Each year, five people are selected for the Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame, then inducted during a banquet in December. The 2011 class includes Robert Cambell, Kashien Latham, David Kunda, Rodney LeCounte and Bryan Sears.
BI class of 1997
A native of Hinesville, Campbell played guard from 1997-2001 at Armstrong Atlantic State University and was a two-time Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year for the Pirates’ basketball team (1999, 2000). He finished his four-year career ranked second all-time in NCAA Division II history with 357 steals. Campbell also earned NCAA Division II All-America honors as a junior and senior and ranks third on the Armstrong all-time scoring list with 1,537 points, behind only fellow Armstrong Athletic Hall of Famers Sam Berry and Ike Williams.
Campbell attended BI from 1993-97 and played four years of basketball under then-varsity coach David Jones. In his senior season, he averaged 19 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. He was named to the all-region first team in the 1996-97 school year. Campbell recently was inducted to the Armstrong Atlantic State University Hall of Fame.
Kashien Latham, BI class of 1998
Latham finished his four-year college career as Georgia Southern University’s all-time leading shot-blocker with 112, according to GSU archives. He became the 29th member of the Eagles’ 1,000 point club. Latham played all four years, starting 96 of 114 games and registering 33 career double-doubles.
As a senior, he averaged 11.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. He finished second in the Southern Conference in rebounding and scored in double figures 16 times. He grabbed double-digit rebounds in 13 games and led the team in rebounding the last 10 games of the season and 20 times overall. Latham recorded a career-high 33 points on 13-of-18 shooting while pulling down 15 rebounds against Gardner-Webb during his senior year.
As a junior, Latham averaged 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game and started all 30 games. He led the team in rebounding, ranking second in the conference and 15th in the nation. He recorded 15 double-doubles and scored a season-high 22 points in the season opener against North Georgia. He earned second team All-Conference honors and was named to the postseason all-tournament team.
As a sophomore, Latham averaged 12.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, starting all 28 games. He was ranked sixth in the conference in rebounding, pulled down double-digit rebounds in 11 games and led the team in rebounding 15 times.
As a freshman, he averaged 6.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in 22.2 minutes a game, starting 15 times. Latham was tied for 10th in the conference in rebounding while leading the Eagles’ rebounding 10 times, and he led the team in scoring twice. He registered double-digit rebounds in five games, including a season-high 12 rebounds against Appalachian State in the second round of the Southern Conference Tournament.
As a Bradwell Institute Tiger, Latham was named to the All-Region 3-AAAA first team and was a member of the Georgia-Tennessee and North-South all-star teams. He averaged 22.4 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.
Latham went undrafted in the 2002 NBA draft but later was selected to the Greenville Groove of the NBA-Developmental League and also played with the Birmingham Bullets in the European League.
BI class of 1998
Kunda was named to the All-Region 3-AAAA first team and was an All-Coastal Empire linebacker in 1996 and ’97 as a BI Tiger. During his senior season, he registered 86 tackles, 58 assists and was the Harvey Overton Defensive Player of the Year in 1997. He received an all-state honorable mention from the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 1997. Kunda received a four-year football scholarship/appointment to the United States Naval Academy, where he played for all four years for the Navy football team. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002.
BI Class of 1985
LeCounte played four years of baseball and football for Bradwell Institute. In 1985, he received the Best Offensive Lineman Award. As a tight end, he had six receiving touchdowns. On the diamond, LeCounte had a .596 average for his high school baseball career. He hit nine home runs and drove in 55 runs his senior year.
LeCounte earned a scholarship to Brewton-Parker College, then transferred to North Florida Community College in 1987, where he compiled a .353 batting average, hit eight home runs and drove in 26 runs. LeCounte then signed with Columbus State College, where he hit .426 with 75 hits, 52 RBIs and six home runs in 52 games. LeCounte played in the Division II College World Series and was named to the All-South Atlantic Region 151 team in 1989 and ’90, and his .388 career batting average is a record for two-year players at Columbus State College.
LCHS class of 1998
Sears was a four-year track athlete at Liberty County High School. In 1996, he was the USA National Champion in the 200-meter dash. In 1998, he was the Region 3-AAAA 100-meter and 200-meter champion. That same year, he took his second USA National Champion in the 200 and also won the title in the 100. Sears was the 1998 Coastal Empire Male Track Athlete of the Year and the 1999 world champion in sprint medley at the World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
In 2000, he was the Region 3-AAAA 100-meter champion, and in 2000, he was elected to the National High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Sears received a full track scholarship to the University of Florida and later transferred to the University of Texas EI Paso, where in 2003 he was a member of the conference-champion 400-meter relay team.
The eighth annual Liberty County Hall of Fame Banquet is at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at Club Stewart, 405 Hero Road, Fort Stewart. Tickets can be purchased from the Liberty County Recreation Department or by calling 876-5359. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at Club Stewart the evening of the event.