PEMBROKE – Freddie Richardson, a decorated wrestler in the early 80s, and basketball all-American Rosendo Bryden became the 68th and 69th members of the UNCP Athletic Hall of Fame on Monday morning. Both will be officially inducted into the distinguished listing of former athletes, coaches and administrators in a ceremony on Friday.
“Russ Bryden and Freddie Richardson had fabulous careers at UNCP,” said UNCP athletic director Dan Kenney. “Both of them came to UNCP, not as highly recruited athletes, but each of them had a tremendous work ethic. That work ethic was exemplified by the type of junior and senior years each of them had for the Braves. We are proud to welcome them into to the UNCP Hall of Fame.”
Bryden, the only NCAA all-American in the history of the UNCP men’s basketball program and who starred for the Braves from 1992-1996, played in 105 games during his career in the Black and Gold, averaging 15.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He helped lead UNCP to a cumulative 49-58 record, including two of the three winning seasons the Braves have had since joining the NCAA Division II ranks.
Bryden, a two-time all-conference and all-region selection as well, still holds the UNCP career mark for 3-pointers made (187) and shot an eye-popping 43 percent (542-of-1262) from the field in his career, while canning 83.1 percent (393-for-473) of his free throw attempts. He currently ranks third on UNCP’s all-time scoring list with 1,672 points behind Joe Gallagher (2,161) and Joe Robisch (1,773).
Richardson churned out a 126-14 career record in his four seasons in the Black and Gold, earning a trio of NAIA all-district and all-Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference accolades along the way. Following a prep career that saw him capture the South Carolina state championship, as well as second place honors at the South Carolina AAU Junior Olympics, Richardson burst onto the college scene like a rocket, placing second at the NAIA District 26 championships as just a freshman in 1980.
Richardson continued to excel as sophomore, tallying a team-best 35 wins en route to a first place finish at the district championships, but saved the best portion of his career for his final two seasons as a Brave. After earning second place honors as a junior at the NCAA Region tournament, he registered a superb senior season, taking home all-American honors after finishing first at the NCAA Region tournament, as well as fourth at the national championships. He would earn team most valuable wrestler honors as well.
Bryden and Richardson will make their return to Pembroke on Friday when they will be honored at the 2009 Alumni Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet at 6 p.m. in the UC Annex. Their likeness and name will be permanently displayed on UNCP’s Wall of Honor as well. For ticket information to the banquet, please contact James Bass at (910) 521-6533.