Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Two contemporary athletes who shined on every stage and a man who was transformed a community through sports highlight the incoming class of Alaska Sports Hall of Fame inductees.
Reggie Tongue of Fairbanks, Jessica Moore of Palmer, and Joe Floyd of Kodiak will all be inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023. Kikkan Randall's Olympic Gold Medal in 2018 will be inducted in the Moment category, and the State Basketball Tournament/March Madness Alaska will be inducted as an Event.
This will be the 15th class honored by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, which uses a selection process based on votes from the Hall of Fame 9-person selection panel, past inductees and the public.
The Class of 2023 is scheduled to be inducted at 6pm, Thursday, April 27th, at the Anchorage Museum Atrium at a banquet and ceremony that also features the presentation of the annual athlete of the year awards.
A second-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1996, Tongue played in the NFL for ten years.
A defensive back, he started 116 of 145 career games with Kansas City, Seattle and the New York Jets. He has more tackles (676), touchdowns (5) and interceptions (17) than any other Alaskan who played in the NFL. He was named to the Seattle Seahawks 2000-2009 All-Decade Team as a strong safety.
A star at Lathrop High School, he was a two-time All-Pac-10 selection at Oregon State University, where in 1994 he tied a Pac-10 record with three interceptions returned for touchdowns. He still ranks No. 2 in school history with 363 tackles. He was the 1990 Alaska Player of the Year at Lathrop High School.
Also a track star at Lathrop, Tongue is widely regarded as one of the most athletically gifted football players to ever come out of Alaska, and a hard hitter who instilled fear in in opposing players.
"Reggie Tongue was a very good running back, but he was a great defensive back at Lathrop High, fast and ferocious," recalled Alaska Sports Hall of Fame selection panel member and former Anchorage Daily News reporter Doyle Woody. "By his senior year, there were games in which opposing ball carriers and receivers increasingly sought the sanctuary of the sidelines because they had no taste for more of Tongue’s punishing, demoralizing hits."
As imposing a presence as he was on the field, he was equally soft-spoken and caring off the field.
"Reggie was an amazing student athlete that all staff and students admired and respected," said former Lathrop Assistant Coach Tyrone Oates, "He was a very quiet individual that loved to compete. He challenged himself on and off the field and always cared about those who were less fortunate."
Moore was a winner at every level of her basketball career.
In high school, she led the Colony Knights to two basketball state titles. She was also an outstanding volleyball player and was a part of two volleyball state championships. Moore was named Alaska's Athlete Of The Year both her junior and senior high school years.
In college, Moore won three NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament championships with the University of Connecticut. During her third championship game with the Huskies, Moore suffered a torn ACL during the game. She remained in the game finishing with 14 points, and nine rebounds despite the injury that would require surgery.
She was a key member of the Team USA U19 bronze medal team at the 2001 World Championships.
In the WNBA, Moore played nine seasons and reached the Western Conference Finals in 2006 and 2008 with the Los Angeles Sparks, and the 2009 WNBA Finals with the Indiana Fever. She ranks second among Alaskans in the WNBA with 644 points and 450 rebounds in 222 games. Her 22 playoff appearances is No. 1 in state history by a mile.
Moore's showed what's possible for a girl from Alaska, and her success set an example for other Alaskan hoops standouts like Kelsey Griffin and Ruthy Hebard who followed her to the WNBA.
"Jessica Moore’s career speaks for itself when it comes to her Hall of Fame credentials," said Selection Panel Chair Beth Bragg. "But she was also a pioneer, someone who showed Alaska girls that there are few limits to those with talent and drive. At 6-foot-3, Moore could practically touch the glass ceiling with her fingertips — and she proceeded to shatter it for generations to come."
The architect of the Kodiak High School athletic department beginning in 1955, Joe Floyd played an integral role in establishing every sport at the school, and he coached most of them.
He was especially active in wrestling, basketball and baseball. Floyd was inducted into the Alaska Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Alaska High School Hall of Fame in 2007.
In 2012, when the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame initiated its Directors’ Awards, it named the award given for “significant and lasting contribution to Alaska through sports” after Floyd.
Joe Floyd passed away in February, 2020.
“Sports are woven through the fabric of life in our state, especially in rural Alaska,” Harlow Robinson, executive director of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame shared with the Anchorage Daily News at the time of his death. “When our board decided we wanted to present an annual award to recognize some of those folks that work tirelessly and selflessly to improve their communities through sports, it was obvious we needed to call it the Joe Floyd Award. I don’t even recall there being a moment of deliberation. It was immediate consent.”