Five Professional Athletes from SoJo
Aug 03, 2016 03:54PM
● By Tori La Rue
Star Lotulelei is the most recent player from Bingham High School to make it to the NFL. Lotulelei is a defensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers. – Wesley Hitt
By Tori La Rue | [email protected]
South Jordan, Utah -
Bruce Hardy, former tight end for the Miami Dolphins, played in Super Bowls XVII (1983) and XIX (1985). Hardy was the Bingham High School quarterback before he hit the collegiate and professional fields. While still in high school, Hardy was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as “Best Schoolboy Athlete” in 1974.
Hardy chose to play football on scholarship at Arizona State University and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1978, where he appeared in every game during his rookie season. In 1986 Hardy reached a career high with 54 passes for 430 yards with five scores, starting every game. Over his 12 seasons with the team, he caught 256 passes for 2,455 yards.
After playing for Bingham High School and Utah State University, Kevin Curtis was drafted into the NFL in 2003 by the St. Louis Rams. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007. He caught 77 passes for 1,110 yards and six touchdowns in his initial season with the Eagles, but he missed 20 of the 32 games in the next two seasons while he suffered from a sports hernia and a knee injury.
He was then diagnosed with cancer, but returned to the NFL, playing two games with the Miami Dolphins in the 2010 season and with the Kansas City Chiefs in their 2011 playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Star Lotulelei, defensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers, tackled five opponents during Super Bowl 50, but the Panthers still lost the game to the Denver Broncos. Lotulelei was drafted by the Panthers in first round (14th pick overall) of the 2013 NFL draft. He will likely be on the team for another two years.
Lotulelei has had 89 combined tackles and six sacks in his professional career. The 26-year-old got his start playing basketball [J2] and football at Bingham High School and then played football at Snow College and the University of Utah.
Fred Roberts led the Bingham Miners to back-to-back basketball state championships during his junior and senior seasons in 1977 and 1978. Roberts began playing for BYU in 1978 before playing for the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks in the NBA.
After he retired from basketball, Roberts moved to back to Utah and got his teaching license from BYU. He currently teaches sixth grade at Lincoln Academy in Pleasant Grove.
Gary Wilkinson’s time on the Bingham High School basketball team was cut short when his coach dismissed him for attitude problems. He later dropped out of high school and spent time partying.
Months later, he joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, earned his GED, served a religious mission and played basketball for the Utah State Aggies, where he averaged 17.4 points and 7 rebounds per game, according to an article on ESPN’s website.
Wilkinson went on to play basketball professionally in Korea, Australia and Greece. He and former Aggie player Tai Wesley continue to host summer basketball camps for boys and girls at the Smithfield Recreation Center in Smithfield, Utah.