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2009 Circle of Champions Inductees

2009 Circle of Champions Inductees

 

Robin Freeman
LeBron James
Dick Schafrath
Larry Siegfried
Mary Wineberg

 

Robin Freeman graduated from Cincinnati Hughes High School. Hours and hours of practice leading up to his senior season in 1952 helped him set the state’s scoring record when he averaged 39.5 points a game. And don’t forget, that was 30 years before the three-point line! He was known for pioneering the jump shot at a time when the flat-footed set shot was the norm.
     Robin then attended Ohio State, where he became the Buckeyes’ first two-time All-American. He averaged 31.5 points per game as a junior and 32.9 as a senior, and his 28 points per game average for his career is still an OSU record.
     Drafted by the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks in 1956, Robin never played pro ball, instead entering law school. He went on to a successful career as a trial lawyer in Springfield. Freeman passed away on September 23, 2014 at the age of 80.

 
LeBron James as born in Akron and attended St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, where he led the Fighting Irish to three state basketball championships and a state runner-up finish in his four prep seasons from 1999-2003.
     LeBron accumulated 2,646 points, 892 rebounds and 523 assists during his decorated high school career and scored 206 points in state tournament contests, an OHSAA state tournament record. James was not only a stellar basketball star, LeBron was an all-state performer as a sophomore wide receiver on the football team and helped take St. Vincent-St. Mary to the state semifinals his junior year.
     Following high school, LeBron was the top selection in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he continued his basketball success. Off the field, LeBron is involved in several works of charity including his own James Family Foundation. James is also involved in Akron-area charities and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. He was awarded the NBA's Community Assist Award in 2006 for his efforts.
     LeBron has won three NBA championships, leading the Miami Heat to titles in 2012 and 2013 and the Cleveland Cavaliers to the crown in 2016.  The Cavaliers became the only team in NBA Finals history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to claim the crown.  James joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to win NBA Finals MVPs with multiple teams.  Overall, James has participated in the NBA Finals in seven straight seasons (Cleveland Cavliers 2010; Miami Heat 2011-14; Cleveland Cavaliers 2015-16.)
 
Dick Schafrath was a four-sport standout at Wooster High School. He went on to earn a football scholarship from Coach Woody Hayes at Ohio State, where he was a two-time honorable mention All-American lineman; was on the 1957 team that won the school’s third National Championship and defeated Oregon in the Rose Bowl, and was team co-captain as a senior.
     
Dick was a second-round pick in the NFL draft by Cleveland and spent 13 seasons with the Browns, where he was a fixture at left tackle. He was all-pro between 1963 and 1966, played in six Pro Bowls and helped Cleveland win the 1964 NFL Championship. He retired following the 1971 season.

Dick served in the U.S. Air Force Air National Guard between 1959 and 1963 and, among his many vocations and interests following his NFL career, he was elected and served as an Ohio State Senator between 1984 and 2000. In addition, Dick returned to Ohio State nearly 50 years following his playing days to complete his education, earning a bachelor’s degree in education in August of 2007.
     Dick currently resides in Mansfield with his wife, Judy. They are the parents of seven children and have 13 grandchildren.

 
Larry Siegfried was a Shelby native who starred in basketball for the Whippets. He was an extremely versatile player who scored over 1,700 points in high school and averaged more than 38 points a game as a senior.
     
Larry went on to play collegiately at Ohio State and was part of one of the most memorable periods in Buckeye history. As a junior in 1960, he joined senior Joe Roberts and sophomores Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and Mel Nowell to lead Ohio State to its only National Championship. A Buckeye captain and All-Big Ten in 1961, Larry and his teammates were undefeated before falling in the national title game his senior year.
     
Larry was drafted by the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals but instead played for the Cleveland Pipers, who won the American Basketball League title in 1962. After that league folded, Larry was picked up by Coach Red Auerbach and the Boston Celtics.
     
Larry played seven seasons with the Celtics, and the team won five World Championships during that time. He led the NBA in free throw percentage twice, was known for his tenacious defense and had double figure scoring averages in five seasons. Larry spent his last two seasons with San Diego, Houston and Atlanta.
     Larry and his wife, Tina, lived in Perrysville. He passed away October 14, 2010.
 

Mary Wineberg was born Mary Danner in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Cincinnati when she was five. While at Walnut Hills High School, she qualified for the OHSAA’s state track and field tournament four times in the 4x200-meter relay.
     Mary began to blossom in track at the University of Cincinnati and still holds school records in the indoor and outdoor 400 meters. She not only excelled in the sport and graduated from UC with a bachelor’s degree in education in 2002, but she also met her future husband, Chris, there. Chris was an NCAA All-American in the decathlon and currently is an assistant coach for the Bearcats.
     Following graduation, Mary has run professionally and qualified for the 2004 Olympic Trials. While she did not make the U.S. Olympic team that year, she went on to capture three World Championship medals and reached the pinnacle of athletics when she qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field team that competed in Beijing. While on the U.S. team, Mary participated in the open 400 meters and was a member of the 4x400-meter relay team that won the Gold Medal.
     Mary participates in the Home Depot Olympic Job Opportunity Program, teaches at her church and serves as a mentor and role model to young track and field athletes.

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