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Dawn Staley & Sylvia Hatchell Headline the 12 Finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 2013 Election

Dawn Staley & Sylvia Hatchell Headline the 12 Finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 2013 Election

First-Time Finalists include Sylvia Hatchell, Dawn Staley, Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Tom Heinsohn as a Coach.

Dawn Staley & Sylvia Hatchell

HOUSTON, TX and SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, an elite list of players and coaches, as the 12 finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2013.  The recognition of being honored as a Hall of Fame finalist is a career highlight in the sport of basketball. This year’s list includes six first-time finalists: five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, three-time National Coach of the Year Sylvia Hatchell, two-time NBA Championship coach Tom Heinsohn, nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton, five-time WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley and six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond.  Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, four-time NBA All-Star Bernard King, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Guy Lewis, six-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino and four-time NCAA Final Four coach Jerry Tarkanian.  The Class of 2013 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.

“We are proud to share an incredible group of finalists for the Class of 2013 – a distinct list of coaches and players who excelled at many levels of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors.  “It will be a difficult decision for the Honors Committee to select the final class members from this prestigious group of individuals, each of whom has given so much to the game.”

The complete list of 12 finalists include from the North American Screening Committee: players Maurice Cheeks, Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Gary Payton and Mitch Richmond; and coaches Tom Heinsohn, Guy Lewis, Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian.  From the Women’s Screening Committee: player Dawn Staley and coach Sylvia Hatchell.

Dawn Staley

The Class of 2013 will be announced on Monday, April 8 at a press conference in Atlanta prior to the NCAA’s Men’s Championship game. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2013 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Sunday, September 8. Tickets to the 2013 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5540.

Women’s Committee Finalists:
SYLVIA HATCHELL
[Coach] – Hatchell recently became just the third Division I women’s coach to win 900 career games and the only coach in history to win national championships at three different levels (AIAW, NAIA and NCAA).  Since taking over at the University of North Carolina in 1986, she has led the Tar Heels to three NCAA Final Fours, eight ACC championships and the 1994 National Championship.  She is a three-time National Coach of the Year (1994, 2006 and 2008) and three-time ACC Coach of the Year.  She has led her teams to seven 30-win seasons and twenty-eight 20-win seasons.  In International competition, she was an assistant coach for the 1988 Olympic Gold Medal team and a part of four World University Games.

DAWN STALEY [Player] – As one of the most decorated players in women’s basketball history, Staley was a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist (1996, 2000 and 2004), five-time WNBA All-Star and two-time National College Player of the Year (1991-92).  She was named the USA Basketball Female Player of the Year in 1994 and went on to begin her professional career as a two-time ABL All-Star (1997 and 1998).  As a collegiate player, Staley was a three-time Kodak All-America selection (1990-92) at the University of Virginia and she still holds the NCAA career record for steals (454).  She led the Cavaliers to three NCAA Final Four appearances and was named NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 1991.  She is the only player in women’s college basketball history to record 2,000 points, 700 assists and 400 steals.

Story courtesy of www.hoophall.com

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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