Two former Elizabeth City State student-athletes were elected to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association John B. McLendon Hall of Fame.
Johnnie Walton, who played football for the Vikings in late 1960s, and Celeste Trahan-Davis, an ECSU women’s basketball player in the 2000s, were elected to the CIAA’s Class of 2021 Hall of Fame.
The association made the announcement Tuesday.
Walton told The Daily Advance Tuesday that he was informed of his selection a couple of days ago.
The former Viking was appreciative of his election into the CIAA Hall of Fame.
Walton noted that being elected to the hall of fame was important and was appreciative of being honored.
According to the CIAA, Walton was a four-year starter at quarterback for Elizabeth City State University (1965-68). He earned all-CIAA honors after his senior season in 1968, completing 114 of 204 passes for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns and leading the Vikings to an 8-1 record.
After graduating from ECSU in 1969, Walton began his playing career with the Los Angeles Rams and making history in the process as the first African American quarterback from the state of North Carolina to play in the National Football League. He also played in the Continental Football League with the Indianapolis Capitols, leading the team to a league title and becoming the African American quarterback to win a championship at the professional level. In that season, Walton was also selected as the Continental Football League’s Most Valuable Player.
Walton briefly left his professional playing career in 1979 and returned to ECSU to lead the football program as head coach.
From 1980-82, Walton compiled a 20-10-1 overall record and finished 14-7 in CIAA play, helping the Vikings advance to the Division II playoffs in just his second season.
Trahan-Davis is currently a member of the Valencia Basket Club based in Valencia, Spain.
While at ECSU, she went by Trahan as her last name.
According to the CIAA, Trahan was a two-time CIAA Player of the Year (2007, 2008), 2008 CIAA Defensive Player of the Year, and became the first ECSU player to earn all-CIAA honors in four straight seasons (2005-08). She was named to the CIAA All-Tournament team from 2005-07 and was a two-time All-America selection by both Daktronics and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
As a senior, Trahan was named South Atlantic Player of the Year and the Ron Lenz National Player of the Year after leading NCAA Division II in rebounding (15.9 rpg) and finishing second in scoring (23.7 ppg). In the same season, she became the first woman in NCAA Division II history to record 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds in a career.
Trahan ranks as the second-leading rebounder (1,542) and fourth-leading scorer (2,151) in CIAA history. She became the first female athlete in ECSU history to have her jersey number retired (#00).
Joining Walton and Trahan-Davis in the 2021 class are Cassie King (North Carolina Central University), Kenny Phillips (Fayetteville State University), Johnny Stoutamire, Jr. (Livingstone College) and Greg Toler (Saint Paul’s College).
The 2021 John B. McLendon CIAA Hall of Fame class will be celebrated in a virtual presentation that will air on Friday, Feb. 26 via the CIAA Sports Network.