Former University of Georgia stand out and Pittsburgh Steelers’ Pro-Bowl wide receiver Hines Ward has been selected to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame by the Honors court. The 60th annual Georgia Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet is scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 27th at the Macon City Auditorium.
South Korean born Hines Ward moved to the Atlanta metro area with his family when he was around the age of one, and was an outstanding athlete in high school standing out above his peers in both baseball and football where he played on varsity teams at Forest Park high school. Over his high school career Ward rushed for 2,500 yards and 29 touchdowns as well as completed 268 of 469 passes for 3,581 yards and 38 touchdowns through the air. Ward was named the Clayton County Offensive Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993.
After graduating from Forest Park, Hines Ward had a number of scholarship offers to play college ball, but decided to stay with in the Peach State where he enrolled at the University of Georgia as part of the Bulldog’s 1994 college football recruiting class. Wearing number 19, Ward showed off his abilities over his 4 year collegiate career playing at scatback, quarterback and at wide receiver where he stamped his name in the UGA record books tallying a total of 4,762 yards and 20 touchdowns from 1994 to 1997.
2nd in career receptions with 144
4th in career receiving yards with 1,965
2nd in career all-purpose yards with 3,870 yards which include 1,063 rushing, 1,965 receiving, 842 returns
2nd in receiving yards for a single season with 900 in 1996)
3rd in receptions for a single season receptions with 55 in 1997
After his senior season at Georgia in 1997, Ward looked to the pros and entered the 1998 NFL Draft where he was expected to a first round selection. However, it came out that he was missing an ACL in his left knee due to a childhood accident, and despite his magnificent high school and college performances on the field, he was passed over in the first and second rounds. Ward was finally selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round at 92nd overall.
But Ward never looked back and spent 14 years in the NFL where he shined at wide receiver donning number 86 for the Steelers, being selected to the Pro-Bowl 4 times in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 as well as being named the MVP in Super Bowl XL. From 1998 to 2011, Ward played in 217 regular season games where he complied 1,000 receptions for 12,083 receiving yards and 85 TDs. Ward was named to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hall of Fame in 2012 and his number 86 was retired by the organization.
Hines Ward joins fellow Georgian and former Atlanta Braves baseball player Chipper Jones as well as NBA analyst and former player Mike Glenn, former longtime University of Georgia broadcaster Phil Schaffer, high school football coach Luther Welsh, former Georgia Tech and NFL wide receiver Jimmy Robinson, and basketball players and coaches Patricia Roberts and Glenn Wilkes in this year’s 2016 class of inductees.
For more information on the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame: