Chauncey Billups, V Foundation and “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline Winners of The Mannie Jackson - Basketball's Human Spirit Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts today announced that New York Knicks guard Chauncey Billups, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, and former Harlem Globetrotter and college basketball All-American Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline, have been named winners of The Mannie Jackson - Basketball’s Human Spirit Award.  The winners will be recognized on August 11 during events leading up to the 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonies.

“We are delighted to honor such a remarkable group for their contributions to the basketball community with The Mannie Jackson, Basketball’s Human Spirit Award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “This year’s recipients have truly made a measurable impact through their selflessness, leadership and determination in the communities and constituencies they serve.”

The criteria for award winners includes embracing the core values of the game through hard work, dedication, and resilience;  striving to continuously improve the community they serve, and making an ongoing 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 personal actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.

Billups, The V Foundation and Kline 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; Hall of Famers David Robinson and Jim Boeheim; Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill; current NBA player Samuel Dalembert; and 2009 tri-winners, former NBA official Ken Hudson, Hall of Famer Bob Lanier and former NBA All-Star and Georgetown standout Alonzo Mourning.

The Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award Winners 2011

Representing the Professional Game:

Chauncey Billups, New York Knicks Guard – Known as one of the NBA’s true community leaders, Billups has routinely left his mark in a number of cities where he played professionally. In 2006, the five-time NBA all-star began his involvement in the Porter/Billups Leadership Academy with Regis University in Denver by pledging $100,000 to the program which helps selected youngsters with life/educational goals and provides help with college tuition to attend Regis.  He also continues to be affiliated with The Children’s Center, a charity that has helped enrich the lives of Detroit area youth since 1929 and served as the celebrity host of its Annual Celebrity Golf Classic.

Representing the Amateur ranks:

The V Foundation, Charitable Organization – The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary basketball coach at North Carolina State.  During the past 18 years, it has raised more than $100 million and awarded cancer research grants in 38 states and the District of Columbia, with an astounding 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net event proceeds to cancer research and related programs. The Award also recognizes the countless collegiate coaches and others in the game that annually make the V Foundation their priority charity as they assist in fighting cancer in their own communities.

Representing the Grassroots ranks:

Dr. John “Jumpin’ Johnny” Kline, Former Harlem Globetrotter – As a member of the Harlem Globetrotters in 1950s, Kline was one of the original ambassadors in the game of basketball.  The All-American was the 1952 Athlete of the Year at Wayne State University and a finalist in the United States Olympic trials for track before he joined the Globetrotters.  During the 1960s, he fell into nine years of drug and alcohol addiction, however, he pushed himself to return to Wayne State where he earned his Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. degrees in history and philosophy of education.  He started his own company on health promotion and wellness and was appointed by Detroit’s Mayor as Director of Drug Prevention Services where he served for seven years. He became the Director of Drug Free Schools and Communities for the Detroit Public Schools. In 1986, Dr. Kline developed the Youth Athletic Enrichment Program (YAEP) in Detroit’s Middle Schools.  This after-school educational program is successful and continues today.  He also founded The Black Legends of Basketball in 1996, an organization that recognizes pioneers in the game of basketball.

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, men and women. 


Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Winner of 2011 Bob Cousy Award

UConn’s Kemba Walker wins prestigious Hall of Fame Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – March 31, 2011 - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that Kemba Walker from the University of Connecticut is the winner of the 2011 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award.  This annual award is given to college basketball’s top point guard and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtics guard Bob Cousy.  An original list of more than 70 candidates made up of players from all around the country was trimmed by a Hall of Fame appointed, nationally based committee to 20, down to 11, and a final five before voting on the winner of one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards.

“The Hall of Fame is proud to present one of college basketball’s premier awards to Kemba Walker from the University of Connecticut,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Kemba represents the best in the game at his position and truly represents Bob Cousy’s vision for this award.”

“We are honored to present Kemba Walker the 2011 Bob Cousy Award,” said Ken Kaufman, Chairman of the Bob Cousy Award.  “Kemba’s work on the floor has clearly been the driving force of the successful Connecticut season and we could not think of a more deserving candidate for this year’s award.  We look forward to honoring Kemba in Houston on April 4th.”

Kemba, a junior guard from the Bronx, New York, has guided the Huskies to the Final Four after the team was absent from most pre-season media polls.  He led UConn to an improbable Big East Tournament title, winning five games in five days while earning MVP honors by setting the tournament scoring record – by 46 points.  Named First-Team All-Big East, Kemba averages nearly 25 points per game and is one of only four players in the NCAA to average 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game this season.  He is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award and selected first-team All-America by the AP and USBWA.

“I am thrilled that Kemba has been named the winner of the Bob Cousy Award. He is having one of the great seasons ever in college basketball history,” said Jim Calhoun, head coach of the Huskies and member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2005. “Beyond the stats, game-winning shots and accolades, he epitomizes the leadership that a great point guard must have and what he has done to lead our young team to a BIG EAST Championship and to a spot in the Final Four has been unforgettable.”

The other 2011 finalists included Norris Cole (Cleveland State), Jimmer Fredette (BYU), Nolan Smith (Duke) and Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin).

Each of the final five candidates was reviewed by the Hall of Fame’s Blue Ribbon Selection Committee, chaired by former NABC President and Hall of Fame Trustee Ken Kaufman. The Blue Ribbon Selection Committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Sports Information Directors and Hall of Famers. 

The 2011 Bob Cousy Award presentation will be on Monday April 4 as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Class Announcement in Houston at the Final Four. 

Previous Winners of the Bob Cousy Award

2004                Jameer Nelson           St. Joseph’s

2005                Raymond Felton         North Carolina

2006                Dee Brown                 Illinois

2007                Acie Law                     Texas A&M

2008                D.J. Augustin              Texas

2009                Ty Lawson                  North Carolina

2010                Greivis Vasquez          Maryland


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, men and women. 

For more information:

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… or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA


Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Winner of Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award

Jacob Pullen recognized as 2011 award winner

SPRINGFIELD, MA The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts today announced the winner of the 2011 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award. This award is given annually to one senior, six-foot and under, who thrived in the classroom and on the playing court.

This year’s winner is Jacob Pullen from Kansas State University.  Jacob averaged more than 20 points per game this year for the Wildcats, leading them to a 23-11 record and an appearance in the third round of the NCAA tournament.  With his 38 points against Wisconsin in his final game, Jacob also became the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,132 points. He also ranks on the Kansas State all-time list for steals, three-point field goals and assists and holds career records for games played and double-digit scoring games.

The school’s first three-time team captain, Pullen will graduate with a degree in criminology from Kansas State in May 2010.  He has been involved in several community service projects, including Read to Achieve, Adopt A Family, Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.

“We are proud to honor Jacob Pullen with the 2011 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award”, stated John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “The combination of his success on the court, and his achievements in the classroom as a student-athlete, make him a deserving recipient who exemplifies the qualities this award is designed to celebrate.” 

The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award is named in honor of James Naismith's daughter-in-law. A panel of representatives from the National Association of Basketball Coaches selects the recipient. To earn the award, the recipient must demonstrate leadership, character, loyalty, all-around basketball ability, and excellence in the classroom. 

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.  For more information on these and other upcoming events, please visit our website at or call 413-781-6500.

Previous Winners of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award 

1969 William Keller, Purdue University                    1991 Keith Jennings, East Tennessee State

1970 John Rinka, Kenyon                                        1992 Tony Bennett, Wisconsin-Green Bay

1971 Charlie Johnson, University of California        1993 Sam Crawford, New Mexico State

1972 Scott Martin, University of Oklahoma             1994 Greg Brown, University of New Mexico

1973 Robert Sherwin, Army                                    1995 Tyus Edney, UCLA

1974 Mike Robinson, Michigan State                       1996 Eddie Benton, University of Vermont

1975 Monte Tow, North Carolina State                   1997 Brevin Knight, Stanford University

1976 Frank Alagia, St. John’s                                  1998 Earl Boykins, E. Michigan University

1977 Jeff Jonas, Utah                                              1999 Shawnta Rogers, George Washington U.

1978 Mike Schieb, Susquehanna                            2000 Scoonie Penn, Ohio State Universtiy

1979 Alton Byrd, Columbia                                      2001 Rashad Phillips, Detroit

1980 Jim Sweeney, Boston College                        2002 Steve Logan, University of Connecticut

1981 Terry Adolph, West Texas State                    2003 Jason Gardner, University of Arizona

1982 Jack Moore, University of Nebraska               2004 Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph’s

1983 Ray McMallum, Ball State University               2005 Nate Robinson, University of Washington

1984 Ricky Stokes, University of Virginia                2006 Dee Brown, University of Illinois

1985 Bubba Jennings, Texas Tech University         2007 Tre’ Kelley, University of South Carolina

1986 Jim Les, Bradley University                            2008 Mike Green, Butler University

1987 Tyrone Bogues, Wake Forest University       2009 Darren Collison, UCLA

1988 Jerry Johnson, Florida Southern                    2010 Sherron Collins, University of Kansas

1989 Tim Hardaway, UTEP

1990 Greg Harvey, St. John’s


Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to Participate in Autism Speaks "Light It Up Blue" Campaign in Support of World Autism Awareness Day & Autism Awareness Month

Buildings Illuminate Blue On April 1 and 2 as Part of a Global Initiative to Help Raise Awareness and Shine a Bright Light on a Growing Public Health Crisis

SPRINGFIELD, MA - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will illuminate with special blue lights on the evenings of Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 in support of Autism Speaks’ global Light It Up Blue campaign to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) and Autism Awareness Month. Over 450 iconic landmarks, airports, bridges, sports arenas, museums, concert halls, restaurants as well as retail, corporate and media partners in over 120 U.S. cities and 30 countries will light up in bright blue that evening to raise awareness and shine a light on autism as a growing public health crisis now affecting 1 in every 110 American children.

Ways members of the community can support Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue campaign:

  • Light windows or homes with specially marked blue light bulbs and LED lanterns sold exclusively at Home Depot stores nationwide
  • Download the FREE LIUB iPhone App at the iTunes Store and turn your own pictures blue with a choice of five different style frames
  • Bake puzzle piece shaped cookies and frost them with blue icing, then bring them to your school, work or place of worship to raise autism awareness
  • Build a Blue Website and ask friends and family to support Autism Speaks by making a donation to your personal page  
  • Wear blue clothing and the Autism Speaks puzzle piece pin on April 2 and ask your co-workers, schools and friends to wear blue too. Take pictures and add them to our Flickr gallery at

Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Western Mass. High School Players of the Year

1st annual award for boys and girls players of the year

March 21, 2011 - Springfield, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts today announced the winners of the 1st annual Western Massachusetts Players of the Year presented by the Basketball Hall of Fame and  The players of the year will be an annual award presented at the Western Massachusetts Senior High School All-Star Games held annually at the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Center Court following the state finals in March. 

“The Hall of Fame is pleased to recognize each of these deserving individuals,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Hall of Fame celebrates excellence at all levels of the game and having a local award for high school players in Western Massachusetts is a natural extension to our awards program.”

"Supporting high school sports is an important part of MassLive's commitment to our local community and we're excited to partner with the Basketball Hall of Fame on this new award," said Editor-in-Chief Ed Kubosiak Jr.

The 1st annual boys’ basketball player of the year award goes to Alex Garstka from Westfield High School.  Alex guided Westfield High School to the Western Massachusetts Championship game before falling to Northampton.  He averaged just under 20 points per game for Westfield this year and accumulated 1,172 points for his career.  For his efforts, Alex is the 2nd all-time leading scorer in Westfield High School history and was a key contributor in the success of the Westfield program for the past three years.

The 1st annual girls’ basketball player of the year goes to Monique Heard from Holyoke High School.  Monique, currently a junior, led Holyoke High School to the Western Massachusetts Semifinal round before falling to Amherst.  She recorded her 1,000th career point in the final regular season game this year against Northampton – a game in which she scored 41 total points, including seven three-point shots.  Monique is the only Holyoke High School girl in school history to reach her 1,000th career point in three years and is within range of breaking the all-time Holyoke High School scoring record next season.

"Monique and Alex embody a commitment to excellence that provides a blueprint for other student athletes across Western Mass. to emulate,” Kubosiak said.

The award winners were selected by a group of local media members and will be presented at a special presentation as part of the senior high school All-Star games on Tuesday night, March 22nd.   Criteria for the awards include achievement on the court, sportsmanship and character off the court.