James tapped for SWAC Hall of Fame

One of Grambling’s own is among the just-announced inductees into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.Former GSU basketball star Aaron James, who led the nation in scoring during the 1973-74 season and was a first-round draft pick of the New Orleans Jazz in 1974, is one of six 2010 Hall of Fame inductees announced by SWAC officials on Tuesday.

James is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport and Leisure Studies at GSU.

“I just think it’s great when people you know – your friends, your peers, people who have seen you play – pick you for such an honor,” James said.

The New Orleans native was SWAC Freshman of the Year in 1971, and was a two-time All-America selection and three-time all-SWAC selection. James averaged 32.1 points per game when he led the nation in scoring, just part of the 2,251 career points he amassed at Grambling.

After retiring from the National Basketball Association in 1979 and playing professionally overseas, James served as head coach and physical education instructor at Jarvis Christian College in Texas and later returned to his alma mater as head men’s basketball coach, assistant women’s basketball coach and assistant athletics director.

James maintains a high profile around Grambling. On campus, he is the Assistant Bayou Classic Committee Coordinator for GSU and serves as a Major’s Club adviser in the KSLS Department.

In the community, he is an active member of the Friends of Eddie G. Robinson Museum, Boy Scouts of America, Louisiana Parks and Recreation Association, Grambling State Faculty Senate, and the Black Empowerment Apprenticeship Program.

He is also a member of the NBA Retired Players Association.

The other 2010 SWAC Hall of Fame inductees include Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, who played baseball at Jackson State; Clyde Duncan, a track and field star at Texas Southern; Charlie Granger, a football and track and field star at Southern; Willie “Rat” McGowan, who played baseball and football at Alcorn State; and Shirley Walker, a basketball star at Alcorn State.

The inductees will be honored on Thursday, Dec. 9, at an invitational reception at the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham, Ala., as a part of the festivities surrounding the 2010 Farmers Insurance SWAC Football Championship Game.