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GSU football legend Tracy Ham to speak at Deen Day
Tracy Ham for Top Media
Tracy Ham - photo by FILE
Football legend Tracy Ham will speak Tuesday at the 19th Annual Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards gala, hosted by the  Statesboro Herald at Georgia Southern University's Russell Union.
    The awards banquet honors those in the community who have gone beyond the call of duty to make the community a better place and to help others through selfless dedication and effort.
    Ham "is one of the two most storied names in the modern history of Georgia Southern University football," said Statesboro herald President Joe McGlamery. "Ham, along with the late legendary coach Erk Russell, brought back intercollegiate football to Statesboro during the 1980's with an option offensive affectionately known as the 'Hambone.'"
    Ham was quarterback for the team that won back-to-back Region 1-AA National Football Championships in 1985 and 1986. "There have been only   two football jerseys retired at Georgia Southern, and Tracy's #8 is  one of them," McGlamery said.
    The well-loved football star is deserving of the pride the Statesboro community holds for him. In 1986, Ham was named Kodak All-American. For three years running - 1984, 1985 and 1986, he was named the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Player of the  Year; and in 1985 and 1986 he was named Sportswriter's Player of the Year.
    A native of High Springs, Fla., Ham earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreation degree from Georgia Southern in 1986. After graduation, he played professional football in the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1987 to 1999, twice winning the Grey Cup Championship (1987, 1995) and being named the CFL Player of the Year in 1989. He was also named the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player in 1995.
    During his time with the CFL, Ham was a member of the CFL Player's Association (1992-1999) and became the first CFL quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in 1989.
    "As much as he was a successful football player, Tracy has also been a successful businessman," McGlamery said. "Since 1994 he has served as president of Hambone Enterprises, a marketing firm, and since 1995 he has served as president of TNT Enterprises, an entity specializing in the ownership, development and management of commercial properties."
    And in 2002, Ham began a career with XOS Technologies, and currently serves as regional sales manager, he said.
    In spite of a busy career, Ham is also devoted to community involvement.
    "Tract Ham has devoted a great deal of his time to several charitable organizations, including the Children's Hospital in Macon and Bethesda Home for Boys in Savannah," he said. "He has also given his support for the YMCA, Special Olympics, the March of Dimes and SPCA."
    While living in Statesboro, Ham was a member of the Whitesville Full Gospel Baptist Church, serving as a deacon and member of the finance committee. He still attends the church when visiting Statesboro, McGlamery said.
    "Since moving to the Atlanta area, he attends Total Grace Christian Center and is actively involved in the athletic ministry, new member's orientation and the children's ministry," he said.
     Ham lives in McDonough with his wife, Valarie Flippen-Ham, and their two sons, Tracy Jr. and Caleb.
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