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.  


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 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.”


Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Key Teams and Dates for 2010 Tip-Off Tournament

Tip-Off returns to Springfield November 20 and 21

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the return of a 27-year Springfield tradition.  The Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament will take place at the MassMutual Center on Saturday November 20 and Sunday November 21.  Eight schools will participate in two brackets of four teams over two days in an NCAA exempt tournament.

In addition to the two brackets that will play in Springfield, each of the participating schools will play against each other in two additional games to be hosted on campus by Bradley University, New Mexico State University, University of Massachusetts, and University of Southern California

In games scheduled for Saturday November 20th at the MassMutual Center in Springfield – Bradley University will match up with the University of Southern California and New Mexico State University will play the University of Massachusetts.  The winners and losers of the Saturday games will play on Sunday in the consolation and championship games.

“The Hall of Fame has a proud tradition of hosting premiere college basketball events and the return of the Hall’s college basketball property to the city of Springfield should create an exciting atmosphere for each institution and the fans” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “We look forward to welcoming each of these schools to the Basketball Hall of Fame and creating a weekend celebration in Springfield for many years to come.”   

The Basketball Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the awarding of the conference tournament, has extended the partnership with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to serve as the event’s sponsoring conference, serve in various operational roles and to provide an annual participant in the field of teams.  Rider University will serve as the conferences participant.  The Basketball Hall of Fame along with the MassMutual Center will serve as hosts for the Men’s and Women’s MAAC Championships from 2012 – 2014.

"The MAAC membership in looking to grow its relationship with the Basketball Hall of Fame, the MassMutual Center and the City of Springfield was eager to extend its expertise and provide staffing for The Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament as the event's sponsor," notes Richard J. Ensor, MAAC Commissioner.  "The MAAC prides itself on its record of hosting league and NCAA Championships, and exempt events in venues throughout the country and looks forward to great college hoops next November in the city that prides itself as the birthplace of basketball."

The complete schedule of campus site games will be announced at a later date as well as the remaining four schools, television information and ticket information.

2010 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Hosts

Bradley University – Representing the Missouri Valley Conference, the Bradley University Braves will enter the 2010-11 season coming off a 16-15 campaign that included victories over nationally-ranked squads from the University of Illinois and University of Northern Iowa.  The Braves will return the top-scoring trio in The Valley – senior guards Sam Maniscalco and Andrew Warren, as well as junior forward Taylor Brown – in addition to several other key pieces that will make them a contender in the highly-competitive Missouri Valley Conference.  Sophomore guard Jake Eastman is the son of Boston Celtics assistant coach Kevin Eastman.

New Mexico State University – The defending Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament champions are coming off a 22-12 season and NCAA tournament appearance that saw them nearly upset Final Four participant Michigan State.  The Aggies entered the NCAA tournament as the #12 seed in the Midwest after defeating Nevada, Utah State and San Jose State in the conference tournament.  Returning for the Aggies will be three of their top five in Troy Gillenwater, Wendell McKines and Hamidu Rahman.

University of Massachusetts – Led by Springfield native Derek Kellogg, the Minutemen welcome back the majority of its team in Kellogg’s third season.  Terrell Vinson and Anthony Gurley are the top returning scorers and they will be joined by a strong recruiting class and group of returning players which should help UMass be a player in the strong Atlantic 10 Conference.   

University of Southern California – The Trojans from the Pac-10 Conference are looking to build off a 16-14 season that saw victories against NCAA tournament teams Tennessee, St. Mary’s, UNLV, Washington and California.  Led by Kevin O’Neill, USC will return 13 players from its roster and adds a strong recruiting class to a team that sat atop the Pac-10 Conference standings during the regular season.

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


Jackie MacMullan and Joe Tait Named Recipients of Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award for 2010

Hall of Fame to Honor Recipients at “Celebration of Basketball” and 2010 Enshrinement Ceremonies, scheduled for this August 

SPRINGFIELD, MAJackie MacMullan, a highly respected pro basketball reporter who worked for The Boston Globe for three decades and recently collaborated on a best selling book with Hall of Famers Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and Joe Tait, a popular radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Cleveland Cavaliers for 38 years, have been selected to receive the 2010 Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during Enshrinement festivities scheduled on August 12-13, 2010 in Springfield, Massachusetts. MacMullan is the first female reporter to receive the honor in its 21-year history.

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. 

“The Gowdy Media Award is an honor that is proudly presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in honor and memory of the late Curt Gowdy, one of the pioneers of sports media and a former Hall of Fame President,” said John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President & CEO.  “Joe Tait and Jackie MacMullan excelled by sharing their unique and informative insights on our sport while they entertained millions of loyal listeners and readers.  The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to recognize Joe’s longtime dedication to the game, and we are thrilled to honor Jackie for her many contributions as a writer and as the first female reporter to receive a Curt Gowdy Award.”

Jackie MacMullan, the 2010 honoree for the Print Media, is widely recognized as one of the most respected reporters ever to cover the NBA. She began her career at The Boston Globe in 1982 and quickly forged her reputation covering sports that were predominantly played and reported on by men.  While she gained national recognition for her work on numerous NBA and NCAA basketball assignments, MacMullan also covered Major League Baseball’s World Series in 1986, the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals in 1987 and the 1988 Olympic Games.

After working at The Boston Globe through the ‘80s and early ‘90s, MacMullan accepted a position covering NBA basketball for Sports Illustrated, where she worked as a senior writer from 1995-2000 and frequently contributed to CNN/SI cable news network.  She returned to her New England roots in January 2002 when she was named columnist and associate editor back at The Boston Globe.

MacMullan has won numerous national writing awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, including a first place award for investigative reporting for her coverage of the death of Celtics great Reggie Lewis.  In addition, MacMullan won awards for feature writing and was recognized by Tufts University as recipient of the 1995 Distinguished Achievement Award.  She was named the New England Women’s Leadership Award winner in 1997 and was inducted into her alma mater’s Hall of Honor at the University of New Hampshire in 2001.

In 2009, MacMullan collaborated with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on the best seller When the Game Was Ours, a compelling account of the rivalry and relationship between Bird and Johnson, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing. Most recently, MacMullan has been a frequent contributor to and a regular panelist on ESPN’s Around the Horn show.

Joe Tait, the 2010 Gowdy Award winner representing the Electronic Media, is currently in his 38th season covering NBA basketball as the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He began as Cleveland’s play-by-play announcer eight games into the club’s inaugural season of 1970, and during his first 11 years with the team, Tait earned his reputation as one of the nation’s top sportscasters.

After stints in New Jersey (1981) and Chicago (1982), Tait returned to call the Cavs’ games in 1983 when owners George and Gordon Gund acquired ownership of the team, as one of their first moves was to re-hire the most recognizable and popular voice of the franchise. In 1987, Tait was named Vice President, Broadcasting for the Cavaliers and worked on all aspects of the club’s radio and television broadcasts, calling games on WOIO-TV/19 and the Cavaliers Television Network. For the past 15 seasons, Tait has called Cavaliers’ games on News Radio WTAM 1100 and the team’s radio network that reaches most of Ohio.

Tait is an eight-time winner of Sportscaster of the Year in Ohio, spanning from 1974 to 2004. He was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1992 and was awarded the group’s C.S. Williams Founders Award for his longstanding and meritorious service in broadcasting in 1996.  In 2008, Tait received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, joining Cleveland sports legends such as Jim Brown and Bob Feller as recipients of the honor. In addition, Tait was inducted to the Cleveland Sports Legends Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame in 2003.

A graduate of Monmouth College in Illinois, Tait began his career in radio during college, calling local sporting events in the Illinois and Indiana area. In 1969, he worked as the voice of Indiana University college football and as the pre-game host of Indiana Pacers basketball in the old ABA. He went on to broadcast Cleveland Indians baseball for 16 years before finding his full-time home with the Cavaliers in 1970.


                             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


The Gowdy Awards will be presented at the Basketball Hall of Fame in a special ceremony scheduled for August 12.  The Class of 2010 will be enshrined at the Springfield Symphony Hall on August 13, following a week of festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts to be staged August 7-14, 2010.  Ticket packages to the 2010 Enshrinement Ceremony and all Enshrinement Events are on sale now and available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5500.  Additional information on the weeklong “Celebration of Basketball” will be announced in the near future and fans seeking updates can visit


The Basketball Hall of Fame is Filled with Fun for All Ages During the April Vacation Week

Museum Offers Special Events For the Whole Family

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to offer a wide variety of activities and events to entertain the whole family during the school vacation week, April 17-April 23, 2010.  The World’s Finest Sports Museum will be host to special appearances, skills clinics and autograph sessions that offer great fun for the entire family!

The vacation fun begins on Saturday, April 17th at 1:00pm as the Hall of Fame is joined by Boston Celtic Legend Tom “Satch” Sanders when he stops by for an exclusive book signing of his new book, Satch’s Commuter Moments.  Don’t miss the opportunity to meet Satch, former Celtics great and eight time NBA champion!

On Monday, April 19th, Boston Celtics television and radio personalities bring their expertise to Springfield.  Come meet Boston Celtic Legend, Cedric Maxwell and Comcast SportsNet Analyst, Donny Marshall on Center Court at 1:00pm as they share their predictions and insight into this season’s NBA Playoff race and sign autographs for visitors.

On Tuesday, April 20th at 1:00pm, Coach David Vasquenza, founder of WINS 4 LIFE will be at the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Join Coach Vasquenza and volunteer to participate in his fun and captivating clinic for all!

On Thursday, April 22nd, UCONN Associate Head Coach Chris Dailey comes by to speak to those in attendance.  Coach Dailey has been an integral part of the record breaking University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball team for 25 seasons.  Coach Dailey will share his messages on education, teamwork and motivation beginning at 10:00am.

On Friday, April 23rd, Boston Celtics Mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun will put on a slam dunk show at 1:00pm as he marvels the crowd with his high flying acrobatics, followed by an autograph session.  Don’t forget to bring your cameras!

Finally, be sure to stop in at Max’s Tavern at the Basketball Hall of Fame during your visit to the museum for their April school vacation special!  Show your Hall of Fame admission ticket from Monday, April 19th thru Friday, April 23rd to receive 10% off your lunch or dinner.  Admission ticket and discount must be used on the same day.  Discount does not apply to alcoholic beverages.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events