Sunday, January 20th, 2019

G Gathering
        Olympics to NBA: The Norfolk Sports Club Has It All

Olympics to NBA: The Norfolk Sports Club Has It All



The Norfolk Sports Club hosted two engaging meetings this month using the time to honor high school student-athletes as well as local legends for their former athletic feats. Three Outstanding Metro Scholastic Awards were handed out at the first meeting: Eric Merriam (Wrestling, Great Bridge), Milan Parks (Women's Track, Western Branch), and Steven Dunbar (Men's Track, Tallwood). During that meeting, the club was also honored to have Lawrence Johnson, 2000 Olympics Silver Medalist in Pole Vault, speak on being an athlete, his motto, and the Olympic experience. He has also recently become active in pole vaulting safety and development (www.vaultassaultonline.com).

I am always asked how it feels to stand on the Olympic podium and be awarded a medal, and this is what I say: One week after winning the Silver in Sydney in 2000 I was able to fly home and hold my baby girl right after she was born and that honestly blew away the Olympic podium experience. There's nothing better in the world... Lawrence Johnson

Later in the month, the club welcomed Dave Twardzik, a member of the ODU, Hampton Roads, and Virginia Sports Halls of Fame. While he had a very successful career playing for Old Dominion University, the Virginia Squires and the Portland Trailblazers, along with a long career of NBA coaching and front office work, Dave still stood by that he was just very lucky. Speaking openly about NBA salaries past and present and how international players are changing the game, he offered a captivating presentation that was only limited by the time allowed.

Norfolk Sports Club meets the first and third Mondays of every month.

To reserve a space at the next meeting, or for more information, visit www.norfolksportsclub.com.


Quite an honor to be so accomplished in wrestling as to win the Kirk Montague award. Eric Merriam of Great Bridge, left, and Rick Keifner.

Eric Merriam of Great Bridge

Milan Parks of Western Branch

Steven Dunbar of Tallwood

Club Member Rick Page proudly displayed a Shopper issue with The Shopper Director of Sports Information Heather Ireland

One of the Norfolk Sports Club sponsors, K&D Rounds Landscape Services, has a few members in the club as well. From left: K&D Rounds Landscape Services John Round, The Shopper Public Relations Executive Dr. Glenn Fritz, and Steve Samuels, also of K&D Rounds.

Milan Parks of Western Branch was thrilled to have the support of her Track & Field Coach, aka the NSAF 2014 Coach of the Year, Claude Toukene when she was presented with her award

2000 Olympics Silver Medalist Lawrence Johnson with his proud wife, Christina, after he delivered a riveting presentation to the club.

The Shopper Director of Sports Information Heather Ireland with the

Herb Hollowell, left, and Board of Directors Member Rick Hensley enjoyed spending the luncheon section of the meeting discussing memories of working as Marshals over the years on behalf of the Norfolk Sports Club

Jack Ankerson enjoyed introducing the days speaker, using the opportunity to get plenty of good-natured ribbing in as the he and Dave Twardzik go back nearly 30 years. From left: Dave Twardzik, Sports Club First Vice President Bill Rainey, and Jack Ankerson.

Dave Twardzik, a local legend, addressed the club and holds the attention of all, including Sports Club First Vice President Bill Rainey

Dave Twardzik the Virginia Squires, and several NBA teams, enjoyed talking about his incredible

Norfolk Sports Club Member Dick Thorne brought in several programs and other mementos from the Virginia Squires era in honor of the guest speaker... but this is really just a percentage of the Squires memorabilia Dick has collected.

Enjoying the social aspect of the Norfolk Sports Club, members often come early or stay late to spend time with others. From left, standing: Dick Baker, Orion Waterfeld, Bob Grymes, Jim Hunter. Seated, in forefront: John Haralson, Jr.

Rooney Rainey enjoyed discussing the display of Squires memorabilia with the displays owner, Dick Thorne

While much of the Virginia Squires display was complete with Squires programs and pennants, a portion of the display was focused solely on the guest of honor, Dave Twardzik, and his time with the team

You cant say they dont have fun at the Norfolk Sports Club! From left: Dave Twardzik, Club Member C.H. Lambert (pretending to be Dave with his name card), and Club Member Jack Ankerson.