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The National Federation of State High School Associations announced on Tuesday that New Mexico’s Notah Begay will be one of four standout high school athletes to headline the 2022 Class of the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame.

“This lifetime distinction is a reflection on my coaches, teammates, parents, teachers, community and the Albuquerque Academy,” said Begay.  “Thank you all for believing in me and supporting my dreams!”

Joining Begay in this year’s class is the late Walter Payton, track star Sanya Richards-Ross and former NFL running back Thurman Thomas.  The four athletes will be a part of 12 honorees overall inducted July 1 at the 39th induction ceremony of the National High School Hall of Fame, which will be held at the NFHS Summer Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

“When it comes to High School athletics in the state of New Mexico, Notah Begay is one of the most well-known, successful figures the state has produced,” said NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez.

Begay played and excelled in three sports at Albuquerque Academy in the late 1980s. Although golf became his primary sport at the college and professional levels, Begay also excelled in basketball and soccer. He played on the first two (1989 and 1990) of Academy High School’s eventual six consecutive state championship basketball teams and led his soccer team in assists, earning all-state honors in both sports. Begay was all-state and all-American in golf and was voted New Mexico’s high school athlete of the year as a senior. He won the New Mexico Activities Association Class A-AAA state golf title in 1989 and 1990 and claimed the National High School Golf Championship as a senior. Begay earned a scholarship to Stanford University and was a three-time all-American and captain of the 1994 team that won the NCAA national championship. The only full-blooded Native American to have played on the PGA Tour, Begay was a four-time winner and played on the U.S. team at the President’s Cup in 2000.  Since 2013, Begay has been a golf commentator for NBC and the Golf Channel. In 2005, he established the NB3 Foundation, with the goal to provide health and wellness education to Native American youth in the form of soccer and golf programs.     



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