Floyd LIttle Atheltic Center Dedicated

Thursday, September 15, 2011
Christopher Hoffman
The New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) today renamed the New Haven Athletic Center the Floyd Little Athletic Center in honor of city native, Hillhouse High School standout and Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little.
Little traveled from his Syracuse, N.Y. home to attend the event and cut the ribbon. The newly christened 105,000 square foot Floyd Little Athletic Center, which opened in 2002, is the largest scholastic athletic facility in New England and hosts numerous state and regional competitions. 
The renamed center features photographs and murals of Little during his playing days as well as a showcase with memorabilia from his career.
After leaving Hillhouse, Little was a star running back for Bordentown Military Institute, Syracuse University and the Denver Broncos. Little was an All-American at Syracuse and led the National Football League in rushing in 1971. During his pro career, he ran for 6,323 yards, scored 43 touchdowns and amassed more than 12,000 total yards. He retired as the 7th leading rusher in NFL history at the time and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
After football, Little earned a law degree and became a successful businessman.
“I’m very proud to help dedicate the Floyd Little Athletic Center,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo said. “Floyd Little is a shining example to New Haven’s young people. Floyd is a star not just in football, but in academic achievement and in life. Floyd’s life demonstrates the vital importance of graduating from college, a message that we want all New Haven students to hear so they will strive for New Haven Promise scholarships.
“Floyd came from the humblest of backgrounds and struggled in school, but through hard work and determination turned around his grades. He eventually excelled, earning college and law degrees. Floyd understands that success off the field is just as important as success on the field, a powerful message to our young people. His story tells our young people that anything is possible if they work hard and try their best.”
NHPS Athletic Director Joseph Canzanella said, “Floyd Little is one of the finest athletes Hillhouse and the New Haven Public Schools ever produced. He is a winner both on and off the field. It’s an honor to name the field house the Floyd Little Athletic Center. Floyd will serve as a powerful role model for New Haven scholastic athletes and students.”
The showcase at the Floyd Little Athletic Center will include photos of Little, autographed footballs, jerseys and helmets. It will also have a plaque with a quote from Little’s Hall of Fame’s acceptance speech, “The Choice is Yours, Be the Best You Can Be” and a “Lifetime Achievements” section.