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Two Named to WNCC Athletics Hall of Fame Inaugural Class

January 09, 2017
Western Nebraska Community College proudly announces the inaugural class of the Western Nebraska Community College Athletics of Fame. As part of the college's 90th Anniversary celebration, Bobby Jackson and Dick "Night Train" Lane will be enshrined this month in conjunction with the Cougars' men's & women's basketball games with Casper College on Jan. 23, 2017.
The creation of the WNCC Athletics Hall of Fame serves to honor Cougars Athletics programs and student-athletes who have won two team national championships, captured 59 Region IX titles, and 58 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Americans.
"WNCC has a rich history and tradition of excellence in athletics, and our student-athletes have obviously played a key role in building this reputation," Athletics Director Ryan Burgner said. "We thought the 90th Anniversary would be the perfect opportunity to unveil our inaugural class."
Arguably the most popular player to come out of the men's basketball program, Bobby Jackson played for the Cougars from 1993-1995. The guard from Salisbury, North Carolina, ranks in the top 25 in many categories in the WNCC record book. He is the all-time leader in steals (156), sixth in assists (3.64/game), and 12th in free throws made (150). During his sophomore season, the Cougars finished third in the nation.
After graduating from WNCC, Jackson went on to play at the University of Minnesota and was later selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1997 NBA draft. Jackson enjoyed 12 seasons in the NBA, playing the majority with the Sacramento Kings, where he was a crowd favorite and known as "Action Jackson." His best season came in 2002-2003 when he earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award after averaging a career-best 15.2 points per game. He retired in 2009 and later became an assistant coach for the Kings and a player development coach for the University of Minnesota. Today, he is a radio color analyst for the Kings.
In 2004, Jackson established the Bobby Jackson Foundation, a community-based organization that was created in honor of his mother Sarah, who passed away after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. In addition, he serves as a local spokesman for the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
NFL Hall of Famer Dick "Night Train" Lane played offense and defense for the then Scottsbluff Junior College football team during the 1946-1947 season. Few statistics were kept in those days, but a quote from the college's newspaper proved quite prophetic as far as Lane's future was concerned: "He is outstanding for his vicious tackling, hard running and pass snatching." Coach Bill Putnam called the Austin, Texas, native "a coach's dream."
The Cougars managed a 5-2-1 mark that season, and a third place finish in the Nebraska Junior College Conference. Lane was named an All-American and a member of the All-Nebraska junior college team. Lane stayed at SJC for just one year, opting instead to join the military with a friend.
In 1952, the 24-year-old Army veteran was "looking for a good job" when he stopped in the offices at the Los Angeles Rams and asked for a tryout. Lane made the team, and in his rookie season as a defensive end, set an NFL single season record for interceptions with 14, a number that still stands today.
Lane spent the majority of his 14 years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions. He recorded 68 interceptions, was selected as a First-Team All-NFL player seven times, and played in seven Pro Bowls. In 1974, he was inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame and is still remembered as one of the hardest hitters in NFL history. He passed away in January 2002 at the age of 73.
An induction ceremony featuring Jackson and Dick Lane's three sons will be the focal point for an evening full of festivities on Jan. 23. The women's game tips off at 5:30 p.m. The induction ceremony will take place at halftime of the men's game, which begins at 7:30. In addition, WNCC is offering free rally towels to the first 750 fans; an autograph session with Jackson and all WNCC athletic teams; and a Kids station with face painting and tattoos.