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7 Chosen For Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame

Wah Chu, the father of four-time Olympian Julie Chu, speaks at an announcement Tuesday in Stamford. Julie Chu was one of seven people selected for the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
John Laureno, the grandson of Stamford coaching legend John "Sharkey" Laureno, speaks at the induction ceremony. Photo Credit: Tom Renner
Tom Chiappetta, executive director of the Fairfield County Sports Commission, speaks at the induction ceremony. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – A U.S. women’s hockey star, a Major League Baseball player and longtime legends in Stamford and Norwalk were among seven people named Tuesday, June 17, to the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame.

Fairfield’s Julie Chu, a four-time Olympic medalist in women’s hockey, leads the class announced for the Hall of Fame, which is overseen by the Fairfield County Sports Commission. The seven honorees will be recognized at the commission’s 10th annual Sports Night on Monday, Oct. 20, at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich.

Trumbull’s Craig Breslow, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, was the other choice for the Jackie Robinson Professional Wing. Stamford’s Sharkey Laureno was named to the J. Walter Kennedy Community Service Wing, and Norwalk’s Mickey Connolly was named to the James O’Rourke Amateur Wing. Fairfield’s Marty Roos, the state’s winningest coach in ice hockey, was also named to the Kennedy Wing along with Bridgeport’s Efrain “Chico” Chacurian. Nadine Domond of Bridgeport was also named to the O’Rourke Wing.

Chu won three silver medals and a bronze in the Olympics for Team USA, along with four gold medals in other world championship competitions. She carried the flag for the U.S. delegation at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, earlier this year. She won the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2007 as the nation’s best collegiate player while attending Harvard.

“Through it all, I’m most proud that she has remained so grounded,’’ said her father, Wah, who attended Tuesday’s announcement. His daughter was in Los Angeles and participated in the Stanley Cup celebration ceremony with the Los Angeles Kings. “She took it all in with humility.”

Breslow is in his ninth year in the Major Leagues, and played a key role for Boston as it won the World Series in 2013. A left-handed relief specialist, he pitched in 10 postseason games and won a game in the Divisional Series. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002 after a standout career at Yale. He has pitched for San Diego, Cleveland, Minnesota, Arizona and Oakland.

Laureno was a longtime baseball, basketball and football official for over 40 years in Stamford. He was one of the founders of the city’s Babe Ruth Baseball program and led his teams to seven World Series appearances. His team won 45 straight games in New England Babe Ruth competition, and he was elected to the Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame in 1975. He was also one of the founders of the Shoreline League, which was once the premier softball league in the country. He died in 1987.

Many Norwalk historians claim Connolly is the city’s greatest  overall athlete. He was a five-sport star in high school and played football at Boston College. He helped the team to two bowl games and played for BC’s 1940 undefeated national champions. His brief professional football career was cut short by injury. He died in 2006.

Roos retired in 2012 after 40 years of coaching and 536 victories. He won four state titles at Fairfield Prep and moved to Notre Dame of Fairfield in 1991 and led the Lancers to two state titles.

Domond stands sixth all-time on the state scoring list among girls basketball players. She led Bridgeport Central to the 1994 state championship and a 27-0 record. She played at the University of Iowa and in the WNBA.

Chacurian was a longtime college and amateur team soccer coach and standout player. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

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