Big East coaching legends among finalists for Basketball Hall of Fame
Denver, MA (Sports Network) – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of
Fame announced the 16 finalists for induction into the 2005 class on Sunday
with a pair of Big East coaching legends, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and
Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, leading the way. Hall of Fame president and CEO
John L. Doleva made the announcement in Denver, the site of the NBA All-Star
Boeheim, on the ballot for the first time, led his team to the 2003 NCAA
championship, as well eight Big East regular season titles and three
conference tournament crowns. He has also brought the Orange to the NCAA
Tournament 23 times, including three trips to the Final Four.
The winningest coach in Big East history, Boeheim has been named Big East
Coach of the Year three times (1984, 1991, 2000), and has won 20 or more games
in 26 seasons.
Calhoun, meanwhile, is back on the ballot for the second consecutive year. He
has guided the Huskies to two NCAA titles (1999, 2004) and 17 straight
“As I said last year when told that I was a finalist for the Basketball Hall
of Fame, I am very proud and deeply humbled,” said Calhoun. “The Naismith Hall
of Fame is the ultimate destination for a basketball coach. I love the game of
basketball and I’ve spent by entire life playing and coaching in New England
in the shadow of the Hall of Fame.”
Boeheim and Calhoun, both of whom are nearing the 700-win mark, are joined on
the ballot by former NBA stars Joe Dumars and Dominique Wilkins, each in their
first year of consideration.
Dumars, who played his entire NBA career in Detroit, was a six-time All-Star
and helped the Pistons to back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. The MVP
of the 1989 NBA Finals, Dumars currently serves as president of basketball
operations in Detroit.
Wilkins, better known as “The Human Highlight Film”, played the majority of
his NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks and was a nine-time NBA All-Star, and a
two-time NBA Slam Dunk champion. He also played with the Los Angeles Clippers,
Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic.
Former coach and current TV analyst Hubie Brown is also up for consideration
for the first time as a contributor to the game. Brown has been the NBA Coach
of the Year on two occasions (1978 in Atlanta; 2004 in Memphis) and eight of
his former assistants have gone on to become head coaches in the NBA.
Also on the list are previous finalists Bernard King, Maurice Cheeks, Adrian
Dantley, Dennis Johnson, and Chet Walker. In addition, Italian coach Sandro
Gamba, Brazilian player Hortencia Marcari; player John Issacs; and contributor
John Kerr from the Veterans Screening Committee appear on the ballot.
Rounding out the list are women’s selections Van Chancellor and Sue Gunter.
Chancellor led the WNBA’s Houston Comets to four straight championships
(1997-2000) and won 439 games as the head Women’s coach at Ole Miss
(1978-1997). She also coached the undefeated United States Gold Medal team at
the 2004 Olympic Games, and sports a perfect 38-0 record in international
Induction requires 18 of 24 votes from the Hall of Fame’s Honors Committee and
the and winners will be presented April 4 prior to NCAA Men’s Championship
game in St. Louis.
The Class of 2005 will be enshrined during ceremonies September 8-10, 2005.