Nick Rimando, Haloti Ngata headline Utah Sports Hall of Fame class

Sports

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Five new members were inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Monday night, headlined by former Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando and 5-time NFL Pro Bowl lineman Haloti Ngata.

Professional golfer Jay Don Blake, Olympic water polo player Courtney Young Johnson, and collegiate track All-American Teri Okelberry Spiers were also inducted.

Ngata, a Highland High School graduate, was the 12th overall pick out of the University of Oregon by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2006 NFL Draft. He went on to play 13 seasons for the Ravens, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. Ngata helped Baltimore win the Super Bowl in 2012.

“I couldn’t imagine this when I was young,” Ngata said. “Growing up and going to Highland, I never thought I’d end up here. I’m just lucky and blessed to have a great career, come back home and be a part of this.”

Nicknamed “The Wall of the Wastch,” Rimando played 13 seasons for Real Salt Lake, and became perhaps the greatest goalkeeper in Major League Soccer history. Rimando is the all-time leader in wins, saves and shutouts. He helped RSL win the 2009 MLS Cup, and is the first professional soccer player to be inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.

“That’s big, right? It’s an honor. It was a surprise, honestly, to get that call. To retire in 2019, and then to be honored in a city that you’ve done so much for the sport. The city means so much to me.”

St. George native and Utah State product Jay Don Blake won a PGA Tour event in 1991 at Torrey Pines, becoming the last local golfer to win a PGA event until Tony Finau won in 2016. Blake made 499 starts on the PGA Tour, and tied for sixth place in the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Teri Okelberry Spiers won 14 individual and state championships as a three-sport star in track, volleyball and basketball. She went on to star at Weber State University, where she helped the Wildcats win a Big Sky Conference volleyball championship and was a three-time All-American in track and field.

Courtney Young Johnson, a Salt Lake City native and Skyline High graduate, earned a silver medal at the first ever women’s Olympic water polo competition in 2000, representing the United States.

The induction ceremony was hosted by ABC4’s Wesley Ruff.

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