AURORA -- "Mr. Big Shot" will be a Hall of Famer.
Chauncey Billiups, a former all-stater at George Washington, is the headliner to the Colorado High School Activities Association's 24th Hall of Fame class to be inducted Jan. 23 at the Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast. The seven honorees, CHSAA commissioner Paul Angelico said, "are what high school athletics and activities are about."
Billups, perhaps the greatest player in Colorado prep history, led George Washington to Class 6A titles in 1993 and 1994. A shoulder injury as a senior probably prevented a third state championship. A star at the University of Colorado, Billups was chosen third in the 1997 NBA draft, went on to be a five-time NBA all-star, a three-time all-NBA selection and NBA Finals MVP for Detroit. He played for the Denver Nuggets twice and also played for Team USA.
Billups also was cited for his outstanding character. He is active in Denver's basketball community.
Joining Billups in the Hall of Fame is Rhonda Blanford-Green, a former track star at Aurora Central and Nebraska, where she was an 11-time All-American.
Also to be inducted are Flagler volleyball coach Pam Fagerland; longtime basketball coach Duane Lewis, who earned 14 letters at Burlington; longtime public address announcer Frank Palmeri of Jefferson County; and Denver's Joe Strain, basketball coach at Manual, Denver South and George Washington.