Basketball Hall of Fame to induct five

Updated: September 9, 2005, 11:11 PM ET
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- This year's Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will not include any NBA players, and one of the inductees, sadly, will not be there.

HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS
ESPN Classic will broadcast the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions live on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET, following a retrospective look at great moments in the careers of three inductees.

1 p.m. ET: 1984 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 6, Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks (Hubie Brown)
3 p.m. ET: 1999 NCAA National Championship, UConn (Jim Calhoun) vs. Duke
5 p.m. ET: 2003 NCAA National Championship, Syracuse (Jim Boeheim) vs. Kansas
7:30 p.m. ET: Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Legendary women's coach Sue Gunter, part of a large college contingent being enshrined, died just over a month ago.

Gunter, who was a 2000 inductee of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., was selected in April with men's college coaches Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut.

Also selected this year were long-time coach and broadcaster Hubie Brown and Brazilian star Hortencia Marcari.

Brown was selected under the category of contributor, serving as a television analyst for nearly 20 years and an ambassador of the game, traveling extensively and hosting hundreds of clinics.

However, Brown also coached in the NBA with Atlanta, New York and Memphis, receiving Coach of the Year honors with Atlanta in 1978 and Memphis in 2004. He guided the Kentucky Colonels to the ABA championship in 1975.

"No one is bigger than the team. You're going to be on time, you're going play hard, you're going to know your job and you're going to know when to pass and shoot," Brown said. "If you can't do those four things you're not getting time here and we don't care who you are."

Marcari, known worldwide as Hortencia, dominated international women's basketball while playing for her native Brazil. She led her country to the gold medal at the 1994 World Championships, averaging 27.6 points per game.

"It was very difficult because years ago basketball wasn't that strong," she said through interpreter Quevia Leiti.

The 45-year-old said she looks forward to returning to the hall someday with her two young sons.

"She knows her name will be here forever and she wants her kids to see how important their mother was in Brazil," Leiti said. "They never saw her play and so they will know."

Gunter, a long-time smoker, died Aug. 4 at 66 following a long battle with respiratory problems and emphysema. She had stepped down as coach at LSU in 2003 because of her illness.

Under Pokey Chatman, the Lady Tigers advanced to the 2005 Final Four, which Gunter watched on TV from her hospital bed, suffering from pneumonia.

"She had that Coach Gunter gleam in her eye and that smirk in the right corner of her mouth. That wink said more to me than anything," Chatman said. "This is, in my opinion, the pinnacle. This represents that national championship that so eluded her as a coach."

Before her retirement, Gunter amassed 708 wins -- third all-time in NCAA women's basketball history -- in 44 years at Middle Tennessee State, Stephen F. Austin and LSU. Only Texas' Jody Conradt and Tennessee's Pat Summitt have more wins than Gunter.

Boeheim and Calhoun each recorded their 700th career win last season and became the first coaches with exactly 700 victories to face each other when they met March 5.

Both coaches have 703 career wins and have combined for three national titles, five Final Four appearances, 17 Big East Conference regular-season titles and seven Big East coach of the year awards. More important, both are responsible for building the Big East into a powerhouse conference.

Boeheim has spent his entire 29-year coaching career at his alma mater. He has a 703-241 record, guiding Syracuse to 24 NCAA Tournaments and three Final Fours, including the 2003 championship.

"It's a tremendous honor but it's like anything you get in life. It really doesn't change the future," Boeheim said. "You still have to go out and recruit and try to do the best coaching job you can. There is no better honor but it's not going to help us beat anybody."

Calhoun went 248-137 in 14 years at Northeastern before taking over at Connecticut in 1986 and compiling a 455-173 record in Storrs. He guided Connecticut to national championships in 1999 over Duke and 2004 over Georgia Tech.

"To return to Springfield under these circumstances...it's overwhelming," said Calhoun, an all-star forward at American International College. "It made me for once in my life really look at the past. Clearly this is the highlight of my career."

Fellow New Englander and Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy will present Calhoun at his enshrinement.

"When I walk down with Cousy I'm walking in as the face of New England as the face of so many people who weren't fortunate enough to get into what I got into," Calhoun said.

Among the snubbed NBA stars were Dominique Wilkins, Joe Dumars, Dennis Johnson, Maurice Cheeks and Chet Walker.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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