By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
BOONEVILLE – Michael Rubenstein loved recognizing the best Mississippi had to offer in athletics, which is one of the reasons he helped found the state’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Now, after his death last December, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame looks to continue Rubenstein’s mission with an award in his honor.
Sports Hall executive director Rick Cleveland announced the creation of the Rube Award, so called for the nickname Rubenstein’s friends affectionately called him, Saturday at a memorial honoring the Booneville native in his hometown.
“We knew we needed to honor Rube in some way,” said Cleveland. “We’re going to do it with an annual award that goes to somebody who’s love and support and contributions to athletics in Mississippi exemplifies the same that Michael had.”
The first Rube Award will be given at the Sports Hall of Fame’s 50th induction ceremony on July 27 in Jackson.
“We haven’t announced who the first recipient is yet, but I think everybody will be pleased with that as well,” Cleveland said.
While Rubenstein spent most of his adult life away from Northeast Mississippi, he still kept up with the area, especially in the sport he played in high school – basketball.
“He was real proud of Northeast Mississippi basketball and all the success stories,” Cleveland said. “Not just Booneville, but Baldwyn, Thrasher, Belmont and you could go on and on.”
Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.