ORU Athletics inducted four new members into the ORU Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday night during halftime of ORU’s game against IUPUI. The four new inductees included former Golden Eagles Charleton Dechert (men’s golf), Faithy Kamangila (women’s track/cross country), Sam McCants (men’s basketball) and current Chicago White Sox infielder Tyler Saladino (baseball).
Tyler Saladino (2010)
Saladino transferred to ORU back in 2009 after playing two seasons at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. The San Diego native hit .376 with 18 home runs and 76 RBI in his only season at ORU earning Summit League Newcomer and Player of the Year awards.
The White Sox drafted him in the seventh round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut making his debut on July 10, 2015 against the Chicago Cubs.
“It’s a journey but it’s also a process that you focus on and ORU was a huge foundation for what was all to come. Really helped me establish tons of values that helped me, especially in the minor leagues,” said Saladino. “This is my first time back since after my first professional season, but it’s really good to be here.”
Last season, Saladino played in 96 games for the White Sox hitting .282 with 8 homers and 38 RBI.
Saladino’s 75 runs scored and 96 hits places him as a fifth and sixth in ORU history respectively. He also ranks in the top-10 in home runs and RBI.
“It’s pretty surreal. Growing up playing, I never thought about what I may become or anything like that,” said Saladino. “To be up there and being around athletes that have done so much here at this school, it’s quite the experience. I’m truly honored.”
Charleton Dechert (1998-2001)
Dechert dominated during his four year career at ORU. He helped lead the Golden Eagles to four straight Mid-Continent conference championships including four NCAA Regional appearances. Dechert also captured six individual championships and made an appearance in the 2001 NCAA Championships.
“When I was here, there wasn’t even a Hall of Fame so it definitely wasn’t something I was trying to do. It was definetly a neat phone call to get,” said Dechert. “Ireally just feel blessed about my time here. You feel really appreciated.”
He holds four of the top-12 lowest season scoring averages in ORU history and owns the fourth lowest three-round tournament score in school history at 207.
Faithy Kamangila (2004-07)
Kamangila was named Summit League Runner of the Year three times (2004, 2005, 2007) and 2004 Newcomer of the Year. She has the second fastest 6,000-meter time in conference history at 20:44.43 and holds three of the top 10 fastest 6,000-meter times in conference history.
“It’s just a great honor to be inducted. It’s good to be back here again. When I was here running, it was like a family,” said Kamangila. “I didn’t think I’d be inducted because ORU has had many great runners like Andretti Bain, Prince Mumba. Never expected it.”
Kamangila also set a league record with 15 career Athlete of the Week honors and was one of only three athletes to win a single event four times. Kamangila is the only NCAA qualifier in the 5,000-meter run in Summit League history. She won 12 total event championships, including five indoor, four outdoor and three cross country championships.
Sam McCants (1973-74)
McCants played one season at ORU, but made his presence felt. He averaged 24.0 points, 7.1 assists and 5.6 rebounds leading ORU to the Elite Eight back in 1974. He was also All-American and NABC All-District selection that season. McCants ranks among the ORU single season top 10 in assists, field goals, and field goal attempts.
His 697 points during the 1973-74 season ranks fifth in school history.
“It’s one of those days you look forward to. It’s good to still be here to accept this award,” said McCants. “It was also good to see some of my teammates who are still living.”