UTICA, N.Y. - Eight new members will be inducted into the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame this fall, the Hall announced, Wednesday.
Football standouts Tom Myslinski Jr. and Dave Brown, basketball stars Sean Burton and Steve Babiarz, baseball great Antonio Mauro, soccer legend Dominica Reina-Paladino, late three-sport star Diane Hobin, and broadcaster Jim Jackson will make up the induction class of 2022 set to be inducted in September.
Myslinski was a lineman at Rome Free Academy High School, where he helped the Black Knights go undefeated and capture a state championship his junior year, while receiving all-state honors as a center. He was also a two-time track & field state champion in the discus throw.
After graduating from RFA, Myslinski went on to become and All-SEC lineman at the University of Tennessee, and was drafted into the NFL by the Dallas Cowboys in 1992, playing nine seasons for seven different teams. Following his playing career, he was the strength and conditioning coach for two NFL teams, and three college teams between 2003 and 2020.
Burton, a Yorkville native and Notre Dame High School grad helped lead the Jugglers to two sectional championships while breaking the school record for three-pointers made. He was named Tri-Valley League Player of the Year his senior year before moving on to play at Ithaca College. There he set Bombers' program records for assists (556), three-pointers (261) and free throw percentage (90%). He also ranks third all-time in scoring at Ithaca with 1,736 points, and was a two-time All-American.
He played professional basketball overseas and was an assistant coach at then-Utica College for a few years starting in 2011.
Babiarz is also a native of Utica and former Notre Dame Juggler, who went on to become the all-time leading scorer in SUNY Potsdam history with 2,089 points and was named a first-team All-American in his final two years, as well as, New York State Player of the Year.
He led the Bears to a 112-10 record during his four years there, including going undefeated and winning a national championship in 1985-86. Babiarz signed with the NBA's New York Knicks in 1989, but never appeared in a game in the NBA. He recently served as a player/coach with the ABA's Herkimer Originals in 2021.
Brown was a standout football and track-and-field athlete at Proctor High School and Notre Dame High School before playing four seasons as a defensive back at Ohio State, where he made the All-Big 10 team twice.
During his career with the Buckeyes, Brown caught 12 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown in his senior year of 1989.
Mauro, a Utica native, is a graduate of Notre Dame High School, where he earned numerous high school baseball awards before playing at the collegiate level for the U.S. Naval Academy.
With Navy, Mauro earned two All-Patriot League honors for two different positions (2B and SS), and in 1999 lead the Midshipmen with a .353 batting average and 65 hits, tied for fourth in a single-season in program history. He finished his career batting .337, with 120 RBIs (tied for third in program history), 555 at-bats (third in program history), 162 games (fourth), and 39 doubles (fifth).
Paladino starred on the pitch for Notre Dame High School, winning the New York State Class C Player of the Year award in 2001. She set a Tri-Valley League scoring record with 60 goals and was named to the All-Section III First Team and All-Central New York First Team three times.
Following her high school career, she played collegiate soccer for St. John's University where she was the team's leading scorer in 2002. During her career for the Red Storm, Paladino earned Big East All-Conference honors, was an Academic All-American, and ended in the program's top 10 for career points. She has also served as an assistant coach for Herkimer College and then-Utica College.
Hobin was a three-sport standout at Holland Patent High School, earning 10 varsity letters for the Golden Knights. She finished her high school career as the second leading scorer in HP girls basketball history, the career leader in goals and assists for Knights' field hockey, where she lead the team to a sectional and regional title in 1990, and was named Holland Patent Female Athlete of the Year in 1991. Hobin was also an All-State selection in those sports plus softball, where she had a career batting average of .529.
The nine-time TVL All-Star went on to earn 11 more varsity letters in college for Hofstra University in basketball, softball, and field hockey where she was the school's Female Athlete of the Year twice. Her too long to list accomplishments for then-Flying Dutchmen athletics earned her a spot in the University Athletics Hall of Fame. Sadly, Hobin died in 2020 at age 46.
Jackson is a New York Mills High School grad who has become an award-winning broadcaster for Philadelphia professional sports after graduating from Syracuse University in 1985.
He is currently the television play-by-play voice of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers on NBC Sports Philadelphia, a position he has served since 1995. Prior to that, he was the radio voice of the Flyers from 1993-95, and spent 13 years as the radio play-by-play voice of the MLB's Philadelphia Phillies from 2007-2020.
The induction ceremony and banquet will take place on Sunday, September 18 at Delta Hotels by Marriott in downtown Utica. Tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for those under 18, and are available for purchase at CNY Awards and Apparel in the New Hartford Shopping Center.