PROVIDENCE, RI – The Johnson & Wales University Director of the Athletics Hall of Fame, David Kulik, has announced the 2018 Hall of Fame class that includes five individuals and a team. The nine-person Hall of Committee voted in, what appears on paper, to be the strongest HOF class since the inception of this prestigious honor. Prior to the announcement of the 2018 class, the Johnson & Wales Athletic Hall of Fame includes 54 individuals and two teams.
The newest members of the Johnson & Wales Athletics Hall of Fame are:
Cathy Bravo '12, Women's Volleyball (2008-10)
Steven Martell '08, Wrestling (2005-07)
John MacKay '07, Baseball (2002-05)
Domenic Recchia '12, Men's Ice Hockey (2009-12)
Lamonte Thomas '12, Men's Basketball (2009-12)
2010-11 Men's Basketball Team
A native of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Bravo led the women's volleyball team's resurgence that culminated with a 2010 GNAC championship. Twice named GNAC Player of the Year, she also earned a trio of All-New England honors and was the 2010 GNAC Tournament MVP. Bravo currently ranks in the top 10 of 10 different categories and finished her career ranked sixth in the GNAC with 1,212 kills. In addition, twice she received JWU's RIAIAW Distinguished Athlete award.
In his three years with the Wildcats, Martell set the standard for JWU wrestling. The West Caldwell, NJ, native was the first Wildcat to earn back-to-back All-America honors. He finished fourth at 165 pounds in 2006 followed by a seventh-place showing in 2007. A three-time regional champion and All-Pilgrim League selection, he posted a 117-15 career record. He excelled off the mat where he was a 2006 NWCA Scholar All-American. Martell served as the captain of the 2007 squad that won the NEWA team championship and set a then-school record with 20 wins.
From the first day he stepped on the diamond, MacKay was a starter for the JWU baseball team. In his first season, he hit .360 to be named GNAC Rookie of the Year. MacKay would earn a pair of First-Team All-GNAC honors as well as a second-team selection. A native of Pawtucket, RI, he's among the JWU career leaders in 10 categories, including hits and runs where he ranks second. His senior year, MacKay was honored with the department's Ron Bachman Award for Academics, Athletics and Leadership.
In the annals of Johnson & Wales men's ice hockey, there may be no better defenseman than Recchia. In 2012, the Sterling Heights, Mich., native became the only JWU defenseman to earn USCHO All-America honors. That year he was also a finalist for the Concannon Award, which is presented to the best American-born NCAA Division II/III hockey player in New England. Recchia started his career on the ECAC Northeast All-Rookie team and earned a trio of First-Team All-ECAC Northeast honors plus two All-New England awards. In 106 games, he had 12 goals and 85 assists for 97 points – the most by a defenseman. Recchia signed with the New Jersey Devils "AA" Affiliate, the Trenton Devils, after his senior season.
It doesn't take long to find Thomas' name in the JWU record books because he's at the top of nearly every category. A native of Providence, he ended his career fourth in NCAA Division III history with 2,740 points after averaging 34.1 points per game his season year – the eighth-best total in NCAA history. Thomas topped the NCAA in scoring his final two seasons, leading to a pair of D3hoops.com All-America honors. Named GNAC Player of the Year in 2011, he earned a trio of First-Team All-GNAC honors and two All-Northeast Region selections. Thomas has played professionally since his collegiate career ended, including this last season in Portugal.
Prior to the 2010-11 season, several Johnson & Wales teams reached the NCAA Tournament, but none had broken through for a victory. That changed on March 4, 2011, when the men's basketball team defeated Ramapo, 114-106, in overtime. Johnson & Wales battled back from an eight-point deficit with 1:46 left in regulation. Led Thomas, the Wildcats posted a 21-9 record, including 14-4 in the GNAC. Johnson & Wales outscored opponents by 21.3 ppg. during the GNAC Tournament, including a 76-66 victory at Saint Joseph's in the championship game.
The five individuals and the men's basketball team will be inducted on Saturday, October 13 in the Rhode Island Room in the JWU Harbor View building at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the ceremony will go on sale at a later date.