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Pasco's Duke Washington finally will land in WSU Hall of Fame

PULLMAN — Washington State University announced its latest class of inductees into the school's hall of famethis week.

There are seven of them, including former Pasco High standout Talmedge "Duke" Washington.

Washington was an All-America running back who starred for the Cougars during the 1952-54 seasons. He won the Bohler Award, played in the East-West Shrine Game and was the first African American to play in the University ofTexas’ Memorial Stadium Oct. 2, 1954.

According to WSU, Washington received the loudest cheers of the day from the 28,000 Longhorn fans following a73-yard touchdown run.

I knew who Duke Washington was when I was a kid because I read my dad's newspaper clippings from his days of playing football for the Richland Bombers.

If you click here, you can hear an interview with Washington on Seattle's KJR 950 AM by Ian Furness, a WSU grad and former voice of the Tri-City Americans. Furness contacted Washington on Jan. 20, the day of President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Washington's name kept coming up in those same papers as he dominated thegridiron at Pasco High.

I met Duke Washington a few years ago when the Tri-Cities Sports Councilinducted him into the Central Washington Sports Hall of Fame.

What a classy guy. He has lived in Seattle for years and had no idea whatour organization was. But he came over for the dinner and was pleasantlysurprised by our event. He seemed touched.

Frankly, I'm surprised he wasn't already in WSU's hall of fame. So thisis long overdue in my book.

In addition to Washington, the other inductees who will be honored this fallare: Richard Fry, WSU’s sports information director for 13 years; basketballplayer Craig Ehlo; volleyball standout Keri Killebrew; steeplechaser PeterKoech; distance runner Bernard Lagat; and former football coach Jim Walden.

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