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Gus Johnson (left) and Cynthia Cooper are among the 2010 inductees to the Naismith Hall of Fame. photo illustration

Cooper, Hurley Sr., Johnson, Pereira round out 2010 class

By staff reports
Posted Aug 13 2010 9:37PM

Four other legends of basketball -- Cynthia Cooper, Bob Hurley Sr., Gus Johnson and Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira -- round out the 2010 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class.

While their accomplishments on and off the court are many, below are brief summaries of their stellar careers.

Cynthia Cooper

-- Cynthia Cooper is an esteemed women's basketball player who has had much success throughout her career. As one of the stars of the USC women's basketball team, Cooper won back-to-back NCAA championships in 1983 and '84 and participated in three Final Fours.

After college, she won an Olympic gold medal in the 1988 Olympics and an Olympic bronze medal in 1992. While playing in the WNBA for the Houston Comets, Cooper and her teammates won four consecutive WNBA titles and she was named Finals MVP each time.

She was named to three WNBA All-Star teams and was selected as WNBA regular-season MVP twice. Cooper played in the WNBA from 1997-2000, retiring to coach the Phoenix Mercury for 1 1/2 seasons. She returned to the Comets in 2003 for a final season and retired as the league's all-time leader in scoring. In 2006, she was named to the WNBA's All-Decade Team.

After retiring, Cooper became the coach of the Prairie View A&M University women's basketball team in 2005, leading the team to its only two NCAA tournament appearances in 2007 and 2009.

Cooper left Prairie View A&M in May, 2010 to accept the women's basketball coaching position at UNC Wilmington.

Bob Hurley Sr.

-- Bob Hurley Sr. is a legendary men's basketball coach at St. Anthony High School who has amassed nearly 1,000 victories in his 38-year career at the Jersey City school. Since taking over as St. Anthony coach in 1972, the school has won 25 State Parochial Championships and three USA Today National Championships (1989, '96, 2006). He was also named National Coach of the Year by USA Today in 1989 and 1996.

He will become just the third high school coach elected to the Hall of Fame exclusively for his service to high school basketball (Morgan Wootten, Bertha Teague).

His teams have been known for their discipline on offense and persistence on defense. Throughout his career at St. Anthony's, Hurley Sr. has seen the vast majority of his players go to to get college educations, with several becoming collegiate All-Americans in basketball and going on to careers in the NBA.

Gus Johnson

-- Drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in 1963, Gus Johnson earned the nickname "Honeycomb" for his sweet moves around the basket and powerful drives to the basket. While he was a more-than capable low-post scorer, Johnson also was known for his tough play and stellar defense.

Johnson played 10 seasons in the NBA and helped lead the Baltimore Bullets to five playoff appearances in nine seasons, including an apperance in the 1971 NBA Finals.

He was a five-time NBA All-Star (1965, '68, '69, '70, '71); a four-time All-NBA Second Team member (1965, '66, '70, '71); a two-time All-Defensive First Team member (1970, '71); and was part of the1964 NBA All-Rookie Team. After 9 1/2 seasons in Baltimore, the Bullets traded Johnson to the Phoenix Suns on April 10, 1972. He played 21 games with Phoenix and was waived by the team on Dec. 1, 1972, but he then signed with the Indiana Pacers of the rival ABA and won the 1973 ABA title with Indiana.

As one of the Bullets' all-time greats, the team retired his No. 25 jersey in 1986.

On April 29, 1987, Johnson died after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira

-- Known as "The King" in his native Brazil, Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira is considered the greatest Brazilian center of all time. As an international player, he earned a gold, silver and bronze medal; his gold medal was won at the 1963 World Championship, a silver medal at the 1970 World Championship and a bronze medal at the 1964 Olympic Games. South of the border, played in three Olympic Games for Brazil and won five South American Championships and 11 titles in the Sao Paulo League in Brazil. In September 2009, Pereira was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame and was awarded the FIBA "Order of Merit" honor.

Pereira died on July 17, 2002.

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