2017 Gibbs High School Hall of Fame inductees
BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – For 25 years, the Gibbs Gladiator Alumni Association has been celebrating extraordinary athletes and inducting them into the Gladiator Hall of Fame. This year’s induction ceremony took place last Thursday, May 18 and saw 12 outstanding athletes honored for football, basketball and baseball.
President of the alumni association Minson Rubin stressed patience in waiting to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ninety years of students are blended in by decades to make sure each year a wide range of athletes are honored. Such recognizable names include former Buccaneer Shaun King, former world boxing champions Winky Wright and Jeff Lacy and Super Bowl IX and X champion Glen Edwards.
L-R, Rufus Lewis, Jordan and Earl Presley, Jr.
- L-R, Rufus Lewis, Jordan and Earl Presley, Jr.
The youngest son of 12 children, Carlton Hooker was born to the late Elijah and Edna Hooker. Like his parents and siblings, he attended school in Pinellas County. He loved music, boxing, baseball and track, but football became his passion.
He developed his talent at an early age playing on vacant lots, in alleys and on the streets of the Gas Plant neighborhood. He really developed his skills at Sixteenth Street Junior High School where Coaches Bobby Jenkins and Sidney Campbell gave him the opportunity to showcase his athleticism.
Hooker’s journey continued at Gibbs High School where he made varsity in his sophomore year, allowing him to display and master skills as a center (offensive line). Under the training and mentorship of Coach Al Campbell and staff, he was named co-captain of the team his senior year.
After graduation, Hooker joined the United States Marine Corp. and was sent to Vietnam. He was injured and earned two Purple Hearts. After his tour, he returned home and married Gussie-Lorraine Johnson. This union produced three sons.
His sons reenergized his love for sports and he began coaching the Gibbs Junior Gladiators and St. Pete Little Green Devils. Coaching became his greatest reward for it allowed him to touch several generations both on and off the field.
Coach Eileen Johnson Boozy was the girls’ basketball coach and social studies teacher at Gibbs High School. She is the daughter of Gibbs Hall of Famer Willie Mae Brown, also known as Dear Johnson. Her father is the late Cleveland Johnson Sr. who is enshrined among the legends of the African American Heritage Trail here in St. Petersburg.
Boozy received an academic scholarship to attend Florida A&M University where she was the only freshman allowed on the college basketball team. She graduated with bachelor’s degree in social studies and a master’s degree in guidance counseling in school psychology.
Her most outstanding coaching honor is being the first female coach of an all-male sport in the state of Florida. Her team, the Warriors of Osceola High, boasted a winning record for each of her three seasons.
Boozy started at Gibbs in 1989 coaching girls junior varsity and moved on to varsity. She received awards for being the most dependable and dedicated head coach, basketball district leader and runner-up, Gibbs Outstanding Educator in 2002 and 2003 and a certificate of recognition for raising over $20,000 from then principal Barbara Shorter on behalf of Tropicana Field in 1998.
Boozy retired from Pinellas County Schools at Gibbs after 35 years.
Teacher and coach, Eddie Jackson came to Pinellas County Schools in August of 1978. In the classroom, he continues to not only teach but inspire young people to reach goals that they never dreamed possible.
He successfully teaches diverse groups of students and is skilled in evaluating needs and developing student-focused teaching strategies, teacher aide materials and lessons plans.
As a coach, Jackson often tells his players that the gym is also a classroom and that they need to have the same approach on the field as they do in their coursework. He feels their learning in the gym should parallel the learning in the classroom and that all classrooms should give lessons that will benefit a student for a lifetime.
Jackson considers it a blessing to have worked with some outstanding student athletes. Being humble and having the ability to adapt to the changing times and the new breed of athlete has played a major role in his success as a coach.
Born in St. Petersburg in 1964, Greg Wimberly attended Jordan Park Elementary, Diston and Lealman Middle Schools and Gibbs High School, graduating in 1982. He played junior varsity basketball from 1978-1980 and varsity under Coach Freddie Dyles from 1980-82.
During his time on the court, he was two-time First Team All-Pinellas County Conference, received honorable mention on the All-State and Third Team All-State. In his senior year, they were district champions with a 26-4 record.
He went on to play for St. Petersburg Junior College and Union College, where he graduated with a degree in business administration.
Wimberly has lived and worked for the last six years in the United Kingdom and has just moved back to the United States where he and family live in Atlanta.
John Allen, Sr.
After graduating in from Gibbs in 1965, John Allen, Sr. was drafted into the army where he spent two years. Upon returning home, he married his high school sweetheart. They have one son, John Allen, Jr., three grandchildren, Tiara, Marquise and Darrian, and one great-grandson, Ayden.
Allen retired from UPS after 30 years of service. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his prowess on the basketball court.
Minson R. Rubin II
Born April 14, 1969, to Minson Sr. and Myra Rubin, Minson Rubin II became interested in sports at an early age. His first experience in organized basketball came as a seventh grader at Tyrone Middle School where he was noticed for his height.
Rubin II entered Gibbs High School at 6 feet 5 inches and played on the junior varsity team his ninth and tenth-grade year, but by his junior year, he started to show potential and promise as a center. He was the man in the middle for the mighty Gibbs Gladiator Varsity Basketball team, blocking shots and scoring.
He went on to play at Hiwassee Junior College in South Carolina and eventually to Northwest Illinois University in Chicago, where he received numerous accolades and bachelors of science degree.
Rubin II, his wife Nancy and their three children live in the Chicago area where he is a middle school teacher and coach.
Born in St. Petersburg on February 23, 1953, Earl Harris attended Campbell Park Elementary and Sixteenth Street Junior High School. In the fourth grade, his love for sports began. By junior high, he was on the volleyball, track, tumbling and football teams.
At Gibbs High School, Harris played quarterback, running back, cornerback and other positions under Coaches Al Campbell, Robert Jenkins, Marshal Brown and Thomas “Jet” Jackson.
After high school, Harris attended Howard University in Washington, DC, where he continued on the gridiron and received a bachelor’s of science degree in recreation.
Born March 5, 1954, to Johnny and Theresa Timmons, Preston Timmons discovered baseball at a very early age. He played on Little League and Junior Major League baseball teams throughout his youth.
Timmons played baseball and football at Gibbs High School, and as a result to his dedication, he was awarded four baseball scholarships to attend college. He graduated from Bethune-Cookman College in 1977 with a bachelor of science degree in physical education. This led to a long career as an educator and athletic coach in Pinellas County Schools.
His love affair with the sport of baseball continues and is expressed often as he encourages and mentors young potential athletes whenever the opportunity arises.
Timmons married his wife, Ada Ward, on New Year’s Day in 1988. Together they raised two daughters and now have four grandchildren.
A native of St. Petersburg, Romahn Hemingway played point guard on the basketball team all four years at Sixteenth Street Middle School. After his sophomore year, he was MVP of the junior varsity team at Gibbs High School.
During his senior year, he was team captain, leading them to the conference championship. Hemingway was also the winner of the Eckerd College Invitational High School Christmas Tournament.
He led the team in assists and was known for consistently shutting down opponents’ best backcourt scorers. He was also selected to play on the Tampa Bay All-Stars team competing against the Southeast’s top talent.
Hemingway attended Howard University on a scholarship and received a business degree with a focus on computer information systems. Never leaving the game, he coached youth in the Atlanta area and is currently a certified basketball agent for the NBA/WNBA and FIBA, the International Basketball Federation.
Tommie Lee, Jr.
Born in St. Petersburg in 1946, Tommie Lee, Jr. attended Sixteenth Street Junior High School where he played football under Coach Robert Jenkins. He continued playing at Gibbs High School under the direction of coaches Lou Brown and Alphonso Campbell.
After graduating high school in 1965, he worked for the City of St. Petersburg in the sanitation department for 40 years and retired in 2004.
A native of St. Petersburg, Zonald Waters graduated from Gibbs High School in 1965. While at Gibbs, he excelled in football, track and wrestling. The St. Petersburg Quarterback Club recognized him in 1965 for his leadership, scholarship, sportsmanship and athletic ability. As a member of the track team, he was the number two seed in the state of Florida in open quarter mile.
After high school, he was drafted into the United States Army and served a tour of duty in Vietnam, during which time he received the Bronze Star for distinguishing himself by heroic service. He graduated from Pinellas Vocational Technical Institute in 1970 with a certification in Air Conditioning Technology.
His love for sports continued to manifest in adulthood as he served as president of Largo for Youth for 25 years, where he provided youth football and cheerleading programs for young people ages 5 to 15. Three professional football players received their foundation there, one of which played in the NFL Pro Bowl.
Waters is a compassionate community servant. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, St. Petersburg Chapter for 15 years. In 2013, the Friends of Ridgecrest, Inc. and the Greater Ridgecrest Community recognized him for decades of faithful and dedicated service to the community.
far right, Earl Presley, Jr.
Earl Presley, Sr.
Born November 10, 1942, Earl Presley, Sr. was involved in a number of school-wide activities such as the Sportsman Club and the football and baseball teams at Gibbs High School. He graduated in 1961 and attended Tennessee State University.
As a child, Presley Sr. dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but instead became a detention officer at the Regional Juvenile Detention Center and a R’Club and YMCA counselor. Presley Sr. died Oct. 19, 2002.
His son Earl Presley, Jr. and grandson Jordan Presley were on hand to collect senior’s plaque. Presley, Jr. said his father taught him how to be a father and that is what made the biggest impression on him, not his athleticism.
“Be involved in your children’s lives,” he said. “Accomplishments don’t mean nothing until you’ve made an impact on someone’s life.”
Gibbs High School is named for Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs, an African-American man who held Florida state office during the Reconstruction era, serving as Secretary of State in 1868 and State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1873. Gibbs’ current principal is Reuben Hepburn.