Former Crimson Tide greats inducted into Alabama Sports Hall of Fame

TUSCALOOSA, AL Four former University Alabama standouts were among the nine-member Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2010 that was inducted in ceremonies held Saturday evening in the Birmingham Ballroom of the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel.

Former UA standouts in the 2010 induction class were former football player Howard Cross, former basketball star Robert Horry, former football star Bobby Johns, and former UA gridder Ed Salem. The remaining members in the class include Reita Clanton, Ronald McKinnon, Ben Tamburello, George "Mule" Suttles and Rick Woodward, who earned the distinguished sportsman award.

Cross was a four-year letterman for the Crimson Tide football team under both Ray Perkins and Bill Curry. He was named All-SEC following his junior season in 1987 and as a senior in 1988 he earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best blocker in the SEC.  He had 41 career receptions for 459 yards and four touchdowns.  He played in the 1989 Senior Bowl and was drafted by the New York Giants, winning a Super Bowl in 1991. He finished his 13-year career with 201 receptions for 2,194 yards and 17 touchdowns. He retired in 2001 with a Giants franchise record 207 games played.

Horry won championships at all three levels of basketball in his illustrious career. After winning the Class 4A state title at Andalusia High School in 1988, Horry won three SEC Tournament Championships while playing for Coach Wimp Sanderson at Alabama from 1989-92.  Following his career at UA, Horry won seven NBA titles with three different teams (Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs) during his 16-year NBA career. At Alabama, Horry started 108 of the 133 games he played in and helped the Tide win three SEC tournament titles (1989, 1990 and 1991) and two berths into the NCAA's Sweet 16 round. Alabama compiled a 98-36 record during his four seasons, with Horry establishing a school record for career blocked shots (282). He was selected to the All-Southeastern Conference, the SEC All-Defensive and the SEC All-Academic teams. Horry was a first-round pick by the Houston Rockets in 1992 and played 16 seasons, winning seven NBA titles with Houston (2), Los Angeles Lakers (3) and San Antonio (2). Horry is one of nine players in NBA history to win seven NBA titles and he is the only non Boston Celtic player to win seven NBA rings. He is one of only three players to win consecutive NBA Championships with two different teams. He is one of two players (John Salley) to win NBA Championships with three different teams.  He is the all-time leader in playoff games played.  He is second on the all-time list of three-pointers made in the playoffs.  He also holds the record for three-pointers all-time in the NBA Finals with 53.  He holds the NBA Playoffs record for most three-point field goals made in a game without a miss (seven). Prior to his days at Alabama, Horry was named the Naismith Alabama High School Player of the Year at Andalusia High School.

Johns was a two-time All-American defensive back at Alabama in 1966 and 1967.  A three-time (1965, 1966 and 1967) All-SEC performer, Johns played on the Tide's 1965 national championship team that beat Nebraska 38-29 in the 1966 Orange Bowl. He was elected permanent team captain in 1967 and was named to the Alabama's Team of the Decade in the 1960s.  Johns enjoyed a highly successful coaching career following his playing days at the Capstone.  He spent more than 30 years on the sidelines at South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee at Chattanooga, Florida State, and Valdosta State.  He was the head coach at West Alabama from 1997-2000.

A two-way star, Salem was named first-team Associated Press All-American in 1950, where he completed 44-of-86 passes for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He was also the Tide's leading rusher as a sophomore in 1948, rushing for 288 yards and five touchdowns on 77 attempts. He also handled all kicking chores and led the Crimson Tide in scoring in both 1948 (60 points) and 1949 (51 points).  In 1948, he led the Crimson Tide with three interceptions.  During his three-year career, Salem threw for 2, 034 yards and 23 touchdowns.  His greatest game may have been in the 1948 Iron Bowl, when Alabama beat Auburn 55-0. In the win, Salem accounted for four touchdowns (1 rushing, 3 passing) and kicked all seven extra points in the first meeting between the two schools since 1907.  He played in both the NFL (Washington Redskins) and CFL (Montreal Allouettes) during his professional football career.  Salem passed away on Dec. 21, 2001, in Birmingham.