Roger Ayers, one of best officials in college basketball, will be the guest speaker at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club monthly meeting on Monday, Oct. 19 at the Salem Civic Center.
Roger is a Roanoke resident who has officiated over a thousand basketball games in his career. He has been calling games in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1998 and has been selected to officiate the NCAA tournament more than a dozen times, including the Final Four. College basketball data guru Ken Pomeroy has consistently ranked Roger as one of the best NCAA officials in the game, twice ranking him number one.
In keeping with the Sports Club tradition of honoring local high school state champions, the club will be honoring the Cave Spring Knights boys’ basketball team for their state championship last season. The Sports Club will also be inducting five new members into their Sports Legends Program for their career accomplishments , Paul Barnard, Woody Deans, Ed Green, Burrall Paye and Troy Wells.
Barnard is a longtime basketball coach at William Byrd and Salem High School as well as an assistant coach at Roanoke College. He has been coaching for almost 50 years and is still on the bench.
Deans attended Patrick Henry as a student and ended up spending over 30 years at the school as a teacher, coach, and athletic director. Under his guidance the Patriots won state titles in 1988 and 1992. The basketball court at Patrick Henry bears his name.
Green has over 40 years of combined coaching experience at the college and high school level. While coaching at Roanoke College, his teams won seven consecutive Old Dominion Conference Championships and went to the NCAA tournament eight of his 12 years, including a final four in 1983. He also coached high school basketball at North Cross and Eastern Montgomery.
Paye coached for 37 years at Whittle Springs (Tenn.), Powell Valley and William Fleming High Schools where his teams won over 760 games and 64 different championships. He won 42 different coach of the year awards, including state Coach of the Year (twice) and the National Federation Interscholastic Association Outstanding Coach of the Year. He has written 12 books on basketball and hundreds of articles for national basketball magazines.
Wells coached high school basketball for 44 years at William Fleming, Christiansburg, Martinsville and Hidden Valley. He was part of eight state titles at Martinsville, including three as head coach (2001, 2002, and 2006). Wells was inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame in 2012.
To address concerns with COVID-19, face coverings will be required and social distancing will be in effect for this special event with four people seated to a table for eight. Reservations are required and must be made by Thursday, Oct. 15. No walk-ups or pay at the door entries will be accepted.
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club has been in existence since the 1970s, and is made up of individuals who love sports and love to talk about all aspects of the games. Over the history of the club, guest speakers have included coaches such as Lefty Driesell, Frank Beamer, Tony Bennett, Mike Young, UVA Athletic Director Carla Williams, NBA players Dell Curry and Bimbo Coles, NFL referee Terry McAulay, NCAA football official Jim Hyson, and ESPN personality Marty Smith.
The club encourages anyone who loves sports to attend the meeting, which includes a buffet meal. Cost is only $22 for non-members and $10 for children 4 to16. Children under 4 are free.
For more information and to reserve a spot, visit https://roanokevalleysportsclub.com/ .