Nick Rimando and Haloti Ngata Headlining Utah Sports Hall of Fame Class
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Five new members were inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night, with former Real Salt Lake goaltender Nick Rimando and five-time player headlining NFL Pro Bowl line-up Haloti Ngata.
Professional golfer Jay Don Blake, Olympic water polo player Courtney Young Johnson and All-American collegiate track Teri Okelberry Spiers were also inducted.
Ngata, a Highland High School graduate, was the University of Oregon 12th overall pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2006 NFL Draft. He went on to play 13 seasons for the Ravens, Detroit Lions. and the Philadelphia Eagles. Ngata helped Baltimore win the Super Bowl in 2012.
“I couldn’t imagine this when I was young,” Ngata said. “Growing up and going to Highland, I never thought I would end up here. I’m just lucky and lucky to have a great career, to come home and be a part of it.
Nicknamed “The Wall of the Wastch,” Rimando played 13 seasons for Real Salt Lake and went on to become perhaps the greatest goalkeeper in Major League Soccer history. Rimando is the all-time leader in wins, saves and shutouts. He helped RSL win the 2009 MLS Cup and is the first professional football player to be inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.
“It’s big, isn’t it?” It is an honor. It was a surprise, honestly, to receive this call. Retire in 2019, then be honored in a city where you have done so much for sport. The city means so much to me.
Jay Don Blake, a native of St. George and product of the State of Utah, won a PGA Tour event in 1991 at Torrey Pines, becoming the last local golfer to win a PGA event until Tony Finau won in 2016. Blake made 499 starts on the PGA Tour and tied for sixth place at the 1992 US Open at Pebble Beach.
Teri Okelberry Spiers won 14 individual and national championships as the star of three sports in track and field, volleyball and basketball. She then played at Weber State University, where she helped the Wildcats win a Big Sky Conference volleyball championship and was a three-time All-American in track and field.
Courtney Young Johnson, a native of Salt Lake City and a graduate of Skyline High, won a silver medal in the first-ever women’s Olympic water polo competition in 2000, representing the United States.
The induction ceremony was hosted by Wesley Ruff of ABC4.