Two coaches, four players to be inducted

Updated: November 13, 2005, 5:33 PM ET
Associated Press

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Geno Auriemma, who has coached Connecticut to five national titles, will enter the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame this spring with one other coach and four players.

He will be joined by former Texas All-American Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil, Louisiana Tech star Janice Lawrence Braxton, former Georgia All-American Katrina McClain Johnson, Bentley College coach Barbara Stevens and Brazilian Olympian Maria Paula Goncalves da Silva.

The announcement Sunday came during the Tip-Off Classic at Texas Tech.

Induction ceremonies at the hall are April 28-29 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Auriemma, in his 21st season with the Huskies, holds the NCAA record for consecutive wins (70), set during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He has earned Final Four berths eight times and notched two perfect seasons. With the Huskies' 71-45 win over Marist on Saturday, Auriemma's record is 558-111.

Davis-Wrightsil led Texas to its 1986 NCAA title before helping the U.S win a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics and is a 10-year professional veteran. She set single-season records for points (843), scoring average (26.3 points) and free throws made (188).

Braxton was a standout at Louisiana Tech when the Lady Techsters garnered a pair of national championships in the early 1980s. She was a gold medalist in the 1984 Olympics, played 15 years in Italy and two with the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers.

Johnson is a three-time Olympian who played on 11 U.S. national teams after starring at Georgia. She was twice named USA Basketball's Female Athlete of the Year and played professionally for 10 years.

Stevens is the winningest coach in NCAA Division II history with a 692-182 record in 28 seasons. In 19 years at Bentley, she has a 535-91 record, with an NCAA Tournament berth each of those years.

Da Silva first played on Brazil's national team at 14 and stayed around for 21 more years, including two Olympics and six world championships. She capped her career with a gold medal in the 1994 world championship and a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics.

This will be the eighth class inducted. Previous inductees include Texas Tech coach Marsha Sharp, Texas coach Jody Conradt, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, former Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore and former players Ann Myers (UCLA), Nancy Lieberman (Old Dominion) and Cheryl Miller (USC).

To be eligible, coaches must have at least 20 years' experience in the women's game and players have to be retired at least five years.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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