Monday, April 2, 2007
Atlanta, GA - Tennessee State basketball legends Dick Barnett and coach John McLendon have been tabbed for induction to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, November 18, 2007. The announcement was made Sunday by the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation. Induction ceremonies will be held at the new College Basketball Experience (CBE) in Kansas City, Mo. The CBE, which will cover more than 40,000 square feet on two floors and will provide a fun, memorable and multi-faceted interactive experience for fans, shares a common lobby with the new Sprint Center Arena and is the home of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. TSU Player/Coach Inductee Profiles Dick Barnett, Player A three-time All-America player at Tennessee State, Dick Barnett led his team to three consecutive NAIA national championships for Hall of Fame Coach John McLendon. Barnet was named championship MVP in 1958 and 1959. The top draft choice of the Syracuse National of the NBA, he later played with the Los Angeles Lakers for three seasons and played on two NBA championship teams with the New York Knicks in 1969-70 and 1972-73. John McLendon, Coach One of the game's leading ambassadors, McLendon learned basketball at Kansas from James Naismith. He is the first coach to lead a team to three consecutive national championships, having accomplished that feat with Tennessee State from 1957-59. McLendon was instrumental in initiating an era of integrated basketball and was the first African-American professional basketball coach with the Cleveland Pipers of the ABL in 1961. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978. The players to be inducted include Dick Groat, a two-time All-America basketball player at Duke University in 1951 and 1952, who went on to star in major league baseball and was the National League's most valuable player in 1962 with the Pittsburgh Pirates; three-time Tennessee State All-America Dick Barnett, who won two National Basketball Association (NBA) titles with the New York Knicks; and Notre Dame star Austin Carr, the 1971 national player of the year, who averaged 41.3 points in NCAA tournament games and holds five tournament records. The coaches to be inducted include Missouri's Norm Stewart, who guided the Tigers for 32 seasons, including 16 NCAA tourney berths and eight regular season Big 8 championships; Guy Lewis, the University of Houston coach who led his teams to five Final Four berths and championship games in 1983 and 1984; and Charles "Lefty" Driesell, who coached four different teams to 786 wins over his 41 seasons as a head coach and led all four programs to the NCAA championship tournament.