Two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, former Fab Five member Chris Webber, and Rollie Massimino, who led Villanova to it’s famous upset of Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA championship game, headline the list of 14 finalists revealed Saturday night for this year’s Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction class. Other first-time Hall of Fame finalists include longtime referee Hugh Evans, Connecticut star Rebecca Lobo, five-time All-Star Sidney Moncrief, Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, Kansas coach Bill Self and two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

Previous finalists returning to the ballot include point guard Tim Hardaway, record-setting high school coach Robert Hughes, Notre Dame women’s coach Muffet McGraw, former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan and 10-time AAU national champion Wayland Baptist University. Inductees will be announced at the Final Four on April 3. Enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts, are scheduled for Sept. 7-9.

Massimino, now an 82-year-old cancer survivor who is still coaching at NAIA school Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida, coached the Villanova Wildcats for 19 seasons between 1973 and 1992. His team’s victory over the heavily favored, Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown Hoyas is generally considered one of the biggest upsets in sports history. His Hall of Fame hopes have been backed by plenty of current and former coaches in recent months — including current Villanova coach Jay Wright, who presented Massimino with a championship ring from the Wildcats’ 2016 NCAA title.

Webber played 15 seasons with five franchises and was part of Michigan’s famed Fab Five that headlined college basketball in the early 1990s. “I don’t know what I’m most proud of,” said Webber, who averaged 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in his career and was a five-time NBA All-Star. “I’m proud to be in the room with all these great individuals.”

Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be enshrined. Among this year’s candidates who did not make the finalist group: Muggsy Bogues, Ben Wallace, Kevin Johnson, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Price, Lefty Driesell and Eddie Sutton. Former New York Times sportswriter Harvey Araton and former Turner Sports broadcaster Craig Sager will be recognized during Hall of Fame weekend as this year’s Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients. “A tremendous honor,” said Sager’s wife, Stacy. This year’s lifetime achievement award recipients are former UConn coach Donald “Dee” Rowe and Michael Goldberg, who spent nearly four decades as executive director of the NBA Coaches Association. Goldberg died earlier this year.

Related Posts:




You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment