Last month, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Connecticut's Jim Calhoun became the first college basketball coaches with 700 wins to face each other. Yesterday in St. Louis, they shared the stage again, proudly holding jerseys signifying their election to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
"This is, beyond my wife and children, the most special day in my life," Calhoun said. "When I was told the news, it was surreal."
Jim Calhoun, Jim Boeheim, Carla Lowry (representing Sue Gunter) and Hubie Brown hold up commemorative jerseys.
(Mark Humphrey -- AP)
Coach and broadcaster Hubie Brown, Brazilian women's star Hortencia Marcari and former LSU coach Sue Gunter also were voted into the Hall. The new members will be enshrined Sept. 8-10 in Springfield, Mass.
The headliners, though, were a pair of Big East Conference coaches who have seemingly been in lockstep. Boeheim, with wunderkind Carmelo Anthony, won his first NCAA title in 2003, and Calhoun won his second last year. The coaches are tied for sixth on the career active victory list, Boeheim entering his 30th season next year at 703-241 and Calhoun heading into his 34th at 703-310.
Last year, college coaches were shut out in the balloting. This year, the seven former NBA players among the list of 16 finalists -- Joe Dumars, Dennis Johnson, Adrian Dantley, Dominique Wilkins, Bernard King, Maurice Cheeks and Chet Walker -- ended up on the outside.
"This class represents how difficult it is to get enshrined," said Russ Granik, deputy commissioner of the NBA.
Boeheim said neither he nor Calhoun would have made it were it not for the rise in the 1980s of the Big East. He said Dave Gavitt, the conference's first commissioner, deserves much of the credit.
"The bottom line is if it weren't for Dave Gavitt, none of us would be in the Hall of Fame," Boeheim said. "He had a vision to put this thing together. We went from a nice little regional program to the national scene in one year."
-- From News Services