ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Former four-time winner on the PGA Tour, current Golf Channel Analyst, and former stand-out athlete at Albuquerque Academy Notah Begay III was inducted into the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame on Friday in San Antonio, Texas. Begay joins a star-studded class in 2022 – which features the late Walter Payton, who was one of the best NFL running backs, and Sanya Richards-Ross, who is a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist in track & field.
“To be here among all these wonderful people, Walter Payton, Thurmon Thomas, Sanya Richards-Ross, Olympians, and Hall of Famers. So, it kind of just gives you a sense of respect for those players, but also for what I have been lucky enough to achieve in my life,” said Begay.
Begay is an advocate of youth and youth sports, so this honor is really special to him. “For a lot of us that have kids, coach kids, mentor kids, and interact with kids, it’s a way for us to provide them with some stability in their lives. Sports can be that one common thing that says you know, ‘yes I can, I am worth it,’ and that’s what sports gave me at the high school level and I am deeply appreciative,” said Begay.
Before Notah helped thousands of Native American youth with his NB3 Foundation, and even before he garnered four wins on the PGA Tour, Notah was a stand-out athlete at Albuquerque Academy. Begay won two state titles in golf (1989,1990) and the National High School Golf Championship his senior year, but Notah was also a standout soccer and basketball player. Begay even played on the first two (1989 and 1990) of Albuquerque Academy’s eventual six consecutive state championship basketball teams.
After high school, Notah went on to shine at Stanford High School where he built a strong relationship with Tiger Woods, was a three-time all-American, and was also the captain of the 1994 team that won the NCAA national championship. Notah Begay III is a prime example of a Hall Fame Athlete and he continues to be a strong role model in the state of New Mexico.
“If there is a way that I can provide some inspiration or a pathway for them to achieve their dreams, that’s what people did for me. So, now it’s my time to give back and sort of be that motivation,” said Begay.