by Malik Vincent
As one of the region’s most decorated athletes, Baron “B.B.” Flenory added one more to his laundry list of accomplishments.
At the Four Points by Sheraton Pittsburgh North hotel on May 5, Flenory was the lone African-American enshrined in the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Western chapter this year.
“It was a great thing for me to be a part of,” Flenory said. “What a tremendous honor.”
A 2011 Courier 50 Men of Excellence honoree, Flenory, was a part of the last Duquesne squad that clinched an appearance in the NCAA tournament (1977).
He then went on to play professionally with the Boston Celtics and overseas in Venezuela.
When asked about his fondest memories, to this day, his 81 point game in junior high still sticks out his mind, a performance that led to an appearance in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the crowd”. It also set the tone for his star career at Valley High, where Flenory amassed over 1,800 points on the way to being named Pennsylvania’s HS player of the year in 1976.
“To get into my state’s hall of fame ranks up there with one of my greatest accomplishments,” he said. “I know that there are better players than me out there. But, the committee remembered my name. That means a lot to me.”
Flenory notes his 2010 induction to the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Hall of Fame as a building block for consideration with the State committee.
“If it weren’t for me getting into the WPIAL hall, I don’t think I would have gotten into the State,” Flenory added. “There are several people on the committee that also votes for the State’s, too.”
The Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League (AFL) recently honered him with their community service award.
Currently, he works as a transition specialist for the Pressley Ridge schools, which is the equivalent to a public school’s guidance counselor.
“I take pride in what I do now,” Flenory said. “It’s a total change from what I was doing when I first came home from playing ball.”
Flenory got a degree in criminal justice from Duquesne and worked in the penal system as an athletic director at the State correctional facility in Greensburg. He’s also had a stint as a probation officer.
“I got tired of working in the punitive system,” he added. “I wanted to do something more therapeutic.”
So now at Pressley Ridge, his responsibility is to help the students at the school, who mostly have special needs, transition into life after their school years.
His steadfastness in the community and in his career is something that Flenory has also attributed to his induction to the State hall.
“I believe that was something (that was present) on the selection committee’s mind when they chose me,” he said. “It’s not just about what you get accomplished in athletics. People will always notice what you do in humanity, as well.”
(Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @malikvincent.)