WACO, TX – January 11, 2017 – The Texas Sports Hall of Fame (TSHOF) will pay tribute to volleyball legend Flora “Flo” Hyman on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 in Waco, Texas when she is formally inducted posthumously into the TSHOF.
A native of Los Angeles, Flo made her mark in Texas as a University of Houston standout. An intimidating offensive player standing six feet, five inches tall, she earned her place on the U.S. national volleyball team in 1974 as a 20-year old; that same year, University of Houston volleyball coach Ruth N. Nelson awarded her the university’s first athletic scholarship ever granted to a woman. However, Flo refused to accept the full amount, so that some of her teammates might also benefit.
Flo became a three-time USA Volleyball All-American at Houston, leading the Cougars to three top-5 national finishes. She decided to forego her senior year to play full time for the U.S. National Team in preparation for the 1980 Olympics, only to be faced with the country’s Olympic boycott. A year later, the world was able to witness Flo’s volleyball skills at the 1981 World Cup, where she was selected the tournament’s outsanding player.
In 1982 she led the U.S. to the bronze medal at the World Championships. She also began playing professional volleyball in Japan for the Daiei team that same year, but still led the U.S. women to a silver in the 1984 Olympics. By 1986, she piloted Daiei from a struggling minor league team into a leading force in Japan’s major volleyball league.
Flo collapsed during a match in January 1986. What was initially thought to be a heart attack turned out to be Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder. She died later that evening.
"If Flo Hyman were here today, she would want all players to believe in themselves, teammates and coaches while honoring the sport, and respecting those at Houston, said former friend, teammate and University of Houston head coach. “The University of Houston provided her the foundation to become one of the finest ambassadors the U.S. ever had. During her time as a Cougar, she loved going to class, training and representing a fine academic institution. She was given so many outstanding awards throughout her career, but the one that stands out the most to me is given by the Women's Sports Foundation, The Flo Hyman Memorial award. There are many states, cities, communities and universities that provide a similar award naming her and is given to any sport athlete that captures her dignity, spirit and commitment to excellence. Her final passion was becoming an advocate for gender equality in sport and for the passage of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988. We join her in prayer and in thought recognizing and honoring her driving force – that of helping others no matter what their social economic background. Everyone deserved an opportunity to succeed. Remember when she was offered a full scholarship in 1974 she chose to share the monies with her teammates. How many players would do that today?"
Flo’s many awards include the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988, USA Volleyball’s 75th Anniversary Women’s 1978-2002 All-Era Team and most valuable player, and becoming the first woman admitted to the University of Houston’s Hall of Honor in 1998. She also has a tournament named after her called the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup and an international award named given by the Women’s Sports Foundation.
"To be true to oneself is the ultimate test in life. To have the courage and sensitivity to follow your hidden dreams and stand tall against the odds that are bound to fall in your path. Life is too short and precious to be dealt with in any other fashion.” Flora Jean Hyman
Presented by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, Flo’s legacy will stand with other inductees at the February event including former Texas A&M & Los Angeles Rams defensive back Dave Elmendorf, Texas A&M University track & field coach Pat Henry, fellow volleyball player Rita Buck-Crockett, 2008 Olympic all-around gymnastics champion Nastia Liukin, University of Texas track & football star Eric Metcalf, Denver Broncos football defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and former Dallas Cowboys All Pro safety Darren Woodson. This class joins a long list of Texas sport legends forever being honored as a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
The February 21 event will begin with a reception at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame at 4 p.m., with a 6 p.m. banquet at the Waco Convention Center. Combination Reception/Banquet tickets are $200 each or $1,400 for a reserved table of eight. Banquet-only tickets can be purchased for $75 each, or $600 for a reserved table of eight. To purchase tickets, please call the museum at 800-567-9561 or visit http://www.tshof.org/buy-tickets/
For additional information on Flo or any of the other inductees, please contact Liz Hilton, [email protected], or Jay Black, [email protected]
About the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
The Texas Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Waco, Texas, chronicles the heroes and legends of the Lone Star State sports at all levels, including high school standouts, Olympians and professionals. Established in 1993, the organization’s mission is to preserve the legacies of all inductees and the history of sports in Texas to educate and inspire guests of all ages. Home to over 300 Texas Legends, the museum houses the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame and Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame is located at 1108 S. University Parks Dr. Waco, Texas 76706. For more information, please visit http://www.tshof.org/.