The College Park Skyhawks announced today that community figures and leaders will be honored during the team’s game on Friday, Feb. 7 to celebrate Black History Month. Honorees are Charlie Criss, Jim Washington, Helen Bellamy, Walter Banks and Bianca Motley Broom.
Helen Bellamy is the widow of Walt Bellamy, a four-time NBA All-Star and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. Bellamy played the final four seasons of his career with the Hawks, from 1970-1974, and was an esteemed member of the Atlanta and College Park communities. He served as the commissioner of Atlanta’s Police Athletic League, was a member of the NAACP, a mentor at the local YMCA, and a sergeant-at-arms at the Georgia Senate.
“I am deeply grateful to the College Park Skyhawks organization for this recognition,” said Motley Broom. “Being acknowledged alongside an Atlanta legend, Mr. Walter Banks, is even more of an honor. As we continue to build the community we deserve, the Skyhawks are an integral part of our vision. I look forward to our continued partnership!”
Criss was a member of the Atlanta Hawks from 1977-1985 and again from 1984 until he finished his career in 1986. Washington, the sixth overall pick in the 1965 NBA Draft, was selected by the St. Louis Hawks before rejoining the franchise once they became the Atlanta Hawks from 1971-75.
Banks is the longest-tenured Atlanta Braves employee and has served as an usher for the club for 55 years. Motley Broom, the mayor of College Park, is the first female and first African American to be elected in the role.
Bellamy, Criss and Washington will be recognized at halftime, while Banks and Motley Broom will be recognized at various timeouts. Postgame, a step show competition will take place for attending members of the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities.
The Skyhawks, 17-15, return home for the Feb. 7 game vs. the Delaware Blue Coats. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Gateway Center Arena @ College Park.