Sports

O.J. McDuffie, Roberto Luongo and Tamara James to be inducted in Broward Sports Hall of Fame  

Tamara James, Roberto Luongo and Otis James “O.J.” McDuffie will be inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame later this month, the committee announced Monday.

Also included in the 2019 class are fisherman Dr. Guy Harvey, soccer player Eddie Rodger and swimmer Jesse Vassallo.

McDuffie, a Plantation resident from central Ohio, spent his entire eight-year career with the Miami Dolphins. Selected with the 25th overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, the Penn State All-American emerged as one of Dan Marino’s favorite targets in the quarterback’s later years.

The 49-year-old now co-hosts a weekly podcast where guests share untold stories from their time either covering or working for the Fins. McDuffie also founded the Catch 81 Foundation, a nonprofit committed to improving the lives of South Florida youth.

Luongo, 40, played for the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks during his 20-year career. Known as one of the most successful goalies in NHL history, his 489 career wins rank third all time. After hanging up his cleats in July, the Panthers announced Luongo will be the first player in franchise history to have his jersey retired.

While his two stints in South Florida made him a fan favorite, it might have been his voice off the ice that truly cemented him in the hearts of Panthers fans. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, Luongo gave an emotional speech to the crowd at a February Panthers game.

James, a Dania Beach native, is the quintessential definition of a South Florida legend. A graduate of South Broward High School, the 35-year-old won three state basketball championships, earning MVP honors in each game. James chose to stay local, continuing her career at the University of Miami where she became the all-time leading scorer for both men and women.

After spending nine years in the WNBA and overseas, James returned home where she was later elected mayor of Dania Beach. She now serves as a city commissioner.

The banquet and induction dinner will take place at 5:30 p.m. on October 29 at the Broward County Convention Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Broward County Sports Development office at (954) 767-2455 or emailing sfisher@broward.org.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.
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