Three Babylon area athletes among Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame’s 2024 inductees


Three-time NBA champion Danny Green headlines a trio of Babylon area natives who will be inducted this year into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.

The legendary North Bablyon hoopster will be enshrined along with former MLS star Chris Wingert of Babylon and Leo Fishel, a Babylon resident who in 1899 became the first Jewish pitcher in MLB history. A total of 24 inductees will be honored during a May 30 ceremony in St. James.

A 15-season NBA veteran, Green won championships with San Antonio in 2014, Toronto in 2019 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020. Additionally, he won an NCAA national championship in his senior year at North Carolina in 2009.

Green, who regularly hosts his Team Green Basketball Academy at North Babylon High School during the summer, played for North Babylon during his freshman year. He played his last three years of high school at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset.

Green’s best NBA season was with San Antonio in 2014-15, when he averaged 11.7 points per game and started 81 games. In all, he played for seven different NBA teams — last appearing with Philadelphia earlier this season.

A graduate of St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip, Wingert played 14 seasons in the MLS. He spent the bulk of his career with Real Salt Lake, winning the league championship with the team in 2009.

Wingert retired from professional soccer in 2018, and now serves as the head of International Football, North America with Roc Nation Sports.

Fishel at 21 years old made his one and only MLB appearance, tossing a complete game for the New York Giants. He allowed six earned runs in the loss.

The Babylon area honorees are part of a diverse group that includes Mets legend Keith Hernandez and WFAN radio personality Gregg Giannotti.

Hernandez has proudly lived in Sag Harbor for decades, commuting to his job at SNY as a broadcast analyst on Mets games. His old-school charm and frank wit in the booth, together with his brilliant play as a Met during the 1980s, led the franchise to retire his jersey No. 17 in 2022.

Giannotti is a Bellport High School graduate and co-hosts the Boomer & Gio show with Boomer Esiason on WFAN Sports Radio out of New York City. He lives with his family in Sayville.

“These individuals represent the very best of athletics in Suffolk County,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, president of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame, who announced the inductees while appearing as a guest on Fox 5’s “Sports Xtra.”

“As usual, our committee has selected a wide range of people who have left their mark on athletics in our country. We’re looking forward to celebrating their legacies this spring,” he added.

Listed below are the other inductees.

Bryan Collins: Sayville resident; college football coach at Post and Stony Brook. He is being awarded posthumously.

Dave Cohen: Commack High School alum who was Hofstra’s last head football coach. He has served as an assistant coach with several other college football programs and is currently the assistant head coach at Wake Forest.

Jim and Barbara Cromarty: Islip and Riverhead race track owners.

Dr. Anthony Donatelli: A Deer Park native who has been a doctor dedicated to sports medicine.

Sonny Feinman: Islip youth sports advocate and leader.

Sean Frazier: Harborfields alumnus who has been a longtime college athletic director. He is currently the athletic director at Northern Ilinois.

Howard Gershberg: A Bayport native who coached East Islip varsity baseball before excelling as St. John’s pitching coach and then in the Anaheim Angels’ minor leageu system.

Louis Gregory: Sachem High School alumnus who has worked as a sports agent and manager, and is a U.S. Customs & Border Protection veteran

Sue Johnson: Walt Whitman High School alumna who was an All-Ivy hoops player at Yale before embarking on a decades-long NCAA Division I coaching career at Yale, Princeton, Boston College and New Hampshire. She now serves as the athletic director at Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts.

Bob Kersch: Veteran Section XI official with more than a half-century of service.

Alyssa Leonard: A Bay Shore native, Leonard was an All-American lacrosse player who won two NCAA championship in college and played professional lacrosse.

Ann Liguori: Renowned radio and TV sports talk show host, golf correspondent and author.

Bob Panariello: Longtime Bay Shore athletic director and National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee.

Dr. Frank Segretto: Doctor dedicated to sports medicine.

Brian Spallina: Rocky Point native is a lacrosse legend. He is in the Professional Lacrosse League Hall of Fame.

Vera Truhlar: Longtime Connetquot women’s gymnastics coach.

Donald Yorie: Director of Suffolk County Police Department Police Athletic League.

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