OGDEN -- Five former standout athletes and two longtime supporters make up the 2014 class of inductees to the Weber State University Athletics Hall of Fame. The WSU Wildcat Club is pleased to announce this year’s class of inductees, presented by the Cuturbus Automotive Group.
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are: Harold Arceneaux (men’s basketball), Brad Barton (men’s track and field/cross country), Eddie Gill (men’s basketball), Sessions Harlan (men’s basketball) and Fine Unga (football). The class also includes longtime donors Tom and Nancy Davidson who will receive the Reed K. Swenson Award.
This year’s class will be honored at the Wildcat Club Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ogden. The class will also be recognized at Weber State’s men’s basketball home game against Northern Arizona on Saturday. March 1. For more information about Hall of Fame weekend contact the Wildcat Club at 801-626-6576.
Of all the moments in Weber State’s athletic history, perhaps no moment is more remembered than the night of March 11, 1999, when the Weber State men’s basketball team defeated North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The win goes down as one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. The Wildcats were led in that game by Harold “The Show” Arceneaux who scored 36 points to beat the Tar Heels and bring national prominence and attention to Weber State.
Arceneaux played two years of basketball at Weber State and is one of the top players in the program’s history. He came to WSU for the 1998-99 season along with Eddie Gill and immediately made a name for himself. He earned Big Sky MVP honors and All-District honors that season and set a then WSU single-season record for points in a season with 713 (later broken by Damian Lillard). He led the Wildcats to the Big Sky title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament where they met third seeded North Carolina. Arceneaux had 36 points and knocked down five three-pointers in the upset win over the Tar Heels and he and the Wildcats became one of the darlings of the NCAA Tournament.
Two nights later, Arceneaux was right back at it scoring 32 points in an overtime loss to Florida in the second round of the tournament.
As a senior Arceneaux came back for another great year, averaging 23.0 points per game and once again earning Big Sky MVP honors. He scored 40 points twice that season and scored 30 or more eight times.
Since leaving Weber State, Arceneaux has played basketball professionally on every continent in the world and at nearly every level. From summer leagues in the NBA to minor professional leagues in the United States and to countries near and far, Arceneaux has continued his show all over the world. He has played for professional teams in Australia, France, Portugal, Argentina, South Korea, Philippines, Brazil and Mexico where he spent the 2012-13 season as a player coach for the Lechugueros De Leon in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico.
Eddie Gill teamed with Arceneaux to form a combination that became known as the Thrill and the Show. Eddie “The Thrill” Gill played two seasons at Weber State from 1998-2000. He was part of the memorable 1999 Wildcat team that won the Big Sky Championships and knocked off North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
After playing at the College of Eastern Utah and Salt Lake Community College, where he earned Junior College All-American honors, Gill immediately made an impact as a junior at Weber State. He averaged 14 points, 4.6 assists and 2.7 steals per game that first season, earned First Team All-Big Sky honors and was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year. He was also named the MVP of the Big Sky Tournament by averaging 18.5 points, 7.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game in the two tournament wins to clinch a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Gill scored 16 points along with five rebounds and two steals in the win over North Carolina and followed that up with 19 points and five assists in the second round overtime loss to Florida.
Following their outstanding junior seasons, Gill and Arceneaux returned for their senior seasons. Gill started all 28 games and averaged 16.3 points, 7 assists and 3.2 steals per game, the single-best steals average in a season in WSU history.
In February 2000 he posted a triple-double in a win over Montana State in his final game at the Dee Events Center. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists in the only triple-double in Weber State history.
Gill finished his two-year career with the Wildcats scoring 919 points in 61 career games. He earned First Team All-Big Sky honors each of his two seasons and still ranks as Weber State’s career leader in steals with 178, 13th best in Big Sky history. He has the top two single-season records for steals in WSU history and still holds the WSU school record with nine steals in a game. He is also third in school history in career assists and eighth in Big Sky history in career free throw percentage.
Following his days at Weber State, Gill went on to have a long professional basketball career, spending seven seasons playing in the NBA. He appeared in 187 career games, the second most of any player from Weber State, and spent time with New Jersey, Memphis, Portland, Indiana, Seattle, Toronto and Milwaukee. He started in nine NBA games and while playing with the Nets, Gill scored the eight millionth point in NBA history in April 2001. He also played professionally in the NBDL, IBL, USBL and in Greece and Italy.
Brad Barton ran four years of track and field and cross country at Weber State from 1984-91. He earned Big Sky All-Conference honors five times and was a Big Sky champion and All-American in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. He also still has three times on the WSU career top 10 lists.
As a senior in 1991, Barton captured the Big Sky title in the steeplechase at the conference outdoor meet in Bozeman, Mont., posting a time of 9:52.45. He also finished second in the 1,500 meters that season. He went on to earn All-American honors by finishing third overall in the steeplechase at the 1991 NCAA Championships, tied for the third best finish in the steeplechase by any Wildcat at the NCAA meet. He posted a time of 8:31.45, which ranks as the third best time in Weber State and Big Sky history.
In indoor track, Barton twice earned All-Conference honors and twice competed at the NCAA Championships. As a junior in 1990, he finished third at the Big Sky Championships in the mile and went on to compete at the NCAA’s. In 1991, he finished second in the mile at the conference meet with a time of 4:04.97, which was the second fastest time in conference history at the time. He later competed in the NCAA Championships in the mile. Barton is the fifth fastest miler in Weber State history. He is also seventh all-time in the 3,000 meters.
As a runner for the WSU cross country team for four years, he was part of the WSU team that finished 11th at the NCAA championships in 1984. During the 1990-91 school year, Barton became the first athlete from Weber State to compete in three NCAA Championships in the same year.
Barton earned All-Big Sky honors five times and earned Academic All-Conference honors four times in his career. Coaxing his former collegiate coach, Chick Hislop, out of retirement, Barton recently renewed his competitive running and set national and world records. In 2013, he set a Master’s 45-49 age group indoor mile world record with a time of 4:16.83. In outdoor track, he posted a time of 9:17.59 in the steeplechase, setting a new American record for the 45-49 age group. He is the fastest over 40 steeplechaser in U.S. history.
Barton is a celebrated corporate and youth speaking professional.
Sessions Harlan played two years for the Weber State men’s basketball team and was part of one of the greatest teams in school history. Harlan appeared in 57 games with the Wildcats from 1968-70, playing along side Willie Sojourner and Justus Thigpen.
Harlan, a native of Detroit, came to Weber State for the 1968-69 season after playing two years at Iowa Central Junior College. His first season he teamed with Sojourner and Thigpen to made history under new head coach Phil Johnson. The Wildcats opened the season with a loss at West Texas State, but responded by winning their next 12 games. They then lost a non-conference game at Seattle, before winning their next 14 games. The Wildcats finished the Big Sky season a perfect 15-0, the best record in Big Sky history and just one of two teams to ever finish the regular season undefeated. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and pulled off a 75-73 win over Seattle in the first round. It marked the first victory in the NCAA Tournament for any team from the Big Sky Conference. The Wildcats then lost an overtime game to Santa Clara in the West Regionals before ending their season with a win over New Mexico State.
The Wildcats finished the year 27-3, the best record in Weber State history. Harlan earned first team All-Big Sky honors and averaged 13.4 points per game.
As a senior in 1969-70, Harlan again earned first team All-Big Sky honors and helped lead the Wildcats to another Big Sky title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. That season he averaged 13.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
In his two seasons with the Wildcats, Harlan averaged 13.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Fine Unga played two seasons in 1987 and 1988 for the Wildcat football team and still ranks as one of the school’s best running back.
In two years with the Wildcats, Unga totaled 2,298 rushing yards, which still ranks fifth in rushing in school history. He is also seventh in WSU history in all-purpose yards and 10th in career rushing touchdowns.
Unga, a native of Provo, Utah, came to Weber State after two seasons at Dixie Junior College where he earned Junior College All-American honors.
In 1987, his first year with the Wildcats, he helped Weber State to a 10-3 record and a 7-1 mark in Big Sky play under head coach Mike Price. Unga became just the second Wildcat ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season as he totaled 1,032 yards with six touchdowns. He rushed for 220 yards in a win over Northern Arizona, at the time the third best single-game total in school history. He led the Big Sky in All-purpose yards and finished fourth in rushing to earn first team All-Big Sky honors.
As a senior in 1988, Unga rushed for 1,266 yards in 11 games for an average of 115 yards per game. The season total still ranks as the seventh most yards in a season in WSU history and his 13 touchdowns are the sixth most in a season.
In his two seasons Unga totaled 19 career touchdowns and had 3,663 career all-purpose yards.
TOM AND NANCY DAVIDSON
Nancy Davidson and the late Tom Davidson have been longtime supporters of Weber State University and will receive the Reed K. Swenson Award, given for dedication and contributions to Weber State Athletics.
In addition to numerous charitable organizations, Tom and Nancy have been tremendous supporters of Weber State University and the athletic department. They were longtime season ticket holders and members of the Wildcat Club. Tom was also a past president of the Wildcat Club and he and Nancy are charter members of the Champions Club. Tom also served on the WSU Athletic Advisory Board.
Tom and Nancy’s generous donations to the WSU Athletic Department include the Tom and Nancy Davidson Office Complex at the Dee Events Center and the Tom and Nancy Davidson Track Locker Room at Stewart Stadium. Tom passed away in April 2013 at the age of 83.