BALDWIN CITY, Kan. --- Tennessee State University men’s basketball legends Dick Barnett and John McLendon are members of the inaugural class of the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame, it was announced on Thursday morning. Barnett is one of 11 players inducted into the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame, while McLendon is one of three coaches in the inaugural class.
The 2016 Hall of Fame Induction ceremony is set for Nov. 17 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.
Barnett, who was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007, was named to the NAIA 75th Anniversary All-Star team in 2012. A first round NBA draft pick by the Syracuse Nationals, Barnett helped lead Tennessee State to NAIA National Championships in 1957, 1958 and 1959. He was a three-time Associated Press Little College All-American and holds TSU records for points in a game (48), season (920) and career (3,209).
Barnett played 14 seasons in the NBA, suiting up for the Syracuse Nationals, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
McLendon was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 1979 and as a coach in April of 2016. He guided the Tigers to three NAIA National Championships and had a 144-20 record as TSU's head coach from 1954-59. During his career, McLendon coached on the collegiate level at North Carolina Central, Hampton, TSU, Kentucky State and Cleveland State. In professional basketball, he was the first African American to coach the pro game with the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League in 1961, and he also coached the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association.
McLendon learned under the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, when McLendon was a student at the University of Kansas.
Fans can purchase tickets to the Hall of Fame induction by clicking on the following link, www.HoFClassic.com.
In terms of criteria for selection into the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame, the committee used the following basic guidelines:
- Must have played, coached or contributed at the small college level (four-year, non-NCAA Division I)
- Focus is on accomplishments/contributions specifically at the collegiate level
- Players must be a minimum of five years removed from their final year of their collegiate career. Coaches must be a minimum of three years removed from their last season of their coaching career. There is no such timetable for contributors.
- The Inaugural Class will consist of 15 members. Subsequent classes will consist of 8-12 members.
- Each Class will have a minimum of one inductee from each of three categories: Player, Coach and Contributor.
- All players, coaches and contributors that have not been inducted into the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame will continue to be eligible for annual consideration, as long as they meet the above guidelines. There is no timetable whereby candidates rotate off/out of consideration.
Dr. Dick Barnett (Tennessee A&I)
Bevo Francis (Rio Grande)
John Ebeling (Florida Southern)
Travis Grant (Kentucky State)
Bob Hopkins (Grambling)
Lucious Jackson (Pan American College)
Phil Jackson (North Dakota)
Earl Monroe (Winston-Salem State)
Willis Reed (Grambling)
John Rinka (Kenyon)
Jerry Sloan (Evansville)
Clarence Gaines (Winston-Salem State)
Arad McCutchan (Evansville)
John McLendon (North Carolina College, Hampton, Tennessee A&I, Kentucky State & Cleveland State)
Dr. James Naismith