- Central High
2023 Omaha Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame Honorees and Induction Ceremony
Omaha Public Schools is proud to recognize the 2023 inductees to the Omaha Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame.
The ceremony will be held Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at the CHI Center Junior Ballroom, 455 N. 10th St. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7:15 p.m.
Admission is $75 per person / $750 for a table of 10, which includes dinner.
The event includes a cash bar and a silent auction.
Proceeds from the Hall of Fame banquet will be applied to Omaha Public Schools student-athlete and staff activities.
This year's honorees include:
Stephanie Jones, Benson High, starred for the Bunnies in Girls' Basketball in the late 1990s, capturing numerous state and national honors, highlighted by being named captain of the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star's Super-State teams and being recognized as a First-Team All-American by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, Street & Smith's and Parade Magazine during her senior season in 1999.
Percy Keith, Bryan High, lettered in three sports for the Bears, excelling on the gridiron in the late 1970s, including recognitions on multiple All-State teams, selections to the Nebraska Shrine Bowl and the opportunity to continue his career at the collegiate level for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Rich Hood, Burke High, coached the Bulldogs Boys' Swim program for 40 years, leading Burke High to three NSAA State Swim Team Championships and numerous individual titles. Burke High's annual invitational swim meet is now named in Hood's honor, as well as a scholarship fund to assist athletes from across Omaha Public Schools throughout their swimming careers.
Casey (Bigsby) Denton, Central High, was a three-sport star for the Eagles, highlighted by multiple All-State honors in Soccer and Cross Country. Denton has now returned to Central High as a teacher, leading the Eagles' Academic Coaching program for student-athletes and was named the Central High Teacher of the Year in 2022.
Danny Miller, North High, was part of the "Four Norsemen" backfield that led the Vikings to an undefeated season and State Football Championship in 1961. Miller would continue his football career at the University of Kansas, leading the Jayhawks in rushing in 1965.
Brijesh "B.J." Lawrence, Northwest High, is a two-time Olympian in Track and Field, competing in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio games. Lawrence also captured international medals in the 2011 World Championships and Pan American Games. During his senior year at Northwest High, Lawrence earned the 100M Class A Championship and 200M All-Class Gold Medal.
Cedric Hunter, South High, lettered in four years of basketball for the Packers, averaging 23 points per game as a junior and an outstanding 27.3 per game as a senior. Hunter continued his career on the hardwood as a member of the University of Kansas Jayhawks, including starting at point guard for their 1986 Final Four team, before a multi-year professional career in the NBA and CBA.
Fred Hare, Tech High, is regarded as one of the best basketball players in state history, leading the Trojans to multiple tournaments in the 1960s and being named to multiple All-State teams. Hare became a star player for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers before a multi-year professional career with the NBA and Harlem Globetrotters.
Shawn Exner, Middle School Honoree, has served Omaha Public Schools as an exemplary educator and coach for many years, including leading multiple teams to City League championships at Bryan Middle. Exner's impact on the lives of countless youth in Omaha remains immeasurable; he was enthusiastically selected for this honor by his peers, administrators and former students.