Sept. 30, 2013
This is the second of a five part series featuring the 2013 Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame Class. The 2013 induction ceremonies will take place on Thursday, Oct. 3 from 6-9 p.m. at the Lavin-Bernick Center on the Tulane University Uptown campus.
He's won an ESPY, he's Tulane's all-time leading scorer, he's a member of the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and this year former Green Wave basketball standout Jerald Honeycutt will add Tulane Athletic Hall of Fame to his accolades.
Honeycutt, who starred for the Green Wave from 1993 to 1997, will join the ranks of the Tulane elite during the Oct. 5 weekend celebration. He will be inducted alongside former football receiver Roydell Williams, baseball pitcher Brandon Belanger, track sprinter Lana Garner and former sports information director Bill Curl.
"Words can't describe my feelings," Honeycutt said. "I was very excited and actually shocked. I'm blessed to not only be a part of the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame, but a part of my Universities as well."
When he left Tulane's campus after his senior season in 1997, was one of the most prolific players to ever don the Olive and Blue on the basketball court.
The 2013 Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame inductee left the program after four of the best seasons Green Wave basketball had ever seen and the Grambling, La., native held the school's career records for points (2,209), three-point field goals made (193), three-point field goals attempted (627), free throws made (434), free throws attempted (646) and assists (419). He also finished second in steals with 235 and blocked shots with 163 and was fifth in rebounds with 870.
Not a bad career for a 6-9 forward that was the first McDonald's and Parade Magazine All-American to sign with Tulane.
In addition for his outstanding numbers, Honeycutt remains the only player to be selected first team All-Conference three straight seasons. The big man was named first team All-Metro Conference following his sophomore and junior seasons and earned first team All-Conference USA as a senior in 1996-97.
During his time with the Green Wave, Honeycutt helped guide the program to four straight post season appearances, including the NCAA Tournament in 1995 where Tulane defeated BYU, 76-70, in the opening round and fell to Kentucky in the second round.
Behind Honeycutt, Tulane also made its greatest post season run in the program's history by reaching the national semifinals on the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1996, earning third-place with a victory over Alabama in the third-place game after falling to Nebraska in the semifinal. Honeycutt averaged 19.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in the Green Wave's five-game run.
"We started out not being on anyone's radar," Honeycutt said about his team's success. "We got better as the year went on and eventually ended up being ranked and had postseason success. It doesn't matter how you start off during the year, it is how you finish. It was just a great experience."
Honeycutt owes much of his success to his head coach Perry Clark. Clark landed the heavily-recruited Honeycutt at Tulane and history was made.
"Jerald Honeycutt was probably the most versatile player that I ever coached and probably was the most versatile player ever at Tulane - maybe in the entire state of Louisiana," Clark said. "He had a point guard's mentality and passing ability; he had the body of a post man and the shooting touch of a wing player."
Clark led the Green Wave for 11 seasons from 1989 to 2000, including all four of Honeycutt's seasons.
"I gravitated to people that pushed and challenged me because I always felt that determined how much they cared," Honeycutt said. "A lot of people thought that conflicted with our relationship on the sidelines. With Coach Clark his door was always open. If I was going through something I could always reach out to him and because we had that relationship off the floor at times, people didn't understand the relationship we had on the floor.
"He is a great guy though and I couldn't have done the things I did without him and I am very grateful for the opportunity he gave me," Honeycutt added.
One opportunity Clark afforded Honeycutt came in the waning seconds of Tulane's game against Florida State in the Louisiana Superdome on December 5, 1995. With the Green Wave trailing the Seminoles, 77-76, with seconds remaining, Clark called Honeycutt's number and the junior knocked down an acrobatic jumper from the baseline for a 78-77 victory.
That shot, Honeycutt's most memorable moment at Tulane, earned him an ESPY in 1997 for the College Basketball Play of the Year.
"There are so many moments for me, but the most memorable has to be the shot against Florida State for more than just the reason of receiving the ESPY, but because we were in the middle of midterms," Honeycutt said. "After the game I was on cloud nine and after we hit the showers, the first thing they told us in the locker room was study hall was in an hour. That brought me right back to reality because we still had our obligations in the class room."
His fortunes in basketball didn't end at Tulane, though. Honeycutt was selected as the 38th overall selection (10th pick of the second round) by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1997 NBA Draft. He played two seasons in the league with the Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers after averaged 5.1 points in 54 career games.
Despite his NBA career not panning out the way he would have liked, Honeycutt was able to play professional basketball in both the United States and overseas until his retirement in 2012.
Honeycutt played in the Continental Basketball Association for the Grand Rapids Hoops and enjoyed a career overseas in the Philippines, Greece, Russia, Lebanon and Japan.
With his basketball playing days behind him, Honeycutt now enjoys giving back, the way that people helped him develop not only into a star basketball player, but also a fine young man. Honeycutt currently is working helping the Dallas-area kids, teaching skill training for basketball and life.
"I love being able to give back to the younger kids," Honeycutt concluded. "It is going really well for me and I enjoy it a lot."
The 2013 Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame Class Profiles:
Part I: Belanger Closes Out Tulane Career with Induction into Hall of Fame