Thursday, October 09, 2008
AT&T recently announced the unveiling of the 20th annual South Carolina African-American History Calendar. Launched in 1989, the calendar is designed to assist students in learning more about the contributions of distinguished African-Americans who have connections to the state.
Among the 12 honorees is SC State alumnus, John Gilliam, '67. Gilliam, President and CEO of John Gilliam Enterprises, Inc., represents the month of August. His many accomplishments are highlighted to include his 11 year NFL career.
"The 2009 African American History Calendar is a testimonial to the strength of character, hard work, determination and integrity of the individuals featured in its pages," said Pamela Lackey, President AT&T South Carolina. "They have played an invaluable role in weaving the fabric that is our state's heritage and that binds us together as South Carolinians. It is a privilege to honor them."
A native of Greenwood, S.C., Gilliam graduated from Brewer High School. During that time he excelled in basketball, track and field, and football. Known nationally for his basketball skills, Gilliam played football his senior year after accepting a dare from the head football coach, Luther Bradley, who recognized his speed. Gilliam later became an All-State Football Player and an All American.
While at SC State, Gilliam became one of the most spectacular football players ever to play at the University. He was twice voted All American and selected All-SIAC wide receiver, 1964-67. Gilliam was a second-round draft pick by the New Orleans Saints, becoming the first football player from SC State to be drafted by a NFL Team.
Gilliam received many awards and honors during his professional football career. As a member of the Minnesota Vikings, he played in two Super Bowls and was named to the Pro-Bowl in 1972-1975. He was inducted into the SC State Hall of Fame in 1986, the State of South Carolina Athletic Hal of Fame in 1992, and the Greenwood High School Hall of Fame in 2005.
Gilliam sponsors the John Gilliam Annual Tennis Tournament for Atlanta youth. He is a Life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He and his wife, Fannie, an attorney in Atlanta, have four children and three grandchildren.
The calendar is available at www.scafricanamerican.com/calendar/.