The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honors exceptional basketball players, coaches, referees, executives, and other major contributors to the game of basketball worldwide. The Class of 2013 is no exception.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced seven new memberss as the class of 2013: current Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, former NBA stars Bernard King and Gary Payton, former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, North Carolina women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell, former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis and former University of Virginia star Dawn Staley.
Pitino, who is coaching Louisville in the men’s basketball championship Monday night, headlines the new class of inductees. His win total will match John Wooden–who won ten NCAA national championships–if the Cardinals win on Monday.
King, a former New York Knicks swingman, averaged 22.5 points per game in his 15-year career.
Payton was known as “The Glove” for his defensive prowess in his years with the Seattle SuperSonics. He was a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Lewis led Houston to five Final Fours in his 30 years with the Cougars. His teams featured future Hall of Famers Clyde Drexler, Elvin Hayes and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Tarkanian took three schools to the NCAA tournament but he will always be known for his teams at UNLV that made four Final Four appearances and won it all in 1990.
Hatchell joins North Carolina men’s coaches Dean Smith and Roy Williams as Hall of Famers. She is one of three women’s coaches to record 900 victories and she has won national championships on three levels — AIAW, NAIA and NCAA.
Staley was a three-time Olympic gold medalist, a five-time WNBA All-Star and two-time national college player of the year with the Cavaliers. She is the only player in women’s college basketball to record 2,000 points, 700 assists and 400 steals.
Inductees announced previously were Edwin E.B. Henderson, a direct elect by the Early African Pioneer Committee, longtime Indiana Pacers guard Roger Brown, Oscar Schmidt of Brazil, the leading scorer in Olympic history, Richie Guerin, a star for the New York Knicks in the 1950s, and Russ Granik, the longtime assistant commissioner of the NBA.