Feb. 24, 2010
UCLA's Sidney Wicks and Duke University's Christian Laettner, both of whom paced their schools to multiple NCAA® championships, are among eight individuals announced today to be enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
The 2010 induction ceremonies will be held on Sunday, November 21, 2010, at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and the historic Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. The CBE, a worldclass entertainment facility that provides a multi-faceted interactive experience for fans, shares a common lobby with Sprint Center and is the home of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Wicks helped Coach John Wooden's UCLA Bruins to three straight NCAA championships from 1969-71. He was selected as the tournament's most outstanding player as a junior in 1970 and earned at least one national player of the year award in each of his last two seasons.
"I was very excited when I was informed of my selection," said Wicks, who will be in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday to be honored as part of the 1970 NCAA championship team. "I know this is something very special that doesn't happen to everyone and I am very honored. To be included in the Hall of Fame with all of these great coaches, players and contributors, especially Coach Wooden and Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), really leaves me at a loss for words."
Wicks was one of those rare collegiate players who only experienced perfection. Wicks played on three of Coach John Wooden's UCLA teams and helped lead the Bruins to NCAA championships from 1969-71. The 6-8 power forward was the Bruins' leading scorer (18.6) and rebounder (11.9) as a junior when he was named Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Final Four and earned national co-player of the year honors from the Helms Athletic Foundation. He earned player of the year awards from the USBWA and The Sporting News while again topping UCLA in scoring and rebounding as a senior. The second pick in the 1971 NBA draft by Portland, he played 10 seasons in the NBA and earned rookie of the year honors in 1972. He returned to UCLA as an assistant coach from 1984-88.
Laettner will always be remembered for his last-minute heroics to win NCAA tournament games, but it was his consistent performance over four seasons that led the Blue Devils to four consecutive Final Four berths. Coach Mike Krzyzewski's team won the NCAA championship in Laettner's junior and senior seasons and he captured just about every honor possible in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA, including national player of the year in 1992.
The 2010 induction class also includes coaches Tex Winter, the innovator of the triangle offense who coached at Marquette, Kansas State, Northwestern, Washington and Long Beach State; and Davey Whitney, with more than 500 career wins in a long career at Alcorn State, including taking one of the first teams from a historically black university to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1979.
Two men whose work has been instrumental in the tremendous growth and popularity of the NCAA championship tournament, NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt and Wayne Duke, former commissioner of the Big Eight and Big Ten conferences, will be inducted as contributors. Over his 38 years with the NCAA, Jernstedt has held a variety of positions, but really left his mark on men's basketball, nurturing the tournament and Final Four into one of the greatest events in all of sports. Duke was the NCAA's assistant executive director for 11 years before spending eight with the Big Eight and 18 with the Big Ten. He was chair of the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee for four years and championed allowing more than one team from a conference into the NCAA tournament.
Jerry West and David Thompson, two of basketball's all-time brightest stars, will be recognized as members of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame's founding class. Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980, West was a three-time All-America at West Virginia and led the Mountaineers to the NCAA championship game. He was co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, a 14-time NBA all-star and the league's most valuable player in 1972. Thompson was a three-time All-America and two-time national player of the year. He led North Carolina State to the 1974 NCAA Championship, was a three-time ACC player of the year and the national player of the year in his final two seasons. Thompson was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1996.
The founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame includes all of the coaches, players and contributors with roots in college basketball inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., prior to 2006.
Legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden, who won 10 NCAA titles in the final 12 seasons of his career, was a member of the first class inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, joining Dr. James Naismith, Dean Smith, Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won three NCAA titles and helped UCLA compiled a record of 88-2 during his spectacular three-year career, was a member of the 2007 induction class and former head coach Gene Bartow , who compiled a record of 52-9 during his two years in Westwood, was among those inducted in 2009.