Six athletes, led by ex-women’s basketball standout Sylvia Fowles and gymnastics star April Burkholder, and two athletic trainers will be inducted to the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 4 at the L’Auberge Event Center.
The inductees are Burkholder, a 14-time All-American; Fowles, a two-time women’s basketball All-American and two-time Olympic gold medalist; seven-time All-America hurdler Kim Carson; two-time All-America javelin thrower Laverne Eve; 14-time All-America swimmer Todd Torres; LSU football captain and NFL All-Pro Ebert Van Buren; and trainers Mike Chambers and Herman Lang. Chambers and Lang will be inducted posthumously.
Fowles, a Miami native, was a two-time All-America center, and she led the Lady Tigers to four consecutive Final Fours. She was the 2008 National Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Player of the Year.
A 2009 graduate, Fowles set school career records for rebounds (1,570), blocked shots (321) and free throws made (494). She was the first-round choice of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky in 2008 and has earned WNBA All-Star status three times. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, helping Team USA to titles in 2008 and ’12.
Burkholder, a native of Houston, was the 2006 national champion on the balance beam. She earned 14 All-America designations covering all four events (vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise) and the all-around.
Burkholder was SEC Gymnast of the Year in 2004 and 2005. A 2006 graduate, she won 25 all-around titles in four seasons.
Carson, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, was the 1996 national champion in the 55-meter hurdles indoors and in the 100-meter hurdles outdoors. She helped LSU to seven national championships — three indoor and four outdoor. She graduated in 1998.
Eve, from the Bahamas, was the 1987 NCAA javelin champion and an All-American in the javelin and shot put. A 1990 LSU graduate, she helped the Lady Tigers to three national titles.
Torres, a native of Puerto Rico, was the 1987 NCAA national champion in the 100-yard breaststroke, and he earned 14 All-America honors in five events. He was a four-time SEC individual champion, and he led the Tigers to the 1988 SEC men’s swimming and diving team title.
Before his college career, Van Buren served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.
Van Buren, a native of Honduras, played halfback for LSU from 1948-50, and he helped the Tigers to the 1950 Sugar Bowl. He was the Tigers’ team captain in 1950 and was the No. 1 draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1951. Van Buren, who earned his bachelor’s in 1953 and master’s in 1961, was voted NFL All-Pro in 1952.
Chambers, who was raised in Cairo, Illinois, worked as athletic trainer from 1934-38 at LSU, where he initiated the idea of housing a live Tiger as the university mascot. LSU’s first tiger was brought to Baton Rouge in 1936 and was named “Mike” in his honor.
Lang was LSU’s first assistant athletic trainer, and he provided treatment for athletes from 1932-71. As a black man who worked at LSU for decades before the desegregation of the student population, he was one of the most respected individuals in the athletic department and was inducted to the Louisiana Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame.
The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7. Tickets are available for $50 each or $500 for a table of 10. To purchase, contact Courtney Albritton at (225) 578-0159 or firstname.lastname@example.org.