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Friday
Feb142014

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Ten Finalists for 2014 Election

First-Time Finalists include seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning and ’94 NABC Coach of the Year Nolan Richardson

NEW ORLEANS, LA and SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend, eight elite players, coaches and one team as finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2014.  Hall of Fame finalist recognition is a career highlight for many in the sport of basketball.  This year’s list includes six first-time finalists: three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson, seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning and 1994 Naismith, NABC Coach of the Year Nolan Richardson, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, NCAA National Championship coach Gary Williams and Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s.  Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, six-time AAU National Champion Coach Harley Redin and six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond. The Class of 2014 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.

“We are proud to present a distinguished group of finalists for the Class of 2014 who have made huge strides in the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Each finalist has made a difference to the game in their own way.  It’s not going to be easy for the Honors Committee to select the final class members.”

Also announced today are five Direct Elects who are the initial members of the Class of 2014.  They include Bob Leonard voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Nat Clifton from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Sarunas Marciulionis from the International Committee, Guy Rodgers from the Veterans Committee and David Stern from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.

The complete list of eight finalists from the North American Screening Committee include: players Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, Kevin Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Mitch Richmond and coaches Nolan Richardson, Eddie Sutton and Gary Williams. From the Women’s Screening Committee: Harley Redin and Immaculata University.

The Class of 2014 will be announced on Monday, April 7 at a press conference in North Texas prior to the NCAA Men’s Championship game.  A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  The Class of 2014 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. in August.

Women’s Committee Finalists:

HARLEY REDIN [Coach] - Redin, compiled an overall women’s record of 431-66 (.867) capturing six AAU National Championships (1956, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1970, 1971). Leading Wayland Baptist to two undefeated women’s season (1956, 2957), 17 top five finishes and went 110-2 during his first four seasons at Wayland Baptist. He coached the Women’s US National Team in 1959, the 1971 Pan-American Games, and the 1963 World Tournament in Peru. Redin is also a member of the US Olympic Committee and the AAU Rules Committee. He was the recipient of the Jostens-Berenson Service Award by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for his lifetime of service to women’s basketball (1992) and the recipient of the Naismith Award for Outstanding Contribution to the game of women’s basketball (2000). Redin was named #42 in Sports Illustrated 50 Greatest Sports Figure from Texas.

IMMACULATA UNIVERSITY [Team] – Coached by Hall of Famer Cathy Rush, Immaculata University won three straight AIAW National Championships (1972-74), compiling an overall record of 60-2 in three seasons. They were the first women’s college team to play in a nationally televised game, play at Madison Square Garden and to play in Australia. The roster included some of the nation’s best women’s basketball players including: Theresa Shank, who was a three-time All American recording 1,167 points and 952 rebounds in her career, Marianne Crawford, who was a two-time Kodak All- America also recording 747 points and 544 assists and Mary Scharff, who was a Kodak All-American recording 1,235 points and 583 rebounds in her career. All three ladies were inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

North American Committee Finalists:

TIM HARDAWAY [Player] - A 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Hardaway played 13 NBA seasons scoring a total of 15,373 points while averaging more than 20 points per game for four consecutive seasons.  He is the 1990 recipient of the Jack McMahon Award for most inspirational player and a 1993 All-NBA Third Team member.  He currently ranks thirteenth in NBA history with 7,095 career assists and 1,542 career three-point field goals.  The Chicago, Ill. native was a member of the men’s basketball at the University of Texas at El Paso (1985-1989) and played in the NBA from 1989-2003.  He is known for making his signature move – the “UTEP Two-step” – famous in 1989, the same year he was named WAC Player of the Year.

SPENCER HAYWOOD [Player] - Haywood joined the ABA in 1969 and then went on to play for 12 years in the NBA (1970-1983), where he scored 14,592 points, had 7,038 rebounds and won a National Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980.  He is a four-time NBA All-Star (1972-1975) and two-time All-NBA First Team member (1973, 1974).  Haywood was the leading scorer on the 1968 gold medal United States Olympic team.  During his time with the ABA’s Denver Nuggets, he was named ABA Rookie of the Year and ABA All Star Game MVP.  He holds ABA single season records for most minutes played (3,808), most field goals made (986), most rebounds (1,637) and highest rebounding average (19.5).  At the University of Detroit, he received a unanimous First Team All-America selection in 1969.

KEVIN JOHNSON [Player] - Johnson is the first player to have his jersey retired at the University of California.  After playing for Cal from 1983-1987 he played for 12 years in the NBA and holds the NBA Finals single-game record for most minutes played with 62.  Johnson is the first player in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 assists, a .500 field goal percentage and two steals per game for an entire season.  In 1989, he earned the NBA Most Improved Player award.  The three-time NBA All-Star (1990, 1991, 1994) is also an All-NBA Second Team member (1989, 1990, 1991, 1994) and an All-NBA Third Team member (1992).  Now the mayor of his hometown of Sacramento, CA, Johnson was a major advocate of keeping the Sacramento Kings NBA team in the city when it was at high risk of moving.

ALONZO MOURNING [Player] - Mourning was a seven-time NBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002) and a member of the Miami Heat NBA Championship team in 2006.  He is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1999, 2000) and a two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member (1999, 2000).  He led the NBA in blocked shots (1998-99, 1999-2000) and blocks per game (1998-99, 1999-2000) and earned an NBA All Rookie Team recognition in 1993.  The Chesapeake, Virginia native attended Georgetown University (1988-1992) and played in the NBA from 1993 until 2008 and the all-time leader in blocks for the Miami Heat with 1,625. 

NOLAN RICHARDSON [Coach] - The 1994 Naismith and NABC Coach of the Year, Richardson led the University of Arkansas to the 1994 National Championship and to three Final Four appearances (1990, 1994, 1995).  Richardson is an enshrinee in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.  He was the 1998 SEC Coach of the Year and led Tulsa to an NIT championship in 1981 and Western Texas to a NJCCA national championship in 1980.  Richardson compiled a collegiate coaching record of 509-207 (.711). 

MITCH RICHMOND [Player] - A six-time NBA All-Star, Richmond is a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist and won the 2002 NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers.  At the beginning of his NBA career he became a part of the Golden State Warriors’ famous “RUN TMC” attack.  Richmond is the 1995 NBA All-Star Game MVP, the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-NBA Third Team member (1996, 1998).  He scored 20,497 points and averaged more than 21 points per game for ten consecuive seasons in the NBA.  At Kansas State University, he averaged 20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and was UPI, The Sporting News and USBWA Second Team All-America in 1988.

EDDIE SUTTON [Coach] - The four-time National Coach of the Year (1977, 1978, 1986, 1995) and eight-time Conference Coach of the Year (1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1993, 1998, 2004) is the first coach in NCAA history to lead four different schools in the NCAA Tournament.  Sutton currently ranks eighth among Division I coaches in all-time victories and has recorded only one losing season in 37 years of coaching (1989).  He coached Oklahoma State University from 1991-2006 and ties the conference record for wins by a first-year coach with 24.  He guided his teams to three Final Fours, six Elite Eights and 12 Sweet Sixteens.

GARY WILLIAMS [Coach] - As head coach of the University of Maryland from 1990-2011, Williams led the team to 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1994-2004), a National Championship in 2002, an ACC Tournament championship in 2004 and was enshrined into the University of Maryland Sports Hall of Fame and University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame. Williams was named Coach of the Year from Basketball America, Playboy, CBSsportsline.com, District and the ACC.  He compiled an overall coaching record of 668-380 (.637) and led his teams to seven 25-win seasons and 22 appearances in postseason play.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
 
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