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Ronnie Legette Sr.

Enshrined 2023

There are long-ago competitors in the old West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference who will be surprised not at all to learn that our town’s Ronnie Legette, Sr., is being celebrated here today.

After all, as an opposing 5-foot-10 guard for the West Virginia State College Yellow Jackets, Ronnie (a.k.a., “The Jet”) dropped 50 points and passed off for 15 assists against the Bluefield State Big Blues on one particularly stunning January night in 1986.

This was in addition to a different scoring outburst of 50 points in another league game.  And 49 points in another.  And 35 points in another.  And, well, you get the idea. So, Legette left his mark in the WVIAC — just as he did going back to his Sherman Park days in Syracuse . . . just as he would going forward as a seventh-round pick in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors of Chris Mullin and Sleepy Floyd.

Now, Ronnie Legette, Sr., a fine student, was one of those every-season athletes at Nottingham High School.  In the fall, he played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back for the Bulldogs.  And in the spring, he competed in the high jump for them.  But it was in the winter, on the basketball court, where Ronnie caused so many observers’ eyes to widen and their jaws to drop.  A three-time All-City selection and twice an All-Central New York honoree, he scored 1,264 points at Nottingham and, as a senior, led the Bulldogs to a 26-1 record and to the 1982 New York State Class B title.

And then, following a two-year stay at Salem College in Virginia, there was West Virginia State where Legette averaged 22.2 points, 10.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds in his two varsity seasons with the Yellow Jackets, leading his club as a senior co-captain to a 31-4 record and the 1987 NAIA national championship game.

There is no question, then, that “The Jet” could play.  But there has always been more to this fellow than athletic pursuits.

He used his Business Management degree from West Virginia State to serve, among other positions, as the City of Syracuse’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Works.  And now?  Now, he directs the Office of Community Planning and Development for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Ronnie, who has raised four children with his wife Pam, his bride of 36 years, lives these days in suburban Richmond, Va., where he can still be found, at the age of 59, volunteering his time and sharing his experiences with all sorts of kids in need of a reasoned voice and a steady hand.

Again, no surprise there. 

For his accomplishments in basketball and contributions to his community, Ronnie Legette, Sr., becomes a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2023.

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