By Michael Boytim
Bellwood-Antis graduate Alli Campbell already has a pretty solid resume for the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame as the county’s all-time leading scorer in boys and girls basketball with 3,019 career points.
Altoona graduate Adam Port has put together a pretty impressive resume himself while excelling in football, wrestling and track and field with the Mountain Lions.
Both Blair County stars will continue their athletic careers collegiately, Campbell at Notre Dame and Port at Lafayette playing Division I football. The pair were recently selected as scholarship recipients from the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame and Reliance Bank to help each of them reach their goals.
“Being recognized is always humbling,” Campbell said. “I appreciate this and everything the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame does for athletes in the area.”
This is the 33rd straight year a scholarship has been awarded by the organization.
“Reliance Bank is honored to once again present the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame scholarships to two very deserving individuals — Alli Campbell and Adam Port,” Reliance Bank President and CEO Denny Doll said. “Both of these individuals represent the character, integrity and perseverance that is needed to succeed.” “For 32 years, these scholarships have been awarded to student-athletes in Blair County to individuals who have left an amazing mark on their high schools, families, and communities. We look forward to continuing our support of this very worthwhile endeavor.”
Campbell and Port were set to be presented the scholarship awards at the Blair Hall of Fame banquet on May 2, but the event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is now scheduled to be held Jan. 23, 2021, and the presentations will take place at that time.
“It’s obviously been an unusual and challenging year,” Blair Hall of Fame President Neil Rudel said. “Alli and Adam will be part of the program. Depending on their schedules, that will be in person or on video. Either way, we look forward to their recognition as they have both been outstanding student-athletes.”
Campbell referenced previous winners Alli Williams and Ana Hollen as inspirations to her athletic career.
“I always looked up to Ana Hollen and Katy Leamer from Bellwood,” Campbell said. “I grew up watching some of BG’s games and seeing Halee Adams and Kayla Bates play. I watched (BG graduate) Alli Williams play at Saint Francis a couple times. Those are players I looked up to and watched over the years and picked up some of their games and tried to apply it to my own. Watching them has helped me grow as well.”
Port mentioned 2018 winner Jayvion Queen as someone he enjoyed playing with.
“It’s a cool honor, because a couple people I’ve known have won it,” Port said. “They have done really well after high school, and I really appreciate being considered for this award. It is pretty prestigious.
“My brother (Jacob) played basketball, and I always kind of looked up to him. More recently, I have played with guys like Jayvion (Queen) and Mitch (Lawhead) who have been fun to watch.”
Port was Altoona’s Cohen Blanket winner in 2020 and was the Altoona recipient of the National Football Foundation Central PA Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame scholarship.
He scored a 1,500 on his SAT, took part in Mountain Lion TV, Youth & Government and did charity work at Garvey Manor.
Port said being honored by the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame makes him feel like part of a rich history.
“Growing up, all my siblings participated in sports, and it was cool watching that,” he said. “Then, I became part of that culture in Altoona. It was an awesome experience.”
Port plans to major in engineering.
“I’m so excited to get to Lafayette and get together with the team,” said Port prior to the Patriot League’s announcement that fall sports, including football at Lafayette, would be suspended during the fall semester. “I have been working out all summer. I love the game. It has made me a better person and given me a chance to meet so many great people. I really appreciate the opportunity to keep playing it.”
Campbell was the salutatorian at Bellwood-Antis, a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Key Club, the vice president of the senior class and raised money for mini-THON via “Hoops for the Holidays.”
She led the Lady Blue Devils to back-to-back state championships in 2018 and 2019 before B-A’s 2020 season was ended due to the pandemic. She has been spending her summer mornings working out with Olivia Hudson and Tom and Bridgid Fox before she heads to Notre Dame.
Campbell finished her career with a 15-1 record in the PIAA playoffs, but she considers her dedication to charity just as important as her contributions on the court.
“Community service is huge and goes way beyond the game of basketball,” Campbell said. “It’s about giving back to your community. My community has given so much to me, so it’s only right that I return the favor and just help out as many people as possible, whether that be go to a camp with little kids or just help out where I’m needed and make a difference.”