The Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame welcomes the class of 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Some new faces joined the ranks of some of Grand Rapids’ most celebrated sports legends Tuesday night when six West Michigan individuals were inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame for the organization’s 50th class.

Inducted on Tuesday was the late Fred Julian, who played at the University of Michigan and was a longtime coach at West Catholic High School and Grand Rapids Christian School.

He wasn’t the only Wolverine to join the Class of 2022. A Jenison native, David Brandt was honored after a distinguished career in Michigan, where he played offense for the 1997 Michigan national championship team.

“I was very fortunate to grow up in Jenison,” Brandt said. “We had a really great football program back then. Every year we won. We were really good my senior year, we went 10-1, and then I was lucky enough to play for Michigan, so I was always in the state. I left for a while (for a brief stint in the NFL), but I’ve always enjoyed being here.”

Cornerstone men’s basketball coach Kim Elders was also inducted into the Hall of Fame, adding to his list of accomplishments, including multiple national championships while coaching the Golden Eagles.

“I’m blown away and it’s just blown away to see all these faces. It’s just great for me to be honored in Grand Rapids, where I grew up, and it’s on par with some of the other awards, and it’s a very exciting night for me,” said Elders.

Josette (Carter) McCullough was also inducted as a former Ottawa Hills triathlete and as a standout DI basketball player at the University of Delaware.

“Coming back home and being welcomed with open arms is hard to put into words, but I’m just really looking forward to it,” she said.

This also marks the third induction into the Hall of Fame of the year for Laura (Heyboer) Heethuis, former Michigan State soccer player and Unity Christian soccer player. She set multiple state records and was a three-time All American with the Spartans.

“Seeing the women up there, it’s Title IX’s 50th year, so to see people who paved the way for someone like me to come through and be a part of women’s sport, and of course all those people too,” she said. “Grand Rapids is great, West Michigan is great, so the opportunity to be up there alongside them could open up opportunities for others, so I’m hoping to do that.”

Diane House was also recognized as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The former gym teacher has been involved in West Michigan’s athletic community for more than 50 years and founded the local Special Olympics program. The Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame welcomes the class of 2022

Dais Johnston

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