Miami Lakes Sports Hall of Fame inducts four

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 0 Comments

Miami Lakes Sports Hall of Fame inducts four
Former North Carolina State and Hialeah Miami Lakes basketball star Chris Corchiani, community activist David Oliver, community pioneer George Deming, and community activist Javier Zapata were enshrined into the Miami Lakes Sports Hall of Fame for the Class of 2019.
They were inducted to the town’s highest honor for sports and community activism during a recent ceremony at the Miami Lakes Optimist Club club house.
The committee believed that each of these four individuals epitomizes the basic criteria for selection, that they have made significant contribution to their sports and that they have substantial connections to the Town of Miami Lakes.
The committee included chair Roman Garcia, vice chair Helen Roldan, secretary Marcos Gutierrez and committee members Jim Hamilton and Karyna Cid.
The Miami Lakes Sports Hall of Fame Inductees include:
• Chris Corchiani was a star basketball player at Hialeah Miami Lakes High School earning the title Florida “Mr. Basketball”, an award given to the best basketball player in the state in 1986 and 1987 which included a State Championship.
From there he received a scholarship to North Carolina State University where he was a four-year starter and he became the first player in NCAA history to record 1,000 career assists. He led the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament in three of his four years at the school and was the first college player to record 20 assists in a game. He would have a successful professional career of 14 years including three stops in the NBA – Orlando, Boston and Washington – followed by stops internationally playing for teams in Italy, Turkey, Spain and Germany.
• David Oliver has been a community activist in Miami Lakes for over 20 years. Prior to his time here, he was a four-year letter winner in baseball for Versalles High School in Ohio and played football which team had a perfect record. His athletic prowess included basketball, track & field, and wrestling. He is a member of numerous committees in the town including Elderly Affairs and Loch Isle Homeowners association. He is also the founder and coordinator of the Miami Lakes Senior softball program, co-founder of the Miami Lakes Senior basketball program and coordinator of the Miami Lakes Senior games. He has also been the president of the Miami Lakes Duplicate Bridge Club for over 30 years.
• George Deming is one of the visionaries that can be credited with founding the Miami Lakes Optimist in the 1960s. As the program evolved, he continued to play a key role as he was involved in the implementation of building the first clubhouse which was a great feat and would become the second home to so many kids in the town.
In the early 1970s, he was the Youth Work director and responsible to coordinate all coaches and he was instrumental in establishing the baseball, basketball and soccer programs and spearheaded the creation of the Opti-Mrs., a group of women who organized the cheerleading programs. His contributions continued in helping to organize the Special Olympics, for youths with special needs.
• Javier Zapata was born and raised in the town and attended Miami Lakes Elementary, Miami Lakes Middle and Barbara Goleman High School earning valedictorian honors. He participated in multiple youth sports programs as a child. After high school, he attended Brown University and while away found out the programs that he loved in his town were diminishing, in part because they rely on volunteers to administer them.
That is when he applied for and was awarded the Royce Fellowship for Sports and Society through Brown and he partnered with Miami Lakes Optimist to create the Flag Football program, that to this day is one of if not the largest Flag Football program in the state with over 400 participants. He served as commissioner for the first several years.
Upon graduating from Brown, he was accepted into Yale Law School. During this time, he thought the program would succeed, but this was not the case. After graduating from Yale, he returned to South Florida where he serves as an assistant County Attorney for Miami Dade and returned to the program again. He worked to grow the program back and it is now at new heights which includes a successful travel program.

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