Terrell Lester, editor at large for Newspapers, is one of 14 individuals who were inducted into the Tulsa Public Schools Athletics Hall of Fame on Jan. 25. He is the first member of the media to be selected for the Hall of Fame, which honors individuals from each of the nine high schools.
The sixth class of honorees, chosen by an elite committee chaired by Director of Athletics Gil Cloud, was presented during a reception and banquet at the Marriott Southern Hills.
Lester, in his 54th year as a newspaperman, has long been recognized for his statewide coverage of high school athletics. Lester graduated from Central High School in 1960. He joined the Tulsa World in 1964 and became a member of the staff in 2000.
Lester has amassed a collection of local, state and national awards during his career. He has been inducted into the halls of fame of the Oklahoma Coaches Association, Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association, Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association and the Basketball Tournament of Champions. He helped to launch the Tournament of Champions in 1966 and remains as its historian and records-keeper.
He consistently credits a high school English teacher, the late Paula Jean Whitson, for her encouragement to enter journalism and the late Tulsa World Sports Editor Bill Connors for his guidance and mentorship.
Lester’s career has focused not only on high school athletics coverage but also on a far-ranging span of news-makers and human-interest subjects. He has edited five books while holding numerous newsroom positions during his half-century newspaper career.
Other members of the 2018 class of the Athletics Hall of Fame include Jonita Ford Criddle, Bill Goldberg, Joey Grayson, Clint Hill, Tommy Hudspeth, Gene Iba, Granville Liggins, Clay Martin, Danny Morgan, Joey Robinson, Etan Thomas, Bill Van Burkleo and John Watson.