Benedict Inducts Nine Into Athletic Hall Of Fame

Released by Benedict Athletics,


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Benedict College Athletic Hall of Fame inducted nine new members on Thursday, Oct. 21, adding to an impressive group of Hall of Famers.

This year’s class includes three standout baseball players, two stellar football players, a track & field star, a volleyball and track two-sport standout, as well as former standouts in softball and basketball.

The event was held at the Doubletree by Hilton ballroom, and a large number of previous Hall of Famers attended to welcome in the new class.

The nine new inductees brings the total number of members in the Benedict College Athletic Hall of Fame to 215.

Ms. Melinda D. Bastian ’11

Melinda Bastian, a native of the Bahamas, was one of the most dominant women’s athlete in Benedict history, earning SIAC Player of the Year honors in volleyball twice, while also being named a two-time SIAC Track & Field Athlete of the Year and All-American.Melinda Bastian HOF 21

In volleyball, she was the SIAC Player of the Year in 2007 and 2009, and was the SIAC Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2008.

In track & field, she was a 2009 NCAA Division II All-American, after finishing second in the javelin throw at the NCAA Championship. She was also the NCAA Regional Female Field Athletic of the year, and was presented the Cleve Abbott Award, given to the SIAC overall track & field athlete of the year. She was named SIAC athlete of the week six times and broke the school and SIAC record in the javelin throw. At the SIAC championship, she won the javelin, high jump and shot put events.

In 2010, she repeated as an NCAA Division II All-American in the javelin throw, finishing third at the championship. She was again the NCAA regional female field athlete of the year and repeated as the SIAC Cleve Abbott Award winner. She was ranked No. 1 in the javelin throw in the Region and SIAC and was named SIAC Athlete of the Week four times. At the SIAC Championship, she won the javelin, high jump, and heptathlon events.

She even lent her talents to the softball team, and helped the softball team to a 25-7 record and was named to the SIAC All-Conference team as a shortstop.

She currently stays active in her native Bahamas as a youth sports coach.

Mr. James Byrd ’75

James Byrd always came through in the clutch for the Benedict Tigers. He ignited a nine-point rally in the final three minutes as Benedict beat Allen University, 74-64, in the NAIA District 6 game. James Byrd scored a total of 16 points. On February 16, 1975, James Byrd, who led the Tigers’ scoring with 18 points, pumped in a 15-foot jump shot to ignite an 11-point explosion in the Township Auditorium as the Tigers beat Allen 83-77 in overtime.

He canned a pair of layups in the closing seconds to give Benedict College an 85-80 victory over Morehouse College in the semifinals of the Eastern Division playoff of the SIAC Basketball Championship, and he scored 19 points in the 122-71 win over Talladega in the opening round of the Georgia Invitational Tournament. In a win over Alabama A&M, he was the big gun for the Tigers with 24 points. He scored 20 points and had 15 rebounds when Benedict defeated Tuskegee 97-63.

As a freshman, he led Benedict in rebounding. As a senior, he was second on the team in scoring and rebounding. Mr. Byrd was selected to the College of South Carolina Basketball Tournament All-Star Team in 1972 and 1973.

Mr. Byrd is committed to helping young boys and girls learn the skills needed to become athletes who love playing sports by coaching youth league basketball and football. He has also served as a referee for adult league basketball in Richland and Lexington Counties.

Mr. Gerald M. Herbert ’90

Gerald Herbert HOF 21Gerald Herbert started at Benedict College, but took a six-year break after enrolling in the U.S. Army Reserves. After his return from military service, Herbert reconnected with the Benedict baseball team and played for three years. As a player. Herbert reached many accomplishments and was a key member of two championship teams, as the Tigers won the SIAC championship in 1988 and the EIAC title in 1989.

He led the team in home runs in 1988 (9) and 1989 (7) and led the team in stolen bases for three straight years. He finished with a career batting average of .297. He was named to the EIAC All-Conference team in 1990 as well as the EIAC All-Tournament team that year.

Herbert later pursued further studies, earning a master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He received his standard teaching certificate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a certification in K-12 Principal/Educational Leadership from Wingate University.

In his professional career, he has worked over 22 years in education. After serving four years at the university level, Herbert was recruited to teach ninth grade literacy at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, N.C. He subsequently became the Academic Facilitator and Athletic Director at West Charlotte. During his tenure at West Charlotte, the school was recognized as the most improved school in North Carolina for two consecutive years and was named the West Charlotte Co-Teacher of the Year and Athletic Director of the Year.

His current position is middle and high school principal at Mountain Island Charter School in Mount Holly, N.C., which boasts a 100 percent graduation rate.

Herbert has been involved with and chaired several committees throughout his career and has been active in many civic causes. He had led literary initiatives, facilitated character education programs, worked with the Boys and Girls Club, coached youth baseball, basketball and football teams, mentored first-time juvenile offenders, participated in the Angel Tree Project and delivered Thanksgiving meals to needy families.

Mr. Ramon H. Robinson ’99

Ramon Robinson HOF 21Ramon Robinson was a three-sport star from Anderson, S.C. and was the first African-American quarterback to start at T.L. Hanna High School, where he was the leading passer in the state as a senior. After junior college, he went on to play football at Benedict College where he still holds the school record for passing yards and total offense.

A three-year starter and captain for the Tigers, Robinson was named the team’s Offensive Player of the Year as well as the Benedict College Male Athlete of the Year. He was selected to the HBCU All Star Game in Orlando in 1998 and selected to the All-American Bowl All Star Game in Miami. In addition, he was selected to play on the US National Handball team with current women’s basketball coach James Rice.

Robinson signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League in 1999, becoming the first Benedict alum to sign a professional football contract since the school resumed football. Robinson spent the next nine years playing with the CFL and arena/indoor leagues before injury forced him to retire as a player. He continued for four more years in arena football as a head coach/general manager/director of player personnel. Coach Robinson established RR Elite QB Academy in 2011 and then Elite Position Training (EPT), which features personal football skill training, educational assistance, and mentoring for kids all over South Carolina and the Southeast.

In 2017, he was inducted into the T.L. Hanna Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2018, Robinson received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame. This award is presented annually to a South Carolina resident positively impacting their community through football. In 2020, the SC Football Hall of Fame named him Bridge Builder Excellence Award and Program advisor, which educates, empowers, and encourages students to be successful in their college, career, and life endeavors.

In 2021, Robinson was named CEO of a nationwide collaboration of elite QB trainers called The QB Legacy. His dedication to helping the next generation of football players has continued by recently being named Commissioner of the Post-Grad Football League (PGFL).

Ms. Tina Ivory Sanders ’06

Tina Sanders HOF 21Tina was a powerhouse on and off the field, leading the Lady Tigers softball team to the first, and only to date, SIAC championship for softball. Tina pitched all but one game in that tournament and was selected SIAC Player of the Year.

While being an athlete, Tina also served on the Student Government Association, was the 2005-2006 Benedict College queen, and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

She was named the SIAC Pitcher of the Year and to the SIAC All-Conference team three years, and SIAC Athlete of the Year.

Tina received an internship with the SIAC, which resulted in a full-time job after college as a SAAC representative.  Ms. Sanders opened a successful real estate firm in Georgia and Tennessee and mentors first-time homeowners. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., has made scholarship contributions to Benedict College, and provides funds to her home church in South Carolina, and a member of the Benedict College Atlanta Alumni Club. She is the mother of two boys.

Attorney Ralph L. Warren ’71

Ralph Warren HOF 21Ralph Larry Warren is a native of Camden, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Camden High School. He was inducted into the inaugural Camden High School Hall of Fame in 2016.

He came to Benedict as a star baseball player, and played every infield position for the Tigers, but was most noted as a stellar, slick-fielding third baseman. In the batting lineup, he always was the third and fourth hitter, which symbolized his prowess as a prolific hitter. He led the team in overall hitting from 1968-1971. Warren hit safely in 12 consecutive at-bats against Savannah State College, setting a team record. He was also a team leader in RBIs and fielding. He drove in the winning run against Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and had two games where he had four hits in four at-bats.

He is a Cum Laude Honors graduate of Benedict College with a major in Political Science and History. Mr. Warren attended Benedict College on both an academic and athletic scholarship. He received numerous academic honors at Benedict and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class.

Mr. Warren was also a member of the Benedict College Board of Trustees for eight years. Attorney Warren served two terms on the Benedict College Board of Trustees and he is the former President of the Benedict College Alumni Chapter for Washington, D.C.

Mr. Warren is founder and Senior Law Partner at the Law Offices of Ralph Larry Warren, P.C., Largo, Md. He was previously Senior Partner, Warren &Brown, P.C. and Warren, Brown, Dunbar & Ravery, P.C. Mr. Warren is a graduate of the Howard University School of Law. While in law school, he received the American Jurisprudence Award for the highest average in contract law. Additionally, he received his Master of Education degree from Howard University.

Mr. Warren has served as an Assistant State’s Attorney and Special Counsel to the Prince George’s State’s Attorney, Chief of the Juvenile Division, as the Deputy
State’s Attorney in the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, 2nd
Highest Ranking Prosecutor. Prior to joining the State’s Attorney’s Office, Mr. Warren was a trial attorney in private practice for twelve years in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Mr. Warren has also instructed Business Law at the College of Southern Maryland. His Law Clerkship was served with the law firm of Arnold and Porter in Washington, D.C.

He is a member of the Maryland Bar, the United States District Court for Maryland Bar and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is also a life member of the Greater Washington, D.C. Urban League.

Attorney Warren is married to the former Phebie Clyburn, who is also a Camden native. She is a Benedict and Howard University graduate as well. Mr. & Mrs. Warren have three adult children: Ralph, Jr. {B.J), Dionne and Kelsey, and they reside in Mitchellville, Maryland. They are members of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, in Clinton, Maryland.

Mr. Gerard Milton Washington ’06

Gerard Washington HOF 21Mr. Washington was considered an outstanding football player while in college. He was a three-year defensive starter and defensive captain on the Benedict defense that was top 10 in the country in Division 2 for points allowed per game. Mr. Washington was also a three year all conference honoree.

A leader on the defense from his safety position, Mr. Washington led the Tigers in tackles in 2004 and 2005, earning First Team All-SIAC accolades both years. He also was named All-SIAC in 2003. After graduating, Mr. Washington went on to play Arena Football. After completing a successful season among the arena ranks, Mr. Washington was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers to play and represent their organization in the NFL Europe league in Berlin, Germany.

After Mr. Washington completed his playing career collegiately and professionally, he returned to his alma mater to coach for five seasons as defensive back coach and defensive coordinator.

Currently, Mr. Washington serves in the United States Air Force. Mr. Washington is married to Dr. Cindy Washington ’06, and they are the proud parents of three children: Zackery, Justin, and Jasmine.

Mr. O’Neil Williams

Benedict College cross country standout O’Neil Williams helped lead Benedict to its first SIAC cross country championship in 2008, and continues to make a mark as a premier distance runner.

The Bahamas native broke an 18-year-old national record for marathon running in 2017.

Williams, who earned All-Region and SIAC Athlete of the Year accolades during his collegiate career at Benedict, ran his first marathon event at the Jacksonville marathon on Dec. 16, 2017.

Williams finished second overall in the 35th Ameris Bank Jacksonville Marathon in Jacksonville, Fla. with a time of 2:30.35, breaking the record for fastest marathon time by a Bahamian. The previous national mark was 2:34.47 set by Delroy Boothe, also at the Jacksonville Marathon. Boothe was the first winner of Marathon Bahamas in 2010. Williams improved on his record time in 2019, completing the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, in Amsterdam, Netherlands in a time of 2:29.28.

For Williams, it is his third Bahamian record on the books. He also holds the Bahamian national marks in the 5,000 meters and the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Mr. Anthony E. Wilson ’97

Anthony Wilson HOF 21Under the direction of Coach Gary Boyd, Anthony Wilson played several key positions on the baseball field as a third baseman, catcher and relief pitcher for the Tigers.

Throughout his baseball career, he was awarded Most Valuable Player, EIAC All Conference, All District and was selected as an All-American candidate for his hard work and dedication to his craft. Anthony was held in such high regard by his coaches and teammates that he was selected to lead as their team captain for the entirety of his years with the program.

Anthony has been a major contributor to the welfare of his community while serving as a prominent member of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department as a Master Deputy. He has assisted with several Youth Services community initiatives such as Camp Lott (Leading Our Troubled Teens Boot Camp), RCSD Jump Start Program (Juveniles Under Motivated Pressure), bowling tournaments with foster children and running a summer sports camp for youth in middle and high school. Since 2001, Anthony has served as a School Resource Officer, influencing the lives of over 25,000 young men and women in the communities of Richland County School Districts 1 and 2.

As a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., he has also participated in several Adopt-A-Highway, Adopt a Family and Feed the Homeless activities.

Hall of Fame 2021

About Willie Alex Hines 5322 Articles
A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.