Brown, Wilkins, Dumars are first-time finalists
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Big East coaching rivals Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun, and former NBA stars Joe Dumars and Dominique Wilkins are finalists for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Calhoun is back for a second try, and Hubie Brown was named a finalist for the first time, as a contributor to the game. The 16 finalists were announced Sunday, and winners will be presented April 4 at the NCAA Final Four in St. Louis.
Previous finalists Bernard King, Maurice Cheeks, Adrian Dantley, Dennis Johnson, and Chet Walker are back on the ballot this year.
Wilkins and Dumars are finalists in their first year of consideration, as are women's coaches Van Chancellor and Sue Gunter.
Italian coach Sandro Gamba, Brazilian player Hortencia Marcari; player John Issacs; and contributor John Kerr from the Veterans Screening Committee round out the list.
Induction requires 18 of 24 votes from the Hall of Fame's Honors Committee.
Boeheim and Calhoun are both closing in on 700 career victories.
Calhoun has led Connecticut to two NCAA championships (1999, 2004), eight Big East regular-season titles, and 17 consecutive postseason tournaments.
"The phenomenal team successes we've had over the years, the championships we've won, and the wonderful young men I've been fortunate enough to coach, have been a source of great personal pride for me," Calhoun said. "But, there has been no greater recognition personally than to be told I am a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame finalist."
Boeheim and Syracuse won the NCAA championship in 2003 and have eight Big East regular-season championships. Under Boeheim, Syracuse has made 23 NCAA tournament appearances and has been to the Final Four three times.
Dumars played his entire professional career for the Detroit Pistons and helped them win back-to-back NBA championships (1989, 1990). He currently is president of basketball operations for the Pistons, credited for assembling the team that won the 2004 NBA title.
Dumars was a six-time NBA All-Star and MVP of the 1989 NBA Finals.
Wilkins' above-the-rim acrobatics earned him the nickname "The Human Highlight Film."
A prolific scorer, Wilkins played most of his NBA career for the Atlanta Hawks (1982-93), who retired his jersey. He also played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic. Wilkins was a nine-time NBA All-Star, and a two-time NBA Slam Dunk champion.
Brown's career touches nearly every aspect of the game. He's been NBA Coach of the Year twice (1978 in Atlanta; 2004 in Memphis), and is well-known as a TV analyst. Eight of his former assistants have gone on to become head coaches in the NBA.
Chancellor and Gunter were named finalists from the Women's Selection Committee.
Chancellor led the Houston Comets to four straight WNBA titles (1997-2000) and won 439 games as the head women's coach at Ole Miss (1978-1997).
Gunter coached LSU for 22 seasons (1982-2004) and spent 16 seasons at Stephen F. Austin (1964-1980) after beginning her coaching career at Middle Tennessee State (1962-1964). She stands is the third winningest coach in women's NCAA history with 708 wins, and led LSU to 14 NCAA tournament berths, including one Final Four appearance.
Candidates remain eligible until going three consecutive years without receiving a vote from the screening committee. At that point, a nominee is removed from consideration for five years before he or she can be nominated again.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press