Florida Sports Hall of Fame announces Pensacola will host induction in 2018 Bill Vilona

Pensacola natives Roy Jones Jr. (top left), Jerry Pate (top right), Justin Gatlin (bottom left) and Michelle Snow (bottom right).(Photo: File photos)

Four of Pensacola’s greatest athletes, all of whom attained worldwide fame, will have a hometown induction into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.

Jerry Pate, Roy Jones Jr., Justin Gatlin and Michelle Snow were announced Tuesday as part of a marquee 2018 class that will be enshrined Nov. 7 at the National Naval Aviation Museum on Pensacola Naval Air Station.

“Collectively, it would be hard to imagine four athletes in any market who could equal or succeed the achievements these four have accomplished in their lifetime,” said Gordon Sprague, vice president of the FSHOF and a Gulf Breeze resident. Sprague was part of a news conference Tuesday at the Andrews Institute to announce the Hall of Fame class.

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Snow, 38, who just finished what she believes is her final professional basketball season in Europe and is now back in Pensacola, was able to attend Tuesday’s event. She is close friends with Jones, along with Gatlin, who attended Tennessee (he is 2 years younger) at the same time as Snow. 

“It is hard to wrap your head around this,” Snow said. “It is amazing to think I am being inducted with awesome people like Roy (Jones). He is one of the biggest reasons I made it out of Pensacola.

“He would help me get to camps and different things to make sure I got the chance to get the exposure. So to be standing on that same