletic efforts resulted in a full scholarship to play college football at Tulane University in Louisiana. He broke nearly all of Tulane University’s receiving records, served as a team captain, and was the school’s first ever four-year varsity letterman. In 1976, he was named one of the “Best College Football Players in America.” From 1976-1979, he attended NFL training camps with the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and the Cleveland Browns. After his football career, Garza became a renowned plastic surgeon and an accomplished clinical researcher for nearly 50 years. He has the rare distinction of being a triple-board-certified surgeon in head/neck surgery, plastic/reconstructive and maxillofacial surgery, and dentistry. He is considered one of the country’s pre-eminent authorities in the management of sports-related facial injuries. He was a long-time medical consultant to the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.  

Bohn Hilliard Jr. – Known as the “voice” of the historic Alamo Stadium, Bohn Hilliard Jr. served as the public address announcer for four decades covering thousands of athletes. In 1979, Hilliard Jr. began his illustrious career as the announcer at the “Rock Pile.” He was the “voice” behind the microphone. He retired as the public address announcer in 2018. He covered countless football games and track meets. He called play-by-play for some of the biggest games in SAISD history, including the 1979 UIL Class 4A quarterfinal title game between Wheatley-Brackenridge (city champions) and Alice, the 2012 Class 5A bi-district title game where Brackenridge upset Alamo Heights, and numerous Chili Bowls (Lanier and Fox Tech), Tommy Bowls (Jefferson and Edison), district championships, and playoff games. Some of the biggest SAISD athletes Hilliard Jr. covered included Gabe “Senior Sack” Rivera (Jefferson/NFL), Jarrett Dillard (Sam Houston/NFL), Sam Hurd (Brackenridge/NFL) and Ramon Richards (Brackenridge/NFL). Hilliard Jr., himself was an all-around athlete in high school. The proud 1950 graduate of Brackenridge High School played football, basketball, softball, swimming and track. His big moment came in his senior year where he claimed the silver medal at the state track and field meet in the shot put event (48-feet, 1 inch throw). He played college football at Abilene Christian College, where as a two-way starter (fullback and linebacker), he helped the team win the Texas Conference crown. He served in the United States Marine Corps and earned two distinguished Purple Hearts for his service in the Korean War. He worked 48 years as a coach, teacher and administrator for SAISD (1957-2006).

Adrian Montoya – Regarded as perhaps the greatest swimmer that San Antonio ISD has ever produced, the 1995 Highlands High School alumnus was a two-time UIL state champion qualifier. Montoya advanced to the state swim meets in his junior and senior seasons. At 6-feet, 2-inches tall, he was a two-time district and region champion swimmer in high school. He was named to the All-American National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association in 1995. His top event was the 100-meter backstroke. His career-best time in the 100-meter backstroke was a blazing 50.5 seconds. His swim coach in high school and club was Don Walker, an icon in swimming who coached in San Antonio for nearly 50 years. Montoya’s athletic heroics earned him a full college scholarship to the University of Louisiana Monroe. In college, he set three school records and was an all-conference swimmer. The pinnacle of his career came in 2000 in Indianapolis when he defied the odds and became one of the fastest swimmers in the 100-meter backstroke in the nation by qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Montoya is the only swimmer in SAISD history to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials.  

De Celle Thomas – Considered one of the fastest and most explosive female basketball players in San Antonio ISD history, Thomas was a scoring machine at Brackenridge High School. The 1992 graduate was a four-year All District selection for the Lady Eagles. She led the team in scoring with 26 points a game. She averaged 12 rebounds and six steals per game on the hardwood court. Her efforts resulted in the team making the state playoffs three times and winning two bi-district championships. In her senior year, she was tapped as a pre-season All American and named to the first team All-State girls basketball team. She also earned Female Athlete of the Year in 1991 by the San Antonio Express-News. Thomas was highly recruited and signed a Division I basketball scholarship to play at the University of Colorado. She helped lead the Lady Buffaloes to the NCCA Elite 8 tournament twice and to the Sweet 16 all four years in college. She was known as the team’s “defensive stopper.” According to the university sports information office, Thomas is one of the best all-around CU women’s basketball players of all time. She is one of only four Buffs in CU history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 steals and 299 assists.  

1968 Highlands High School Baseball Team – In San Antonio ISD’s glorious rich history, the 1968 Highlands High School baseball team stands as one of the greatest sports teams ever. In only its third year of existence, the 1968 Owls baseball team pulled off the impossible – winning game after game en route to claiming the Class 4A state championship. The team won state and made history in that memorable season. At the time of the team’s induction into the SAISD Athletic Hall of Fame in 2023, some 55 years later after that amazing Cinderella season, Highlands remained as the only San Antonio team to win a baseball state championship in the largest classification of the University Interscholastic League. Senior left-hander Glenn Harris pitched a one-hitter to beat Pasadena 3-1 for the state title in Austin on June 7, 1968, capping a 24-3 season. The night before, sophomore right-hander Richard Guerra had 16 strikeouts and pitched a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over Arlington in the state semifinals. Top players for the team included Jesse Causey (third base and the team’s leading hitter with a .329 batting average), Bubba Hermes (catcher and signal caller) and Andy Dominguez (shortstop with a .323 batting average). The 21-member team won state and made history under coach Tom Henslee and assistant coach Virgil Peterson. “Our team was special because we all loved the game,” Causey said. “We all supported one another. We were dedicated and we were humbled. We punched in early and we didn’t punch out until we got the job done. This is why I think we were successful.”

About the SAISD Athletic Hall of Fame 
Established in 2014 in collaboration with the San Antonio ISD Foundation, the SAISD Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have made a positive impact in sports, either through excellent athletic achievements or excellent athletic program contributions. Since its inception, 41 honorees have been inducted into this prestigious hall. 

A timeless and elegant bronze plaque commemorating the honorees will be on permanent display on the Hall of Fame Wall located on the visiting team’s side of the historic Alamo Stadium. Additionally, inductees will receive a commemorative plaque to keep. 

Nominations were received this past year and selection was made by a committee.  

Eligibility requirements for the SAISD Athletic Hall of Fame include: 

? Student-athletes who graduated from an SAISD high school at least 10 years ago. Nominees could be considered posthumously. 

? Administrators who served at the high-school level for a minimum of 20 years or as a high school administrator and coach for a minimum of 15 years, of which at least 10 years must have been as an administrator.  

? Coaches who served at the high-school level for at least 20 years. Primary consideration was given to their achievements at this level and secondarily to those at the collegiate or professional level. 

? Contributors in such areas as sports media, sports medicine, sports official, sports announcer or supporter. Nominees were considered primarily on the merits of their contributions to high school athletics and must have been involved in high school athletics for a minimum of 20 years. 

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