Monday
Feb272012

Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Selections For 2012 Western Massachusetts Senior All-Star Games

60 seniors selected to participate in three games at Hall of Fame

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the team rosters for the 2012 Western Massachusetts Senior High School All-Star Games that will be played on Tuesday March 23rd on the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Center Court.  Total of 60 players were selected from the region that will be divided among three games that will showcase the top seniors in our region for the final time.

“We are pleased to once again host the best of the best from Western Massachusetts,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Our region boasts so many talented basketball players and we look forward to showcasing their talents at the Hall of Fame in a final game to finish each player’s senior season.”  “We wish all of our players nothing but the best in the future and hope this will be an experience they will always remember.”

The teams were selected by a committee made up of local coaches and media members that represent each division on the boys and girls side.  Six teams of 10 were chosen and will be broken down into the following teams:  Division III boys, Division II boys, Division I girls, Division II/III girls and two Division I boys teams.  Only seniors are eligible for the All-Star games.  Games will begin at 5:30 PM on March 23rd with the Division II boys playing the Division III boys; at 7:00 PM, the Division I girls will battle the Division II/III girls team; the final game scheduled for 8:30 PM will feature two Division I boys teams competing against one another.

In partnership with MassLive.com, the Basketball Hall of Fame has created a “Player of the Year” award for one boy and one girl from the region.  Both of these awards will be presented that evening in a special presentation made to the recipients on Center Court.  A voting committee comprised of media members selected the winners of each award.  At halftime of the girl’s game, the Hall of Fame/MassLive.com Western Mass. Girls Player of the Year will be announced and presented. During halftime of the corresponding boys game, the Boys Player of the Year will be celebrated.  Criteria for the awards include achievements on the court, sportsmanship and good character off the court.  All players, seniors and underclassman, are eligible.

Tickets will be available at the Hall of Fame box office the night of the games and will be good for all three of the scheduled games that evening.

Game 1:  5:30 PM

Division II Boys                                                         
Chris Ladd, Belchertown            
Casey White, Easthampton    
Keith Cotnoir, Hampshire            
Phil DePhillipo, Mahar    
Jesse Lacroix, Mahar    
Luis Agrait, South Hadley        
Elijah Marchese, Greenfield        
Tommy Mahoney, Southwick
John Kinne, Monument Mountain    
Peter Gregory, Taconic    

Division III Boys
Chris Bravo, Lenox
Matt Scapin, Lee
Mike McMahon, St. Joseph
Allan Rivera, Smith Vocational
Reynoldo Espada, Dean Tech
Aaron Gaj, Granby
Stephen Jackson, New Leadership
Nate Powers, Holyoke Catholic
Matt Gibson, Turners Falls
Nate Perret, Frontier


Game 2:  7:00 PM

Division I Girls                                                              
Arielle Ward, East Longmeadow    
Emily Stetkiewicz, East Longmeadow    
Alison Littles, Holyoke    
Monique Heard, Holyoke    
Samantha Barnes, Northampton    
Dana Theobald, West Springfield    
Emily Taylor, West Springfield    
Briana Leonard, Amherst    
Kristen Ferola, Amherst    
Jill Ritrosky, Pittsfield    

Division II/III Girls
Jen Begley, Monument Mountain
Alyssa Boardway, Granby
Haley Domina, Easthampton
Alyssa Klepacki, Smith Academy
Halie Laviolette, Palmer
Samantha Parker, Mahar
Kaylie Robidoux, Ware
Nykeisha Robinson, Commerce
Taylor Rooney, Cathedral
Kara Rys, Ware


Game 3:  8:30 PM

Division I Boys Team 1                                      
Jordan Monts, Cathedral    
Ryan DiBernardo, Cathedral    
Taylor Cason, Holyoke    
Austin, Keeler, Holyoke    
Alex Lopez, Commerce    
Jarrod Neumann, Northampton    
Jared Murphy, Northampton    
Joe Meade, Westfield    
Jesus Sanchez, Chicopee    
Keiland Cross, Pittsfield    

Division I Boys Team 2
Tyrell Springer, Central
Chris Prophet, Central
Javaughn MacMillan, Central
Lee Turner, Central
Jordan Almore, Putnam
Brendan Abad, Longmeadow
John Basile, Longmeadow
Tehuijo Nkamebo, Amherst
A.J. Efstratios, Agawam
Jason Erhardt, Minnechaug

Friday
Feb242012

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces 12 Finalists for 2012 Election

First-Time Finalists include Reggie Miller, Rick Pitino, Bill Fitch and Katrina McClain

ORLANDO, FL and SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando, an elite list of players, coaches, an official and one team as the 12 finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2012.  The recognition of being honored as a Hall of Fame finalist is a career highlight in the sport of basketball. This year’s list includes four first-time finalists: five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain.  Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Don Nelson, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes and the All American Red Heads.  The Class of 2012 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.

“The finalists for the Class of 2012 are a decorated group consisting of some of the greatest leaders that we have ever seen in the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors.  “They represent all facets of the game from professional, collegiate, amateur and International levels for the sport.”

Also announced today are five Direct Elects who are the initial members of the Class of 2012.  They include Mel Daniels voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Don Barksdale from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Lidia Alexeeva from the International Committee, Chet Walker from the Veterans Committee and Phil Knight from the Contributors Direct Election Committee.  This year marks the second year of the direct elect process.  Last year, the ABA and Early African-American Pioneers committees were added to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting process and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball.  These five individuals have been directly elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame and will be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremonies in September along with the eventual members from the North American and Women’s committees.  

The complete list of finalists include from the North American Screening Committee: players Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Reggie Miller, Ralph Sampson and Jamaal Wilkes; coaches Bill Fitch, Dick Motta, Don Nelson and Rick Pitino; and referee Hank Nichols. From the Women’s Screening Committee: player Katrina McClain and team The All American Red Heads.

The Class of 2012 will be announced on Monday, April 2 at a news conference in New Orleans prior to the NCAA’s 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 2012 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, September 7. Tickets to the 2012 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5540.

Women’s Committee Finalists:
ALL AMERICAN RED HEADS [Team] – The All American Red Heads are known as the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters and the first women’s professional basketball team.  The team regularly played more than 200 games per season, winning 70% of them while touring thousands of miles reaching 49 states, Canada and the Philippines.  Over six decades (from 1936 to 1986), the team broke social barriers and stereotypes playing in small towns and rural hamlets, as well as Madison Square Garden and Chicago Stadium.

KATRINA McCLAIN [Player] – McClain is one of the most decorated athletes in USA Basketball national team history, winning two Olympic gold medals (1988 and 1996), Olympic Bronze (1992), three FIBA World Championship medals (gold in 1986 and 1990; bronze in 1994) and five more medals at the Goodwill Games, Pan Am Games and World University Games.  She was named the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year in 1988 and 1992.  Before stepping onto the International stage, she was a two-time Kodak All-America (1986, 1987) and the 1987 WBCA National Player of the Year at the University of Georgia.

North American Committee Finalists:
MAURICE CHEEKS [Player] – Cheeks has been involved in the NBA either at the playing level or coaching level since 1978.  As a player, he was named to four NBA All-Star games, a four-time NBA All-Defensive team selection, member of one NBA championship team and set the steals and assist records for Philadelphia.  This Chicago native would then go onto coaching careers with the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers.  He retired fifth on the NBA career list for both assists (7,392) and steals (2,310).  Cheeks is currently an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

BILL FITCH [Coach] – Fitch is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year (1976 and 1980) who led the Boston Celtics to the 1981 NBA Championship.  The Iowa native began his coaching success by leading North Dakota University to consecutive NCAA Division II Final Fours (1965, 1966) and was a staple on the sidelines for 25 NBA seasons with five different teams from 1970 to 1998.  He recorded over 900 wins and ranks eighth in NBA history in victories while reaching five conference finals and becoming the second coach in history to lead a team to three straight 60-win seasons.

BERNARD KING [Player] – King is a four-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA First-Team selection, NBA All-Rookie Team and was the NBA Comeback Player of the Year in 1981.  Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he was a First Team All-America at the University of Tennessee before an NBA career that included stints with the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Washington Bullets.  He averaged over 22 points per game during his 15-year career including a 34.8 points per game average in the 1984 NBA Playoffs.

REGGIE MILLER [Player] – Miller was one of the greatest clutch scorers in NBA history, playing his entire 17-season NBA career with the Indiana Pacers finishing as the franchise’s all-time leader in points (25,279) and steals (1,505).  He was a five-time NBA All-Star, three-time All-NBA Third Team selection and won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996.  From Los Angeles, he guided UCLA to the 1985 NIT Championship and finished third on the school’s all-time scoring list.  He ranks second on the NBA all-time list for three-point field goals made (2,560) and attempted (6,486).  He is ninth on the NBA career free-throw percentage list (.888) and seventh in career minutes played (47,619).  In addition to some memorable NBA playoff performances, he has the most three-pointers made (320) in playoff history.

DICK MOTTA [Coach] – Motta had coaching success at all levels of the game – starting at the junior college level in 1954.  He’s collected more than 1,000 victories while at the junior college, high school, collegiate and NBA levels.  He guided the Washington Bullets to the 1978 NBA Championship, won NBA Coach of the Year in 1971, led Weber State to two Big Sky regular season championships, and won a state high school championship in Grace, Idaho.  Over his NBA career, he led five different NBA teams – the Bullets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets.

DON NELSON [Coach] – Nelson, the all-time winningest coach in NBA History with over 1,300 victories is one of only two coaches to be named NBA Coach of the Year three times (1983, 1985 and 1992).  He spent over 40 years of his life as a player, coach and general manager.  He has led teams to 18 playoff appearances where he amassed 75 playoff wins and is one of only two NBA coaches to win 250 games with three different teams.  In 2007, he led the Golden State Warriors to the first #8 seed upset over a #1 seed in a seven-game series when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks.  He also coached Dream Team II to a gold medal in the 1994 World Championships.  Nelson is the only coach with 1,000+ wins and multiple NBA championships as a player, where he won five titles with the Boston Celtics (1966, 1968, 1969, 1974 and 1976).

HANK NICHOLS [Referee] – Nichols focused his career in basketball around the rules of the game.  A long-time NCAA basketball official who has refereed six national championship games, 10 final fours, three NIT Finals and 13 ACC Championships – officiated at the top of collegiate basketball for decades.  He officiated on the world stage officiating two Olympic games and one European championship.  After his officiating career, he would become the national coordinator of officials for the NCAA for over 20 years and was instrumental in the progression of rule changes at the collegiate level and he remains one of the most influential rules architects in history.

RICK PITINO [Coach] – Pitino is the only coach in men’s history to lead three different schools to NCAA Final Four appearances as he did with Providence College, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.  He led Kentucky to the 1996 National Championship and then reached the title game again with the Wildcats the following year.  He has won over 600 games in his collegiate career, reached the Final Four five different times (1987, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2005), led his teams to 20 postseason appearances and won nine conference tournament championships.  He earned Coach of the Year honors from different sources three different years.  Pitino also held two stints as an NBA head coach with the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, leading the Knicks to two playoff appearances.

RALPH SAMPSON [Player] – Sampson is one of the top collegiate players of all-time, where at Virginia he became only the third three-time National College Player of the Year.  He was a three-time Naismith Award winner, two-time Wooden Award recipient and led the Cavaliers to the NIT Championship and one Final Four appearance.  He was only the sixth player in NCAA history to collect 2,000 points and 1,500 rebounds.  In 1983, he was the No. 1 draft pick by the Houston Rockets.  In the NBA, he was named to three NBA All-Star games, collected Rookie of the Year honors in 1984 and was named MVP of the 1985 NBA All-Star game.  

JAMAAL WILKES [Player] – Wilkes, a California native, spent his entire high school, college and professional career in his home state, playing under Hall of Famer John Wooden at UCLA prior to a successful NBA career with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.  At UCLA, he would win two National Championships and receive All-America honors in 1974.  He was also a three-time GTE Academic All-America selection.  In the NBA, he won four championships while reaching the NBA finals six times.  He was a three-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA All-Defensive second team and received Rookie of the Year honors in 1975.

Friday
Feb242012

Five Direct-Elects for the Class of 2012 Announced By the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Mel Daniels, Don Barksdale, Lidia Alexeeva, Phil Knight and Chet Walker are first members elected for the Class of 2012; Remaining Class Announced April 2

ORLANDO, FL and SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the first five members of the Class of 2012, all of whom were directly elected by distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game of basketball.  These direct-elects include Mel Daniels voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Don Barksdale from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Lidia Alexeeva from the International Committee, Chet Walker from the Veterans Committee and Phil Knight from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.  

This year marks the second year of the direct-elect process.  Last year, the ABA and Early African-American Pioneers committees were added to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting process and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball.  These five individuals have been directly elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame and will be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremonies in September along with the eventual members from the North American and Women’s committees.  

These electees will join the eventual candidates of the North American and Women’s committees from a pool of finalists that includes five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain.  Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Don Nelson, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes and the All American Red Heads.

The entire Class of 2012 will be announced on Monday, April 2 at a news conference in New Orleans prior to the NCAA’s 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 2012 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, September 7. Tickets to the 2012 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5540.

From the ABA Committee
MEL DANIELS [Player] – Daniels is one of the most dominating big men in the history of the American Basketball Association (ABA) as the league’s all-time leading rebounder (9,494) and fourth all-time leading scorer (11,739).  A two-time league MVP in 1969 and 1971, he was a seven-time ABA All-Star and a member of three ABA championship teams with the Indiana Pacers, now of the NBA.  He was selected as a member of the ABA 30-Man All-Time team.  In college, Daniels starred for the University of New Mexico, leading the Lobos in scoring for three straight seasons and was the Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player in 1967.  He was drafted ninth in the 1967 NBA Draft, but chose to go play in the ABA instead.  Following his ABA Rookie of the Year award in 1968, he went on to earn All-ABA First Team four times and Second Team once.  After his professional career, which concluded as a member of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, Daniels joined the coaching staff at Indiana State, where he coached future Hall of Famer Larry Bird.  He was also a member of the Indiana Pacers front office for over 20 years.
 
From the Early African American Pioneers Committee
DON BARKSDALE [Contributor] – One of the true pioneers in the game of basketball, Barksdale broke the color barrier multiple times as the first African-American NCAA All-America, the first to make the U.S. Olympic team, and the first to play in a NBA All-Star game.  Following his military service in World War II, Barksdale led UCLA to the Pacific Coast Conference championship and became the first African-American signed by an American Basketball League (ABL) team with the Oakland Bittners where he set the ABL scoring record in his debut season.  Part of the 1948 Olympic team in London, he became the first-ever African-American to also win a gold medal in basketball.  In 1951, he became one of the top 10 highest paid athletes with the Baltimore Bullets and was eventually traded to the Boston Celtics in 1953, where he became the first African-American player to be selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game.  In 1983, he launched the Save High School Sports Foundation, which raised over 1 million dollars by the time he passed away in 1993 to save several Oakland school athletic programs from demise.   
 
From the International Committee
LIDIA ALEXEEVA [Coach] – Alexeeva is one of the most successful coaches in International basketball history, highlighted by leading the Soviet Union National Team as head coach to gold medals in the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games, four FIBA World Championship titles (1967, 1971, 1975, 1983), four World University Games gold medals, 10 European Championships and 17 USSR National Championships.  She was undefeated in International play for over 17 years.  She also coached Hall of Famer Uljana Semjonova.  As a player, Alexeeva played on Soviet National Teams that won four European Championships (1950, 1952, 1954, 1956).  She has also been enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (1999) and FIBA Hall of Fame (2007).
 
From the Veterans Committee
CHET WALKER [Player] – Walker is widely known as one of the most athletic, skilled and resilient players in his era having missed only 21 games in his decorated 13-year NBA career.  The seven-time NBA All-Star was also a member of the 1967 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers that is recognized as one of the greatest teams in history and ended the Boston Celtics run of eight straight titles.  He went on to score 18,831 points and grab 7,314 rebounds in his career and was only the eighth player in NBA history to play more than 1,000 career games at the time of his retirement in 1975.  As a member of the Chicago Bulls, he led the NBA in free throw percentage at .859 during the 1970-71 season.   In college, Walker was a unanimous First Team All-America selection in 1962, leading Bradley to the NIT finals in back-to-back seasons, and winning the championship in 1960.   He graduated as Bradley’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 24.4 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.  He was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals and selected to the 1963 NBA All-Rookie Team.
 
From the Contributor Direct Election Committee
PHIL KNIGHT [Contributor] – One of the most significant contributors to the game of basketball, Knight, Nike’s co-founder, is currently the company’s Chairman of the Board. Under his guidance, Nike became the first sports brand to work with elite athletes to garner their insights to create the most innovative products. In basketball, Knight worked to create one of the company’s most iconic partnerships with Michael Jordan.  He has had a long history of working with other basketball greats like Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Dirk Nowitzki to Coach K and Vivian Stringer.  Knight also signed Sheryl Swoopes as the first woman to have her own signature basketball shoe.  His company now supports NBA stars like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Jeremy Lin and Kevin Durant.  Knight’s support of basketball internationally has also helped to elevate the game globally, including its current sponsorship of USA Basketball.  He’s also focused his efforts on supporting college athletics – including basketball – by providing resources to grow and maximize the collegiate game and the student-athlete experience through programs such as Duke, Georgetown, Syracuse and his alma mater Oregon.  In 1993, he was named the Most Powerful Man in Sports by The Sporting News.

Friday
Feb242012

Orlando Magic Executive Pat Williams To Receive Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2012 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award

Has spent over 40 years in NBA front offices with Orlando, Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Orlando Magic Executive Pat Williams, who has spent nearly 50 years in professional sports, has been selected to receive the 2012 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced today.

The Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted by the Board of Trustees of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973 and is the most prestigious award presented by the Hall of Fame outside of Enshrinement.  Named in honor of Hall of Famer John W. Bunn (Class of 1964), the first chairman of the Basketball Hall of Fame Committee who served from 1949-1964, the award honors coaches, players and contributors whose outstanding accomplishments have impacted the high school, college, professional or international game.

“Pat Williams has dedicated over four decades of his career to shaping NBA teams, making him an outstanding recipient of this year’s John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “His resume of accomplishments and passion for his teams has made an impact on basketball players, coaches and fans since he started his first front office job in 1968.”

“The Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor colleagues like Pat Williams who has demonstrated his enthusiasm for the game of basketball throughout his life,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board.  “Pat not only made a major impact in his leadership to cultivate the Chicago Bulls organization and bring a championship to the Philadelphia 76ers, but he invested an incredible effort to bring a successful franchise to Central Florida.”

Williams, who has been a part of the Orlando Magic organization since 1986, is currently the team’s Senior Vice President.

"Pat Williams leadership and vision was instrumental in bringing the Magic to Orlando, but the influence he has had on the sport of professional basketball stretches far beyond Central Florida," said Alex Martins, Chief Executive Officer for the Orlando Magic. "Through his love for the game and, most importantly, for those involved in it, Pat has positively impacted the lives of countless players, coaches and executives. He has held practically every front office position there is, and excelled in every role. Pat simply embodies all that is good about professional sports.  I can think of no one more deserving of this great honor than Pat."

Williams was promoted to his current post from the general manager position in April of 1996. As the senior vice president, Williams serves in strategic planning activities relating to RDV Sports, the parent company of the Magic.  He has been the face of the team since its inception in 1987 and helped develop numerous aspects of the franchise both on and off the court, leading the team to the NBA finals in 1995.  In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history.


Prior to joining the Magic organization, Williams began his NBA career in 1968 as the Philadelphia 76ers business manager and the next year, at the age of 29, became the general manager of the Chicago Bulls until 1973 when he left to take the same role with the Atlanta Hawks.  After one season with the Hawks, he returned to Philadelphia where he spent 12 years as the team’s general manager leading the Sixers to a World Championship in 1983.

Before he started his four-plus decades in the NBA, Williams began his career in baseball.  He was a three-year letterman as a catcher for Wake Forest and he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1962 then catching for two seasons with the Miami Marlins, a Class A club in the Florida State League.

He moved to Miami’s front office in 1964 and took the general manager job with the Spartanburg (S.C.) Phillies in 1965 -- later elevated to the position of president of the organization in 1967.

In 1967, he was chosen as the Minor League Executive of the Year by The Sporting News. Williams remains active in baseball as a catcher in Dream Week games in Florida during the winter. He was also the president of Orlando's Double-A Southern League team from 1990-1993.

Pat and his wife Ruth are the parents of 19 children, 14 of whom are adopted from four foreign countries.  He has written 65 books, including his version of the birth of the Orlando Magic, entitled Making Magic, and is considered one of the country’s top motivational speakers.  Williams completed the Boston Marathon 13 times and has finished 55 marathons in the last 15 years.  He was voted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Williams will be presented the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies, to be held at the “Hall of Fame Family Reunion Dinner” on Thursday, September 6. The annual Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Friday, September 7.  For ticket information, please visit www.hoophall.com.

Previous John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
1973 - John Bunn
1974 - John Wooden
1975 - J. Walter Kennedy
1976 - Henry P. Iba
1977 - Clifford B. Fagan
1978 - Curt Gowdy
1979 - Eddie Gottlieb
1980 - Arnold "Red" Auerbach
1981 - Ray Meyer
1982 - Daniel Biasone
1983 - Robert J. Cousy
1984 - Lawrence F. O'Brien
1985 - Lee Williams
1986 - Grady W. Lewis
1987 - David R. Gavitt
1988 - Haskell Hillyard
1989 - George E. Killian
1990 - Pat Head Summitt
1991 - Morgan B. Wootten
1992 - Will Robinson
1993 - Joe Vancisin
1994 - William Wall
1995 - Pete Carlesimo
1996 - Vic Bubas
1997 - C.M. Newton
1998 - Tex Winter
1999 - The Harlem Globetrotters
2000 - Meadowlark Lemon
2001 - Tom Jernstedt
2002 - Harvey Pollack
2003 - Joe O'Brien
2004 - Zelda Spoelstra
2005 - Marty Blake
2006 - Betty Jaynes
2007 - Thomas "Satch" Sanders
2008 - Val Ackerman
2009 - Johnny "Red" Kerr
2010 - Don Meyer
2011 - Brian McIntyre
2012 - Pat Williams

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.

Friday
Feb242012

Sam Smith and Bill Schonely Named Recipients of Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2012 Curt Gowdy Media Award

Recipients To Be Honored during 2012 Enshrinement Week

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Sam Smith, the long-time NBA writer for the Chicago Tribune, and Bill Schonely, the original play-by-play announcer for the Portland Trail Blazers, have been selected to receive the 2012 Curt Gowdy Media Awards from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during Enshrinement festivities scheduled September 6-9, 2012 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Gowdy Media Award is named in honor of the legendary sports broadcaster and former Hall of Fame Board member and President, the late Curt Gowdy. The prestigious award is presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.

“Curt Gowdy was one of the true pioneers in sports broadcasting so it is imperative to find honorees who demonstrate the same passion that Mr. Gowdy showed each time he sat behind his microphone,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Sam Smith and Bill Schonely nearly paralleled each other’s careers, each dedicating almost 30 years to telling the story of their NBA team in print and on the air, respectively.  Sam’s daily coverage and Schonely’s live play-by-play helped shape the storied success of two of the greatest franchises in NBA history.”

Sam Smith, the 2012 honoree for the Print Media, started with the Chicago Tribune in 1979 and eventually focused on the NBA full-time for the newspaper in 1983, becoming a major voice in the game for over two decades covering one of the most dominant franchises during that period.  After 28 years with the Tribune, he joined the Chicago Bulls full-time covering the team on Bulls.com.

“Unquestionably, Sam Smith is one of the most influential writers in basketball history,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, Chairman, Chicago Bulls.  “For almost three decades, Sam has been and continues to be a must-read for anyone following the Chicago Bulls and the NBA. I can’t say I always agreed with everything he wrote, but I assure you I read it all with interest.  I congratulate him for the much deserved Curt Gowdy Media Award.  Sam is a great journalist that never forgot to also be a gentleman.”

Smith is the author of the best selling book The Jordan Rules, which was in the top ten on the New York Times Bestseller List for three months, as well as Second Coming: The Strange Odyssey of Michael Jordan. Smith also co-authored the Total Basketball Encyclopedia.

Smith served four terms as the President of the Professional Basketball Writers Association. He received an undergraduate degree from Pace University in New York City and a master’s degree in journalism from Ball State.  Prior to joining the Tribune, Smith worked as a public accountant in New York City and a congressional and White House reporter in Washington, D.C.  He was also the winner of the Phil Jasner Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011

Bill Schonely, the 2012 Gowdy Award winner representing the Electronic Media, was the original voice of the Portland Trail Blazers starting in 1970.  He called the play-by-play for 2,522 Blazers radio and television broadcasts all the way through the 1998 NBA Playoffs missing only the first 25 games of the 1982-83 season due to heart surgery.


“We couldn’t be happier for Bill. He’s been one of the strongest pillars for our franchise since its inception 42 years ago,” said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. “This is a testament to the impact he’s had on fans in the city of Portland and broadcasters across the country. From calling our championship run in the seventies, voicing the NBA Fan-tastic commercials in the eighties and his present-day work as our Ambassador, Bill has dedicated his life to this organization and the game of basketball.”

Originally from Pennsylvania, Schonely enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating high school and was eventually transferred to Armed Forces Radio while stationed overseas.  After stints in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Seattle, he was approached by the Trail Blazers to start a radio network in 1970.  He quickly became a fixture in the state representing the team on the air and coining numerous phrases.  His best-known phrase, "Rip City" became synonymous with Blazers basketball and even developed into a nickname for the city of Portland itself.

Schonely’s honors include being inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame for Broadcasting in 2002, being named Oregon's Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 2003 and named Broadcaster of the Year by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters in 1994.  The Trail Blazers organization retired Schonely's microphone on November 3, 2003.

Previous Curt Gowdy Media Award Winners
Year - Print/Electronic
1990 - Dick Herbert/Curt Gowdy
1991 - Dave Dorr/Marty Glickman
1992 - Sam Goldaper/Chick Hearn
1993 - Leonard Lewin/Johnny Most
1994 - Leonard Koppett/Cawood Ledford
1995 - Bob Hammel/Dick Enberg
1996 - Bob Hentzen/Billy Packer
1997 - Bob Ryan/Marv Albert
1998 - Larry Donald&Dick Weiss/Dick Vitale
1999 - Smith Barrier/Bob Costas
2000 - Dave Kindred/Hubie Brown
2001 - Curry Kirkpatrick/Dick Stockton
2002 - Jim O’Connell/Jim Nantz
2003 - Sid Hartman/Hot Rod Hundley
2004 - Phil Jasner/Max Falkenstien
2005 - Jack McCallum/Bill Campbell
2006 - Mark Heisler/Bill Raftery
2007 - Malcolm Moran/Al McCoy
2008 - David DuPree/Bob Wolff
2009 - Peter Vecsey/Doug Collins
2010 - Jackie MacMullan/Joe Tait
2011 - Alexander Wolff/Jim Durham
2012 - Sam Smith/Bill Schonely

The Gowdy Awards will be presented at the Basketball Hall of Fame in a special ceremony scheduled for September 6.  The award winners will also be recognized at the annual Enshrinement Ceremony, which will be held on Friday, September 7.  For ticket information, please visit www.hoophall.com.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Birthplace of Basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.