Naismith, Wooden highlight first collegiate Hall class
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- James Naismith, John Wooden, Dean Smith, Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell will be the first class inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
The new hall of fame will be housed in the Sprint Center arena being built in downtown Kansas City, expected to open next year. An induction ceremony will be held Nov. 19 at Kansas City's Crown Center Exhibit Hall.
Naismith invented basketball in the late 1800's while teaching physical education at a YMCA training school in Springfield, Mass., home of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
All the members of the first Collegiate Hall of Fame are already members of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Wooden coached UCLA for 27 years, retiring in 1975 with a record of 620-147 and 10 national titles. Smith retired from North Carolina with 879 career wins -- the most in NCAA Division I.
Before they became NBA stars, Robertson and Russell won a combined five national player of the year titles at Cincinnati and San Francisco.
Organizers say Kansas City's hall is not meant to compete with the Naismith hall nor with the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
The induction ceremony will come the day before the semifinals and finals of a tournament formerly known as the Guardians Classic -- now the Collegiate Basketball Experience Classic -- gets under way at Municipal Auditorium.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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