Worthy, Mullin, Sampson and Other All-Time Greats Honored At College Hoops Hall Induction Sunday

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 21st, 2011

Brian Goodman is an RTC editor and contributor.

With an onslaught of coverage devoted to the new season and players to come, it can be easy to lose sight of the game’s storied past that made fans and followers out of so many of us to begin with. Sunday night was a time for the game to honor its illustrious history with the induction of some of the sport’s most beloved players, coaches and contributors, into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City. This year’s inductees included Chris Mullin, James Worthy, Ralph Sampson and Cazzie Russell as players, Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton as coaches, and contributors Eddie Einhorn and Joe Vancisin. In a ceremony emceed by Dick Enberg, one of the classic voices of college hoops and Sports Illustrated contributing writer Seth Davis, the Class of 2011 was enshrined. A recap of RTC’s coverage comes after the jump.

The National Collegiate Basketball Hall Of Fame Added Some Highly Impressive Names To Its Membership Sunday Night

Chris Mullin

Mullin Was the Wooden Award Winner at St. John's in 1985 (SI/A. Hayt)

How He Got There:

  • First player to score 2,000 career points for the St. John’s (then) Redmen
  • Consensus first-team All-American in 1985 and Wooden Award Winner
  • In 1985, led St. John’s to its first Final Four appearance since 1952
  • Two-time Olympic gold medalist (1984, 1992)

Presenter: Longtime St. John’s head coach Lou Carnesseca

Quotable: “I was in school from 1981-1985 and those were the best years of my life, but the summer of 1984 was a tremendous experience winning the gold medal.”

James Worthy

Whether It Was Reflected By A Net Around His Neck Or Title Rings On His Fingers, James Worthy Was A Champion Everywhere He Played

How He Got Here:

  • Two Final Fours (1981 & 1982)
  • 28 points on 13-17 shooting in the 1982 NCAA Championship against Georgetown
  • Unanimous First-Team All-American
  • One of just seven North Carolina players to have his number retired
Presenter: Former North Carolina assistant Bill Guthridge
Quotable: On his steal against Georgetown’s Freddie Brown that sealed the 1982 National Championship: “I was way out of position.”

Ralph Sampson

The Sport May Never See a Three-Time NPOY Again (SI/M. Millen)

How He Got Here:
  • Three-time consensus National Player of the Year at Virginia
  • Became the sixth player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,500 rebounds
  • Two-time Wooden Award winner
  • Top overall pick in 1983 NBA Draft
Presenter: Terry Holland, Virginia head coach from 1976-90

Quotable: “We had to encourage him to take shots because he wanted to do the dirty work, block shots and rebound. He was a great team player, doing more of what the team needed him to do than what he wanted for his personal stats.” -Terry Holland

Cazzie Russell

How He Got Here:

  • First Michigan Wolverine to have his number retired
  • Led the Wolverines to three consecutive Big Ten titles (1964-66)
  • 1966 National Player of the Year
  • Three-time All-American
  • Two Final Fours
Presenter: Former Wolverine Ken Maxey

Quotable: “There was a sense of anticipation of a great class when I came in, so there was excitement in the air.”

Eddie Sutton

How He Got Here:

  • First coach to lead four schools to the NCAA Tournament (Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State)
  •  Two Final Fours (1995, 2004)
  • Career record of 806-308
  • Four-time National Coach of the Year

Presenter: Steven Sutton, Sean Sutton (Oral Roberts head coach) and Scott Sutton (assistant coach at Oral Roberts).”

Quotable: “Steven was the only smart son of mine – he went into banking.”

Bob Knight

How He Got Here (then again, where do we begin?)

  • Compiled a record of 902-371 in 41 seasons (second-most wins all-time)
  • Three NCAA Championships as head coach at Indiana
  • Led the 1976 Hoosiers to a 32-0 record, college basketball’s last undefeated team
  • Graduated 98% of his players

Presenter: Eddie Sutton

Quotable: “You’ve honored this game. No one has connected the dots any better from teaching and coaching to how to play the game any better than you.” – Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski via a recorded message

Eddie Einhorn

How He Got Here:

  • Ground-breaking leader in sports programming
  • Founder and chairman of TVS, which was one of the first networks for regionally-televised sports.
  • Organized the 1968 game between UCLA and Houston at the Astrodome, which was the first college basketball game to be broadcast in prime time. It was also the most-attended game in the sport’s history at that time, with a crowd of 52,693 fans.

Presenter: Dick Enberg

Quotable: “We were just starting to make a network with ten conferences, and we thought we could pull (the game) off, but it took a lot of luck in getting two undefeated teams to play in January. It became a news story and just built. We were booking advertising minutes before the game.”

Joe Vancisin

How He Got Here: 

  •  A basketball lifer who spent 54 years as a player, coach and administrator
  • Member of two U.S. Olympic staffs (1976, 1980)
  • Executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches for 17 years

Presenter: NABC President Jim Haney

Quotable: “When Joe left the association, it was in a very good place, and the things we’ve accomplished in the last 20 years wouldn’t be possible without him. It was an important time because college basketball was just starting to emerge with the growth of television.” -Jim Haney

Brian Goodman (771 Posts)

Brian Goodman a Big 12 microsite writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.


Share this story

Leave a Reply