Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Latest Basketball HOF Inductees

The 2008 basketball Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. This year's class includes a well-known coaching legend, a very recognizable voice in college basketball, a Detroit owner and several all-star legends from NBA past.

There will be 3 former NBA stars heading to the hall this season. First up is Hakeem "the Dream" Olajuwon, who racked up several titles while with the Houston Rockets. He also achieved several NBA accolades including all-star appearances and the 1994 MVP award. The impressive rebounder, scorer and defender Hakeem finished out his career in a back-up center role for the Toronto Raptors.

Joining Hakeem is one of his familiar foes from the paint, Patrick Ewing. Ewing was a long-time star for the New York Knicks, who never quite achieved title fame. Ewing excelled at the center position but never could quite surpass those pesky Chicago Bulls' squads. However, Ewing racked up plenty of great stats, all-star appearances and All-NBA team nods. He also has served as part of the Houston Rockets' coaching staff. Both Hakeem and Ewing were included as members of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

A former coach of Ewing's is the legendary Pat Riley, who will also be introduced into the Naismith Memorial HOF. Riley coached both the Los Angeles Lakers (showtime era) and Miami Heat to achieve several titles during his continued career. Despite a poor season this year in Miami, Riley continues to be one of the best coaches in the game, and has plenty of playoff and regular season victories to show for it. In addition, he's a 3 time Coach of the Year award winner.

Three members being inducted into the hall have ties to Detroit. There's former all-star Piston, Adrian Dantley, as well as 85 year old Pistons & Shock owner, Bill Davidson. Davidson achieved sports titles with 3 different pro sports teams in 3 different leagues (three with the Pistons, two with the Shock and one with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning) They will be joined by Dick "Awesome with a capital A Baby!" Vitale, who anyone who watches college basketball has definitely heard. Vitale brings an unmatched excitement and exuberance to the games while fulfilling his commentator role with ESPN during the entire NCAA season. He also was the Detroit Mercy (1972-77) and Pistons coach (1978-79).

The final inductee of the current class is coach Cathy Rush, a women's basketball pioneer. The official induction ceremony takes place September 5th in Springfield, Massachussetts.

See the official website for the Basketball Hall of Fame for more info.

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