As cousins, Carlos Powell and Sam Muldrow couldn’t be more different.
Powell was known for his outgoing personality, while Muldrow was more reserved unless you got to know him. But on the basketball court, both were dominant in their own ways and had productive careers in high school at Wilson High then later at South Carolina.
On Thursday, Powell and Muldrow were honored for their achievements by being selected for this year’s class of the Florence Athletic Hall of Fame.
“This is really unexpected. I’m actually speechless,” Powell said via e-mail from Korea Thursday. “It’s an honor to get inducted but a great thing I got in with family (Sam). We’ve always been close. I basically treated him like a brother. Just shows the hardwork and dedication on and off the court.”
It’s unlikely the two cousins will attend the induction ceremony Jan. 17 because both Powell and Muldrow are playing basketball overseas. Powell is in his eighth season of professional basketball and second in South Korea with Incheon ET Land. Muldrow is playing in France after playing in Greece last season.
Both Powell and Muldrow graduated from Wilson and went on to standout careers at South Carolina. Powell led the Gamecocks in scoring three straight years and held eight school records when he left school.
Muldrow, a member of Wilson’s 2006 state title team, holds USC records for blocked shots in a game and career blocked shots.
“We are really proud of both of them for their achievements in life,” said Debbie McCall, Powell’s mother and Muldrow’s aunt.
Powell is also involved in charitable events through his foundation, which includes handing out turkeys to needy families for Thanksgiving, a basketball camp and field day for kids in the summer.
Powell and Muldrow are part of the eight-member induction class, which also includes former Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry, Jonathan Burnette (golf), Nathan Fields (track), Larry Jewell (baseball), Donnie Lloyd (baseball) and Bob Schuster (track, cross country).
“It’s an absolute honor,” said Burnette, who now lives in Bluffton with his wife and two daughters. “It is impressive to me to have my name among those who played professional sports. And my children are able to see me go in and have this recognition and know that if they work hard they could earn the same type of recognition down the road.”
Burnette was a three-time SCISA 2A golf champion at The Byrnes Academy before going on to play at Francis Marion. He returned to coach at his alma mater and led the Patriots to the 2003 Division II national championship.
“We weren’t expecting to be that great,” Burnette said of the championship team. “But the chemistry of that team came together in the spring. Those guys had each other’s backs on the golf course and worked really hard toward the end of the year.
“When we got to the national championship, we had nothing to lose. And they went out there and executed everything they had practiced and I tried to teach them through the years. It was just a magical moment.”
DeBerry, a Cheraw native, coached baseball and was an assistant football coach at McClenaghan High School from 1963-1967 before making a name for himself as a college football coach at Air Force. He was the winningest coach at any service academy and his Falcons teams won at least eight games 11 times from 1984–2006.
DeBerry was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. After retiring, DeBerry has remained active with his Fisher DeBerry Foundation, which is dedicated to the support and education of single moms and their children, as well as other charitable causes.
DeBerry will be an assistant coach in the Medal of Honor Bowl Jan. 10 in Charleston.