Beacon Journal staff report
The University of Akron Department of Athletics announced its 41st annual Varsity “A” Sports Hall of Fame Inductees on Monday, with several local names among the enshrinees.
Jimmal Ball (basketball) and Michael Payne (soccer) join six other Zips legends along with the 1968 football team, Vic Davis (Cochrane Meritorious Service Award winner) and Matt Kaulig (Mike Krino Varsity A Achievement winner) as the 2015 inductees.
Ball, a star at Canton Timken, joined the Zips as a freshman in 1996 and scored 444 points that season, including 44 points against No. 17 ranked Xavier that established Rhodes Arena and Akron freshman records. Ball won the MAC freshman of the year award and was second-team All-MAC that season. Ball received second team honors twice and was twice named All-MAC honorable mention.
Payne was a four-year letter winner as a goalkeeper for the Zips from ’92-’95. Payne earned All-MAC first team honors twice and led the Zips to MAC titles in 1992 and 1995. Payne coached at Hudson for nine seasons and led the Explorers to the Division I state title in 2002. Payne also coached at Hiram College, co-founded the Ohio Goalkeeper Academy and was drafted by the Cleveland Crunch in 1996.
The hall of fame class will be presented at halftime of the men’s basketball game on Feb. 27.