Basketball great Marques Haynes had made three wishes, and all of them came true Wednesday at the state capitol. It happened when the 2008 Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame class was introduced in the capitol's Blue Room.
Two former state football stars, Oklahoma noseguard Tony Casillas and Tulsa wide receiver Drew Pearson, were added to the previously announced quartet of baseball pitcher Eddie Fisher, wrestling legend Jack Van Bebber and basketball coaches Bob Bass and Zip Gayles. "Marques has been a member of our hall of fame for quite some time,” said Lynne Draper of the Jim Thorpe Association, "and over the years he has campaigned to get certain people in the hall of fame. Marques this year has hit a trifecta, because he campaigned for Drew Pearson, Bob Bass and Zip Gayles.” The six 2008 inductees will bring the total of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Famers to 116. The list includes Pearson and his former father in law, Haynes. "The first thing he said when I told him was, "It's about time,'” Pearson said. "He gave me a big hug. We were at my grandson's flag football game this past Sunday. "Just to be considered in the same hall of fame as somebody like Marques is so special to me. Because I know what he is an athlete, but he would make this hall of fame as a person even if he didn't play any sports. He's been a great motivator to me, to lead my life the way he's led his life.” When Haynes was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, he was presented by Pearson, the former Dallas Cowboys great. And when this year's banquet is held Aug. 18 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, guess who will be presenting Pearson? "There's no question that the guy who's got to present me that evening is Marques Haynes,” Pearson said.
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Former Dallas Cowboys Drew Pearson, left, and Tony Casillas were two of the six sports legends selected for induction into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. by Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman