Ewing, Reed, Ford, Hall, Monroe, Others Recognized By College Hall Of FamePosted by Brian Goodman on November 19th, 2012
Brian Goodman is an editor and contributing writer to RTC.
The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame enshrined its seventh class of inductees Sunday night in Kansas City, paying tribute to 10 players, coaches and contributors who helped shape the game we all love into what it is today. Georgetown legend Patrick Ewing led the star-studded group, which also included Kansas great Clyde Lovellette, North Carolina‘s Phil Ford, Kenny Sailors of Wyoming, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe of Winston-Salem State and another Knicks great, Willis Reed. In addition, former coaches Joe. B Hall of Kentucky and Dave Robbins of Virginia Union were honored as well as contributors Joe Dean and Jim Host.
You Might Know Him As… A lockdown defender who brought Hoya Paranoia to Washington and one of the best centers the game has ever known. Despite not picking up a ball until he was 12 years old, Ewing flourished under John Thompson. To this day, Ewing remains the school’s all-time leader in blocks, rebounds and games played. The dominant center was a mainstay of the Hoyas for four memorable seasons, including Georgetown’s 1984 title run. He went on to win two gold medals for Team USA and was an 11-time all-star with the New York Knicks.
Quotable: “I chose Georgetown because of Coach Thompson. (He) was a great man and afforded me the opportunity to come in as a boy and leave as a man.”
You Might Know Him As… One of the most beloved players in North Carolina basketball history. Ford was the first freshman to start the first game of his career in Chapel Hill, and by the time his collegiate career ended, Ford would rack up three All-America selections and capture the 1977 Wooden Award along with consensus Player of the Year honors. Until he was overtaken by Tyler Hansbrough in 2009, Ford was UNC’s all-time leading scorer and a master of Smith’s “Four Corners” offense.
Joe B. Hall
You Might Know Him As… The successor to Adolph Rupp at Kentucky. It’s not every day that a coach gets a chance to follow in the footsteps of perhaps the game’s best coach ever, but Hall put his own stamp on the Kentucky program, maintaining its lofty status from 1972 to 1985. Hall’s Wildcats won eight SEC championships and the 1978 National Title. Kentucky reached the Elite Eight six times, and went further than that three times.
Quotable: “No coach gets a comfortable feeling at Kentucky. There’s a very demanding fanbase that keeps you on your toes, and I was very fortunate to play for Coach Rupp… and fully understood the demands, so there were no surprises… I had a program that was built on a great foundation.”
You Might Know Him As… A four-time all-star in the NBA, but before his illustrious pro career, Monroe was a rare exceptional D-II talent for Winston-Salem State College in North Carolina. “The Pearl” averaged 41.5 points per game in his senior season, a staggering feat before considering that it came before the advents of the shot clock and three-point line.
Quotable: “[My coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines] was a great coach in the sense that he let me play my game and intertwined it with the other guys. We had a very close-knit team and the fact that I scored a lot of points didn’t bother the other guys.”
You Might Know Him As… Another longtime Knick, though his collegiate achievements should not be forgotten. These days, 20/20 games don’t come along very often, but over Reed’s entire career at Grambling, that’s what he averaged. Reed will always be remembered for his leadership in New York.
You Might Know Him As… Robbins’ name may not resonate with the younger subset of our readers, but he fought a public battle as the first white coach of a historically black school from the day he was hired at Virginia Union University in 1978. Robbins captured three Division II championships, won 78% of his 907 games, and coached eight consensus first-team All-Americans, including Ben Wallace and Charles Oakley, between 1978 and his retirement in 2005.
Quotable: “We looked for the very best players we could get and the best students we could get.”
You Might Know Him As… The founder and principal of Host Communications. In the early 1980s, Host created the model for multimedia rights, bundling promotional appearances for coaches with the traditional media properties of the time. For more than 30 years, Host handled all radio, publishing and marketing for the NCAA. Host’s business ideas paved new ground in popularizing the game.
Quotable: “I can see how things should happen, and I once I make up my mind that it can happen, I usually find a way to make it happen.”
You Might Know Him As… A major advocate of college basketball as a marketer and promoter for Converse. For nearly thirty years, Dean promoted college basketball wherever his career led him, and also carved out a long career as a color analyst with ESPN, NBC and Turner Sports. To this day, many fans recall Dean’s trademark phrase, “String music,” as he described smooth shooting.
You Might Know Him As… Fans of the game as we know it today may not recall Sailors, who played in the 1940s, but basketball would have a very different look if not for his contribution as the innovator of the jump shot. As he stood just 5’10″, Sailors had to find a different way to get the ball in the hoop, and his legacy shines through to this day as legendary shooters like Reggie Miller and Jimmer Fredette carved out their careers using the invaluable tool he developed.
Quotable: “Dribbling up to my brother and jumping was the only way I could get the ball in. I had to find a way to dribble, stop and go straight up.”
You Might Know Him As… A three-time All-American who led his Kansas Jayhawks to the 1952 National Championship. Lovellette remains the only player to win a national title and lead the NCAA in scoring in the same season. Lovellette captured gold later that year as a member of Team USA in Helsinki.
Quotable: “(Phog Allen) told me that he had a nucleus of guys and needed a man to put in the middle. I came to Lawrence, a great town, and I don’t have one bad thing to say about him. I couldn’t ask for any better players than those guys”