Lloyd Wills, the first-ever Black athlete to play for Louisiana State University, was selected as one of the nine members of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
Wills joined LSU’s track and field team in 1969, breaking barriers for other athletes at the school. The New Orleans native was a four-time All-American champion in the 440-yard dash and mile relay and went on to lead LSU to a then-record breaking win at the 1972 Drake Relays, according to The Advocate.
Lora Hinton, the first Black football player to play for LSU, was also selected to be inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame this year.
“His courageous decision to attend LSU as an 18-year-old has helped to pave the way for thousands of Black student-athletes to play football at the university,” the school said of Hinton in a statement.
Hinton, a native of Chesapeake, Virginia, first attended the school in 1971 and played running back before sustaining a knee injury. He returned for the 1973 football season and lettered each year until 1975. While at the school, Hinton helped mentor other Black students who arrived on the college campus in the wake of desegregation.
Bruce Reid, Ashleigh Clare-Kearney Thigpen, and Peta-Gaye Dowdie are the other Black inductees in this year's class.
LSU recently named Dr. William F. Tate IV as its first Black president.