Ex Port, G.N. athletes inducted to Nassau County Hall Of Fame

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Local Hall of Fame inductees Bill Omeltchenko and Darin Dumpson (representing his late father William Dumpson)

Two men with ties to Port Washington were inducted into the Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury on Sept. 25.

The Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame is organized as a means of recognizing, preserving, and promoting the heritage of interscholastic sports in the county. The inductees are honored for their contributions and accomplishments which exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and moral character.

Previous inductees encompass a “Who’s Who” of famous athletes with Nassau County ties, such as Jim Brown, Hank Bjorklund, Jay Fiedler, Matt Snell, Julius Erving, Wally Szczerbiak, Art Heyman, Sue Wicks, Danielle Gallagher, and Al Oerter,

This year, the late William “Bill” Dumpson, who starred for Port Washington High School basketball in the championship years of the late 1940s, and Bill Omeltchenko, who grew up in Great Neck but has lived in Port for 25 years, were among 34 individuals so honored.,

William “Bill” Dumpson

Bill, also known as “Myrt” at the time, played football, basketball and baseball and led Port Washington, and left an indelible mark the community.

More than 70 years after his accomplishments as a three-sport star, he is considered the greatest all-around athlete to come out of Port Washington (now Schreiber) High School. Although Dumpson starred in both football and baseball, it was in basketball that the made a name for himself. Dumpson lead the Vikings to consecutive county championships in 1946 and 1947 (the team won the Long Island championship that year, too).

During those two years, the Port team ran through a 35-game winning streak, a Nassau County record at the time. He was the first black player to be named to the Newsday All-Scholastic (so named at the time) basketball team, achieving that honor in both his junior and senior years.

Upon graduation, he went to South Carolina State University, and in the spring of his freshman year, he pitched in a game against the Homestead Grays of the Negro League, struck out 17 of their players, and left town as a member of that team that night, as his son Darin (accepting the award on his late father’s behalf) relates. He played alongside great legends of that league like Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard., and Hank Aaron over the following three years with several Negro League teams, including the Indianapolis Clowns, the Philadelphia Stars, and the New York Black Yankees.

An arm injury led him to the Harlem Globetrotters, where he made a name for himself as “Showboat” Dumpson from 1953-1954. When his Globetrotter career ended, he formed a local basketball team – the Court Jesters – that toured Long Island playing high school faculties, raising funds for scholarships for underprivileged athletes.

Dumpson later became the director of an athletic program for the Nassau County Corrections Center. He passed away in 2014.

Billy Omeltchenko, Great Neck North

Omeltchenko was raised in Great Neck, where he graduated from Great Neck North High School in 1974. An exceptional athlete, he received 9 varsity letters – 3 each for soccer, basketball, and baseball – and excelled in them all. “Omo” was a two-time All-Long Island player in both soccer and basketball in his junior and senior years, and an All-Conference shortstop in baseball both years as well.

He set several school records during those years. As a center forward in soccer, he finished his career as the all-time leader in goals while leading the team to the playoffs every year. Billy also totaled 1,070 points for his three-year basketball career, breaking the school record set in 1969 by Phil Hankinson, who later went on to play with the Boston Celtics. “He was beyond the level of being good, he was exceptional, one of the best – with Phil Hankinson – that we’ve had in my 17 years as a coach,” said his high school mentor Bob Morrison.

To cap off his high school career, Omeltchenkoilly was named Great Neck North Athlete of the Year in his senior year.

Heavily recruited by numerous colleges for soccer, he opted instead for a collegiate career in basketball. At Princeton University, he was captain and MVP of the Tigers basketball team, graduating in 1978. He earned All-Ivy honors in both his junior and senior years for a team that was consistently ranked in the top 20 all three years he played on the varsity, including Ivy League championships in 1976 and 1977, and NCAA berths in both those years, too.

After graduating from Princeton, Omeltchenko briefly pursued a professional basketball career in Europe for teams in Italy, Spain, and Israel, and then back in the USA with the Tucson (AZ) Gunners of the Western Basketball Association (absorbed by the Continental Basketball Association).

From a community service standpoint, Omeltchenko has been a member of the Port Washington Youth Activities board of directors since 1998. He served as PYA President from 2005 – 2009, and before that had a 2-year stint as VP. Prior to that, he was a PYA coach and commissioner for both basketball (12 years) and baseball (6 years).

The sold-out Crest Hollow Country Club, with over 700 attendees that night, included another Hall of Famer with Port Washington ties, Stephanie Joannon.

She was inducted in 2018 for her career as a soccer, basketball and softball coach at Schreiber High School, as well as her Athletic Administration career at Schreiber, and as the Section VIII Basketball coordinator responsible for the direction and implementation of basketball in Nassau County. Joannon is also a past president of the Section VIII Athletic Council.

A complete list of inductees can be viewed at
www.secviii.org/about-section-viii/hall-of-fame/inductees-by-year.

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