NORFOLK, Va. – Andrew Heidelberg, former Norfolk State football player and member of the famed "Norfolk 17," has been selected for induction into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame later this year, the organization announced Monday.
Heidelberg was a standout offensive football player at Norfolk State College from 1962-65. But he is best known for his role as one of the Norfolk 17 – the group of African American children who integrated Norfolk's public schools in 1959. Heidelberg was the first black football player at Norview High School, where he helped the Pilots win an Eastern District title as a senior in 1961. He was the first African American to play varsity football at an all-white public school in Virginia.
After his playing career at Norfolk State, Heidelberg went into the banking industry and later held positions in the city of Hampton treasurer's office. Heidelberg published a book in 2006 entitled "The Norfolk 17: A Personal Narrative on Desegregation in Norfolk, Virginia in 1958-62."
Other inductees in this year's Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame class include: ODU basketball coach Sonny Allen, former NFL football player D.J. Dozier, former Major League Baseball player Hank Foiles, former local and professional soccer star Angela Hucles, and Hampton University and NBA standout Rick Mahorn.
This year's induction banquet is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Norfolk Scope arena. Admission is $60 per person, or $400 for a table of eight. Reservations can be made by calling (757) 622-2222, ext. 101.