Crusaders celebrate two new HOF inductees

Jack Calonico ’19, Staff Reporter

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The 2019 SF Prep Hall of Fame will include two familiar names this year.

 

Riordan alumni, Jim Walsh and Alton Byrd are two Crusader greats who are among the select 10 athletes being inducted this May.

 

Alton Byrd ’76 was one of the greatest point guards in Riordan history and arguably in the entirety of the WCAL. Byrd was a major influence on the youthwhen playing at Riordan.

 

John Calonico ’79 shed some light on what it was like growing up with Byrd, “He was one of the best guards that played at Riordan in my lifetime. The reason why kids wanted to go to Riordan was to be like Alton Byrd.”

 

Byrd went on to Columbia University to play after his Riordan days were over. He was later drafted to the Boston Celtics. Alton went on to have an amazing 19 year professional basketball career, including playing in Britain. Byrd is now the Vice President of the Business Operations for the Long Island Nets in the NBA’s G-League.

 

In an email interview, Byrd said, “This is a great honor. One of my favorite honors since I am from San Francisco and have been a lifelong fan/supporter of high school sports. This honor has to rank top five in my career.”

 

He added, “My connection to Riordan should be so much more. My high school years were transformational in both my personal and athletic development, and I know that I would not have been the man I am today without Riordan High School and the teachers and coaches.”

 

Jim Walsh ’68 was an all-league athlete in football and track and was a part of Riordan’s first WCAL track and field championship in 1967. The following year,he won the shot put and discus to help his team in bringing home its very first WCAL championship.

 

Coach Liam Watters said, “Jim was an amazing football player at Riordan and was a key part to one of Riordan’s championships back in the day.”