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Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame honors Richard G. Morales for his contributions to Laredo-area athletics and contributions to the community.

Richard G. Morales Richard G. Morales

A native of Galveston, Morales and his family came to Laredo when he was five years old. Growing up in the Gateway City, Morales quickly became a standout in sports — especially at Martin High School — where he earned four athletic letters in football and track, and three in basketball.

While excelling in all three, he was at his best when it came to track. He accomplished his most memorable feats as a track star, being one of the few sprinters to ever run 100-yards in less than 9.9 seconds.

Sul Ross University quickly grabbed the young athlete, offering a football scholarship. Unfortunately, a chronic knee injury cut short Morales’ collegiate athletic career.

Life after athletics Morales earned his law degree from La Salle Extension University and passed his Texas State Bar exam. Although he became a successful attorney in Laredo, he never lost his love for sports.

That passion inspired him to volunteer as a boys’ basketball coach for the Knights of St. Augustine. Lo- cated in the heart of historic downtown Laredo, St. Augustine didn’t have much in the way of practice facilities. The storied streets of Laredo became Morales’ track, while the auditorium served as the basketball court and Plaza San Agustin was his field. Despite the difficulties, Morales molded his team of 10 young men into a force to be reckoned with in basketball.

Under Morales’ guidance, the team held its own against Laredo’s best, including the Martin team that became the 1955 State Champions. Morales led his Knights to two Texas Catholic Interscholastic League Championship games during the 1953-54 and 1954-55 seasons. It was a truly remarkable feat for both the team and Laredo.

Although he is no longer alive, Morales’ memory lives on in the hearts of the young men he coached and in the soul of the community that he was proud to call his own.