Feb. 24, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Duke University’s Christian Laettner and Sidney Wicks of UCLA, 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. 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.
2010 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees
Wayne Duke, Contributor
After graduating from the University of Iowa, Wayne Duke began his career in sports information at Northern Iowa and later at Colorado. He was the first employee hired at the NCAA by Executive Director Walter Byers in 1952 and wrote the first manuals for the NCAA basketball tournament and the College World Series. Duke also began the compilation of the elaborate NCAA record books and was a prominent force in cultivating media interest, especially with television. He became commissioner of the Big Eight Conference in 1963 at the age of 34 and moved on in 1971 to become commissioner of the Big Ten, where he was instrumental in the conference being at the forefront of affirmative action, the integration of women’s sports, limiting athletic grants-in-aid and improving academic standards and graduation rates. Duke served on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee from 1975-81, when the tournament expanded from 32 to 40 to 48 teams, meaning teams other than conference champions could get into the field. He was also on the Basketball Television Negotiating Committee at a crucial time for the NCAA as TV money started to reach unimagined numbers. Following his retirement from the Big Ten in 1989, he became the tournament chairman of the EA Sports Maui Invitational and is still chairman emeritus.
Tom Jernstedt, Contributor
Not long after graduating from and working as an athletic administrator at the University of Oregon, Tom Jernstedt was hired by the NCAA as director of special events. After 38 years with the NCAA, the relationship has not only been fruitful for Jernstedt and the NCAA but for all of college basketball. While serving in various positions including chief operating officer, senior vice president and executive vice president, Jernstedt has been a steady and guiding force, especially as liaison to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. He has helped nurture the championship tournament through several expansion processes, not only in terms of the number of teams involved, but also in the size and scope of the venues, the revenues from marketing and broadcast rights, and the overall image as one of the world’s greatest sporting events.
Christian Laettner, Player
He may most often be remembered for his spectacular game-winning shot to top Kentucky in the NCAA tournament, but it was steady habits over four seasons that made Christian Laettner special. He helped lead Duke to the NCAA Final Four in each of his four seasons with the Blue Devils, who captured back-to-back national championships in his final two seasons (1990-91, 91-92). He made the All-East Regional team and second team all-ACC as a freshman before beginning to dominate as a sophomore when he averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds and was named third team All-America, second team All-ACC and MVP of the East Regional. While leading Duke to its first NCAA title as a junior, Laettner earned second team All-America honors and was the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. He topped off his career with another NCAA championship in 1991-92, as the national player of the year as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference Player and Athlete of the Year. Ranked third in Duke history in career points (2,460) and rebounds (1,149), he holds the Blue Devils’ record for free throws made with 713. Laettner was the third player taken in the 1992 NBA Draft and played 12 seasons in the NBA.
David Thompson, Player (Founding Class member)
Among the most amazing leapers and scorers ever to play college basketball, David Thompson was a three-time All-America and twice was named national player of the year. As an 18-year old sophomore at North Carolina State, he averaged 24.7 points and 8.1 rebounds on his way to earning the first of his three Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors and was the youngest player ever named to the AP All-America first team. Thompson powered the Wolfpack to the 1974 NCAA Championship as a junior and turned down lucrative offers from professional basketball twice to return to NC State for his senior season. The first player selected in the 1975 NBA draft, he is the only player in history selected as the most valuable player in ABA and NBA allstar games. Thompson was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1996.
Jerry West, Player (Founding Class member)
Arguably the best pure shooter in basketball history, Jerry West was a three-time All-America at West Virginia. West, who holds 17 Mountaineer records, led his team to three consecutive NCAA tournament berths and the national championship game in 1959 and averaged 29.3 points and 16.5 rebounds per game as a senior. He was co-captain of 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team with Oscar Robertson. West played 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, was a 14-time all-star pick, and the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 1972 when the Lakers captured the NBA championship. A two-way player who earned NBA all-defensive honors four times, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1980.
Davey Whitney, Coach
His teams won 711 games in 35 years of coaching but Davey Whitney did so much more than win basketball games. The “Wiz”, who earned more letters than any other athlete at Kentucky State University, brought his Alcorn State University program to heights that never seemed possible. The Braves dominated the Southwestern Athletic Conference with nine championships and little recognition until 1979, when Whitney guided his team to a berth in the NIT, one of the first for a historically black institution. Alcorn also upset in-state rival Mississippi State in the opening round. The next year, Alcorn earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, one of four for Whitney-coached teams, and topped South Alabama in the opening round. USA Basketball has recognized Whitney’s coaching talents on several national teams and he was the recipient of the NCAA’s first Journey Award in 1972.
Sidney Wicks, Player
Sidney 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.