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

“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

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.


Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Teams and Dates for 2012 Tip-Off Tournament

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the field of teams and brackets for the 2012 Tip-Off Tournament. The annual NCAA men’s exempt tournament, sponsored by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, will take place the weekend of November 16th-18th at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut featuring eight schools in two four-team brackets.  All teams will also compete in two campus round games.

Teams scheduled to participate in this year’s Tip-Off tournament are Loyola University Maryland (MAAC), Norfolk State University (MEAC), Ohio State University (Big Ten), Seton Hall University (Big East), University of Albany (America East), University of Missouri-Kansas City (Summit League), University of Rhode Island (Atlantic 10) and University of Washington (Pac-12).

“This year’s Tip-Off Tournament will once again showcase some of the best college basketball programs in the country,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “We are looking forward to welcoming each of these teams, as they compete at Mohegan Sun, one of the finest facilities in the country.”

The 2012 Tip-Off Tournament game schedule will be separated into two brackets. The Springfield bracket will include Albany, Loyola, UMKC and Norfolk State. The Naismith bracket will consist of Ohio State, Washington, Seton Hall, and Rhode Island. Game times and sessions for both rounds will be announced at a later date.

“On behalf of Mohegan Sun, we are excited to be able to once again host one of the most prestigious tournaments in college basketball,” said Jeffrey Hartmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mohegan Sun. “We appreciate the Hall of Fame’s passion for basketball, and we look forward to continuing our relationship and hosting another great event in November.”

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will serve as the host conference for the annual event.  The MAAC will host the men’s and women’s basketball championships at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA this March and has developed a strong partnership with the Basketball Hall of Fame, including the opening of a MAAC exhibit in the Hall of Fame museum. 

“The MAAC is excited to extend its support of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Tip-Off Tournament again in 2012,” said Rich Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC. “The MAAC and the Hall of Fame continue to expand its relationship and we look forward to working together in the future on many projects, including the annual Tip-Off Tournament.”

Tickets for the 2012 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off at Mohegan Sun Arena will go on sale in the near future.  For more information on the event, log on to 


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.

About Mohegan Sun:

Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, is one of the largest, most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming and shopping destinations in the United States.  Situated on 185 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is within easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence and located 15 minutes from the museums, antique shops and waterfront of Mystic Country.  More information is available by calling 1.888.226.7711 or visiting  Connect with us on, follow us on and view us on


About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

The MAAC, headquartered in Edison, N.J., consists of 10 member institutions: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Loyola University Maryland, Manhattan College, Marist College, Niagara University, Rider University, Saint Peter's College and Siena College. For more on the conference, please visit



Thad Matta, Ohio State University

“Opening the 2012-13 season in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament will give our team the opportunity to gauge itself against quality competition in an NCAA tournament setting.  Our program appreciates the opportunity to be a part of this outstanding event.”

Lorenzo Romar, University of Washington

“Coach Jim Shaw has done a great job of trying to get us in one of the premier tournaments every year and this certainly falls into that category. We are privileged and honored to be selected as a participant in the Hall of Fame Tournament.  The New York experience was great, we got to do a lot of things away from basketball. When we went to the CBE Classic (Kansas City) a few years ago, we got to see the NCAA Hall of Fame. Now, to be able to see and experience the Naismith Hall of Fame is something that may be our players only opportunity to ever see it. I’m already excited!”

Anthony Evans, Norfolk State University 

"We are excited to be first-time participants in the Hall of Fame Tournament. It's an honor for us to be involved with an event that is connected to the history of the game. This is a great opportunity for our program and players."


Kevin Willard, Seton Hall University

“This is a great opportunity for our program to participate in one of the marquee early season events on the national calendar.  We’re proud to be a part of a tournament that celebrates the tradition and history of our sport. We’re excited to be a part of this impressive field and look forward to the competition next November.”

Jimmy Patsos, Loyola University Maryland

"We are looking forward to participating in the Tip-Off Tournament. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has formed a strong partnership with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and we are honored to be selected to participate in the event next year."

Matt Brown, University of Missouri-Kansas City

“We are appreciative of the opportunity to play in the Tip-Off Tournament. We are not only looking forward to playing some great teams, but also be able to expose our student-athletes to the history of the sport of Basketball at the Hall of Fame.”

Will Brown, University at Albany

“We are excited to be a part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. We will open the season with a very challenging schedule as our first 2 games in the event will be against Ohio State and Washington. The event will also give us the opportunity to visit the Hall of Fame and play 2 more games at Mohegan Sun. This will be a great experience for our program, athletic department, university, alumni, and fans.”

Jim Baron, University of Rhode Island

“We are proud to be among the field for the 2012 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.  It is a tremendous tournament with outstanding teams, coaches, and student-athletes. We are looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to play in such a prestigious event.”


Black History Month: Basketball Hall of Fame is Proud to Support “On the Shoulders of Giants”

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to support Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his film entitled On the Shoulders of Giants. This documentary honors the legacy of a group of basketball pioneers that have paved the way for so many of today’s athletes. This amazing story illustrates the struggle during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, for many greats such as West Indies native, Bob Douglas. Douglas’ and his team the Harlem Rens experienced extreme racism and through it all, their unwavering determination prevailed.

The story of the greatest team you have never heard of was made as a labor of love; the documentary is compiled of archival footage, innovative 3D graphics and reenactments, along with interviews with celebrities and sports legends. We need your support as we tell the story of young men, who remind us that we are all standing On the Shoulders of Giants. The documentary will premiere tonight on Showtime at 8:30p.m. And is also available for purchase at

“It’s easy to say that a film like this should be shown to schoolchildren and budding athletes—as it should—but I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t respond to such a fascinating topic, presented in such appealing fashion. If this reads like a rave review, it’s because On the Shoulders of Giants knocked me out. I hope it finds the audience it so richly deserves.”
—Leonard Maltin, Film Critic

“On the Shoulders of Giants (is) one of the most inspirational, entertaining and enlightening sports documentaries I’ve ever seen.”
—Richard Roeper, Film Critic Chicago Sun-Times


Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Winners of the 2012 Morgan Wootten Award

 - February 9, 2012 -

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. –The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the winners of the 2012 Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball. This prestigious award is named after Morgan Wootten, who is one of two high school coaches enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The annual award is presented to one boy’s basketball coach and one girl’s basketball coach. 

The 2012 winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for boy’s basketball is Ed Pepple from Mercer Island High School (Mercer Island, WA). Pepple is the longest-tenured basketball coach in the state of Washington. He has coached at Mercer Island since 1968 and immediately impacted the program. Pepple has led his teams to 21 KingCo championships, four state championships, and was runner-up four times. He has the most wins of any active head coach (902-305), and has appeared in 26 state championships. Pepple has been named Washington State Coach of the Year seven times and named Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1997. 

The 2012 winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for girls’ basketball is Brad Smith from Oregon City High School (Oregon City, OR). Coach Smith has coached the Oregon City High School girl’s basketball team for 27 seasons, compiling a 654-94 win-loss record (.874), the best record by far among retired and current girls coaches in the state. His teams won 25 league championships; an unprecedented 10 state titles; and they were named “USA Today National Champions” in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Smith has received many honors, including National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year, the Oregon Banquet of Champions Slats Gill Coach of the Year and Citizen of the Year in 2007. 

“Coach Pepple and Coach Smith are both great ambassadors to the game of basketball,” said John. L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “They have impacted the lives of many young student athletes, and we are honored to recognize their achievements in coaching high school basketball.” 

“I am extremely honored to be presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Coach Pepple and Coach Smith as they both represent excellence in the game of basketball at all levels,” said Hall of Fame Class of 2000 member Morgan Wootten.

The Morgan Wootten Award winners were selected by a nationally based committee comprised of Hall of Famers, national high school media members, tournament directors and others that have significantly impacted the game. Morgan Wootten will present the awards at the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game events this March in Chicago, Illinois.

Previous award boys’ basketball award winners have included Jack Curran (Archbishop Molloy, NY), Joe Gallagher (St. John’s College, DC), Ralph Tasker (Hobbs High School, NM), Robert Hughes (Fort Worth Dunbar, TX) and Bob Hurley, Sr. (St. Anthony’s, NJ). Previous winners of the girls’ basketball award have included Leta Andrews (Granbury High School, TX), Jim Smiddy (Bradley Central, TN), Dorothy Gaters (Chicago Marshall, IL), Rick Insell (Shelbyville, TN) and Gene Klinge (West Central of Maynard, IA).


Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Final 11 candidates for 2012 Bob Cousy Award

- February 2, 2012 -

Springfield, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield,
Massachusetts announced today the 11 finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard
of the Year Award. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob
Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in college basketball. An original list of 60-plus
candidates was trimmed by a Hall of Fame appointed, nationally-based committee to the below
list of 11 student-athletes.

“We are excited to announce this years final 11 candidates, as they all exemplify the skills and
talent necessary to make an elite point guard” said John L. Doleva, President & CEO of the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Hall of Fame looks forward to watching these
players compete for one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards.”

“The list is getting harder and harder to trim down” said Ken Kauffman, Chair of the 2012 Bob
Cousy Award. “We have so many elite college point guards that represent what Mr. Cousy
epitomized as a player.”

Beginning Wednesday, February 6th, via the Bob Cousy Award’s website – – fans will be able to vote for the top point guard. The player that
receives the most fan votes will receive one vote toward the final committee vote. Fan voting
will run one month – beginning February 6th and will conclude March 6th.
Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award have included Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph’s),
Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Dee Brown (Illinois), Acie Law (Texas A & M), DJ Augustin
(Texas), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) and last year’s recipient
Kemba Walker (Connecticut). For more information on the 2012 Bob Cousy, log onto

The current listing of 11 finalists for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be narrowed down to 5
players on March 8th. The final five players in contention for the award will be presented to Mr.
Cousy and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The Hall of Fame committee is made up of
top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Sports Information
Directors and Hall of Famers. The winner of the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be awarded at the
Hall of Fame’s Class Announcement on Monday April 2nd in New Orleans as part of NCAA
Final Four weekend.

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.

2012 Bob Cousy Award 11 Finalists
Pierre Jackson, Baylor
Scott Machado, Iona
Casper Ware, Long Beach State
Phil Pressey, Missouri
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
Damian Lillard, Weber State
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin