Wednesday
Jun302010

Legendary Coach Don Meyer To Receive Hall of Fame’s 2010 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award

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.

“Coach Don Meyer is the embodiment of what the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “He has amassed more wins as a coach in men’s NCAA and NAIA combined play than anyone and his life’s work has touched a tremendous amount of young men with his passionate coaching, teaching, and mentoring. He has faced and overcome significant adversities in his life and yet remained true to his players and his love of the game. He has truly committed his life to basketball and as importantly to those who played for him.”

Meyer’s outstanding 42-year coaching career began when he joined Western State College of Colorado as an assistant from 1968 to 1970, a year after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. He went on to the University of Utah, where he served as an assistant from 1970-72 and earned his Ph.D.  Later in 1972, Meyer began his head coaching career, joining Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota (Div. III), where he worked until 1975. From 1975 through 1999, Meyer was the head coach at David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn (NAIA).  At Lipscomb, Meyer’s teams averaged 32 wins per season over a ten-year span from 1987-97, including a college coaching record 41 wins in 1989-90 when he went 41-5. Meyer led Lipscomb to 13 postseason appearances, and his team led the country in scoring for five years (1989-90, ’92-93 and ’95). Meyer guided Lipscomb to the NAIA National Championship in 1986.

In 1999, Meyer was named head coach at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota (Div. II) where he remained until announcing his retirement in February. At Northern State, Meyer enjoyed seven consecutive 20-plus win seasons from 2001-08, winning Northern Sun Inter-collegiate season championships in 2002 and ’03, and tournament championships in ’04 and ’05.

Among the many honors accumulated during his career, Meyer was named NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1990. He was enshrined to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1993 and was awarded with the Charles A. Kriegel Award in 1986 and 1996. Last July, Meyer was presented with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance after coping with a near-fatal automobile accident that occurred during a team retreat on September 5, 2008. In surgery after the accident, Meyer lost much of his left leg and was later diagnosed with inoperable cancer. He continued courageously to coach, using a wheelchair and cane on the sidelines during the past two seasons. Meyer’s career has been chronicled by ESPN’s Buster Olney in “How Lucky Can You Be, The Story of Coach Don Meyer” which will be published in September 2010.  In addition to his many coaching honors, Meyer’s series of instructional coaching DVDs/videos and his Don Meyer Coaches Academy are legendary tools for nearly all coaches in the profession. The Wayne, Nebraska native continues to serve at Northern State as a professor and is a highly respected and sought after national speaker.

Coach Meyer will be presented the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2010 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies, to be held at the “Hall of Fame Family Reunion Dinner” on Thursday, August 12. The annual Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Friday, August 13.  For ticket information, please visit http://www.hoophall.com

Click Here for a complete list of previous John W. Bunn Lifetime Acheivement Award Winners

Monday
Jun282010

Dalembert, Boeheim and Harris Named Winners of The Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award

- Basketball Hall of Fame Recognizes Leaders from Professional, Amateur and Grassroots Basketball for their Humanitarian Efforts -

SPRINGFIELD – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced that Sacramento Kings center Samuel Dalembert of Haiti, Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University and Alfreda Harris, a community leader from Massachusetts, have been named winners of the 2010 Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award, presented by CSX. The winners will be recognized on August 12 during events leading up to the 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies.

“The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award is presented annually to individuals who have honored the game of basketball by virtue of their personal growth and life-long accomplishments,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We are proud to recognize three distinguished members of the basketball community for their many contributions on and off the court.”

The basic criteria for award winners includes embracing the core values of the game, hard-work, striving to improve the community and making a commitment to others.  Beyond the game, award winners must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for his or her actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.

Dalembert, Boeheim and Harris were chosen from a group of six finalists after nominations were screened by a selection committee, appointed by the Hall of Fame and Mr. Jackson. Beginning in 2009, the finalists were grouped in three categories, representing the professional, amateur and grassroots levels of basketball.

Previous winners of the award include former Georgetown University center and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo; Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill; Hall of Famer David Robinson, along with 2009 tri-winners, former NBA official Ken Hudson, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier and former NBA All-Star and Georgetown standout Alonzo Mourning.

Representing the Professional ranks:

Samuel Dalembert, Sacramento Kings center – A UNICEF national ambassador for Haiti who donated more than $125,000 to assist earthquake relief efforts in his homeland. In 2007, he started the Samuel Dalembert Foundation to help better the lives of people in Haiti. Dalembert, recently traded to Sacramento from the Philadelphia 76ers, was an active participant in NBA Cares activities while with the Sixers and he frequently participated in the Basketball without Borders program.

Representing the Amateur ranks:

Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University head coach – A member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council who has helped raise $2.9 million over the past nine years by conducting the annual “Basket Ball” Gala in Syracuse. Overall, he helped raise more than $4.5 million for the American Cancer Society. Boeheim volunteers his time and services to charitable organizations, including Crouse Hospital’s Kienzle Family Maternity Center, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Eldercare Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics.

Representing the Grassroots ranks:

Alfreda Harris – Founded the SAT Preparation Program serving high school students in Boston while founding and coordinating girls’ basketball leagues and AAU teams for the city.  Harris also founded the Owen Wells Fitness Center and the Reebok Educational Athletic Partnership that provides students with community programs in social development, computer skills and tutoring. Serves as a Board member for the Shelbourne, Mass. Community Council, Boston Neighborhood Basketball League and the Police Athletic League.

Wednesday
Jun232010

Basketball Hall of Fame to Host “Legends of the Game”  

-- Class of 2010 Hall of Famer Cynthia Cooper to headline summer series of basketball appearances and clinics by former NBA, WNBA and College stars to be staged on Hall’s “Center Court --

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced its schedule for a summer series of appearances and basketball clinics to be conducted by former NBA, WNBA and College basketball stars.  The “Legends of the Game” series will run from July 1 through August 7 and will feature some of the game’s star players, including Cynthia Cooper, a member of the Hall of Fame’s incoming Class of 2010.

Throughout the “Legends of the Game” series, patrons of the Basketball Hall of Fame will have the opportunity to meet some of the best former players to ever play the game while they recall basketball history during informal Q&A sessions, sign autographs, pose for pictures or conduct simple basketball skills clinics.  The series is designed to be fun for basketball fans of all ages.

The summer schedule for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame “Legends of the Game” series with appearances scheduled to begin at 1pm: (Schedule is subject to change. Please see hoophall.com for updates)

July 1               Albert King - Nine-year NBA veteran and former University of Maryland star

July 9               Cynthia Cooper – A member of the Hall of Fame’s incoming Class of 2010

July 17             Felipe Lopez – Former NBA star from St. John’s University in NY

July 21             Spencer Haywood – Former NBA All-Star and 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist

August 6          Gail Goodrich – Hall of Fame guard who won titles with the LA Lakers and UCLA

August 7          Chris Webber – NBA All-Star and collegiate star at Michigan, now with NBA TV

Saturday
Jun052010

John Wooden, "Greatest Coach Ever" Passes Away at the Age of 99

John Wooden, one of three current Basketball Hall of Famers to be enshrined as both a player and a coach passed away Friday evening in California at the age of 99.  Wooden, was inducted as a player with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961 and as a coach in 1973.

In a statement released by John L. Doleva, President & CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Doleva said, “Like the inventor of the game, James Naismith, John Wooden was a teacher, a mentor, a philosopher and a friend to all he met. He understood the very special nature of the game and motivated his players and his competition to be their very best on and off the court. He will be sadly missed by the entire basketball community but his life will be celebrated for its impact on both basketball and mankind.”

Wooden, born October 14, 1910 in Martinsville, Indiana played his college basketball at Purdue University where he earned the nickname “Indiana Rubber Man” for his suicidal dives on the court.  He was a three-time Helms Athletic Foundation All-America from 1930-1932 and led Purdue to the 1932 National Championship.  Prior to becoming the coach at UCLA, Wooden started his coaching at the high school level before moving on to Indiana State.  While at UCLA, Wooden would lead the Bruins to four 30-0 seasons and 88 overall consecutive victories.  The Bruins won 19 PAC 10 Championships and won 38 straight NCAA Tournament games.  Under his guidance the Bruins would win ten National Championships including seven in a row and would compile a 149-2 home record.  He was named the NCAA College Basketball Coach of the Year six times, The Sporting News Sports Man of the Year in 1970, and the Sports Illustrated Man of the Year in 1973.  During his 40 years of coaching he compiled a 885-203 record.  

Friday
Jun042010

NBA Finals Photo Exhibit In Its Final Weeks On Display At Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

SPRINGFIELD, MASS – As the 2010 NBA Finals tip-off with the Boston Celtics facing the Los Angeles Lakers in what promises to be a very memorable series, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, boasts a timely exhibit of original portrait and action sports photography depicting memorable match-ups and moments in the recent history of the NBA Finals, shot by Andrew D. Bernstein, Senior Director, NBA Photos.

The solo exhibition, previously showcased in Los Angeles during the 2009 NBA Finals, covers images of the NBA Finals captured by the lens of Bernstein from 1983 through 2009. The exhibit is in its final weeks on display at the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bernstein studied communications at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California before beginning his long association with the NBA as a founding member of the league’s photo division. For almost 30 years he has played a major role in chronicling the NBA’s history photographically. His work frequently appears in national publications such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, The Sporting News, Time, and Newsweek. Bernstein’s work regularly greets visitors to NBA.com and other worldwide Internet sites and publications. Bernstein has photographed nearly 150 NBA Finals games, the most by any photographer in the league history, and has captured some of the greatest moments in basketball history, both on and off the court.

The exhibit consists of 30 photographs carefully selected by the photographer. “A lot of time and reminiscing went into choosing these photos,” said Bernstein. “Twenty-seven years of NBA Finals supplied me with an amazing collection of memorable moments.

The exhibit has been on display since last August.  “I’ve enjoyed having my work displayed at the Hall of Fame, right in Western Massachusetts where my dream started,” added Bernstein. “The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of the sport. The recognition doesn’t get any better than this.”