Nuggets Assistant Adrian Dantley Selected to Hall of Fame
Six-time NBA All-Star stands 18th on the all-time scoring list
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Apr. 7 – Nuggets assistant coach and NBA scoring legend Adrian Dantley has been selected as one of seven members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2008. Dantley is joined by Hakeem Olajuwon, who led the University of Houston to three straight Final Fours and the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles; Patrick Ewing, who captured the 1984 NCAA title at Georgetown before capturing two Olympic gold medals and becoming an 11 time NBA All-Star; Pat Riley, who has led two NBA teams to five NBA championships; Cathy Rush, women’s basketball pioneer and Immaculata University coach; Dick Vitale, ESPN television broadcaster; and Bill Davidson, Detroit Pistons and Shock owner.
The announcement was made today in San Antonio, TX site of the 2008 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Ewing, Olajuwon and Riley were elected in their first year of consideration for election into the Hall of Fame, while Dantley, Davidson, Rush and Vitale have been named Finalists in prior years.
To be elected, a Finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2008 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, MA September 4-6, 2008. Additional Enshrinement Weekend information can also be found at www.hoophall.com.
ADRIAN DANTLEY – Player (Finalist in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007), a native of Washington, D.C., was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. He had a stellar 15-year NBA career with seven different teams (Buffalo Braves, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Maverick and Milwaukee Bucks), the majority of the time spent with the Jazz (1979-86). At all levels, Dantley enjoyed success – as a scholastic All-America player at DeMatha Catholic High School (Md.), as a collegian at Notre Dame (1973-76), as the leading scorer (19.3 ppg) of the gold medal 1976 Olympic team and as a professional where he was Rookie of the Year in 1977. His 23,177 career points still ranks 18th all-time in the NBA. He scored 2,223 points in three seasons (25.8) at Notre Dame, ranks second in Irish career scoring and was a unanimous First Team All-America list in 1975 and 1976. In all but four seasons as a professional, Dantley averaged 20 points or better, including topping the 30-point mark four straight years (1981-84). The six-time NBA All-Star (1980-82, 1984-86) was named NBA Comeback Player of the Year in 1984, the year he led the league in scoring (30.6).
WILLIAM (Bill) DAVIDSON – Contributor (Finalist in 2007), 85, is a lifelong Michigan resident born in Detroit, where he has created both NBA and WNBA dynasties. An owner of the Pistons since 1974 and the WNBA Shock since 1998, Davidson’s Pistons have captured three NBA crowns to go along with two WNBA titles for the Shock. Davidson has served as Chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, and has been an innovative business leader in the sports industry - building the revolutionary Palace of Auburn Hills, playing an integral role in structuring modern NBA salary cap and free agency standards, and even owning the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and capturing a Stanley Cup. His Pistons have featured several Hall of Famers, including Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Chuck Daly and Larry Brown.
PATRICK EWING – Player, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner (1984, 1992) and a three-time consensus First Team All-America (1983, 1984, 1985), led Georgetown University to three appearances in the NCAA Final Four and the 1984 national championship earning Most Outstanding Player recognition for his efforts. The 1986 NBA Rookie of the Year landed a spot on 11 NBA All Star rosters including ten in a row from 1988 to 1997. A member of the NBA 50th Anniversary Team, Ewing scored 24,815 points during his 17-year NBA career to go along with 11,607 rebounds. Named Parade Magazine’s National High School Player of the Year in 1981, Ewing remains the New York Knicks all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocked shots, steals and field goals made.
HAKEEM OLAJUWON – Player, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, spent the lion’s share of his basketball career in Houston, Texas where he led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995 and the University of Houston to three consecutive Final Four appearances from 1982 to 1984. A two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Olajuwon still holds the NBA record for blocked shots (3,830) and is the only player to record more than 3,000 blocked shots and 2,000 steals in a career. Olajuwon was also a five-time member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team, a six-time All-NBA First Team performer, and the 1994 NBA MVP. He recorded 26,946 points and 13,748 rebounds in 18 NBA seasons, good for ninth and fourteenth respectively on the all-time NBA leader board.
PAT RILEY – Coach, has experienced success at all levels and in all realms of the game. A player on the 1966 University of Kentucky Final Four team, Riley has left his biggest mark on the game in coaching. Riley is a three-time NBA Coach of the Year and currently ranks third on the all-time wins list in NBA history behind Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson. His greatest achievements have come in the form of five NBA championships, including four as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers (1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) and a fifth patrolling the sidelines for the Miami Heat in 2005. He is a member of the NBA’s Ten Best Coaches of All-Time and is the only coach in history to win NBA Coach of the Year honors with three different teams.
CATHY RUSH – Coach (Finalist in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005), a pioneer in women’s basketball and an advocate for women’s sports, led Immaculata University to three consecutive AIAW national championships from 1972 to 1974. Rush propelled Immaculata, and women’s basketball, into the national spotlight when the Mighty Macs appeared on national television in 1975, a first for women’s basketball. Rush won 149 games in only seven season and lost only 15, good for a .908 winning percentage. She made six consecutive appearances in the AIAW Final Four (1972-1977) and for her accomplishments was enshrined into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.
DICK VITALE - Contributor (Finalist in 2004, 2006), a native of Passaic, NJ, has been synonymous with college basketball for more than 20 years as the lead color announcer for ESPN. A successful coach at the high school (East Rutherford), collegiate (University of Detroit) and professional (Detroit Pistons) levels, Vitale began his broadcasting career with ESPN in 1979 and has helped make the network an integral part of college basketball’s popularity. His enthusiastic, upbeat style has resulted in a lexicon of now-familiar phrases as “Get a TO,” “Awesome, Baby,” and “PTP-er.” An author of six books chronicling his love affair with basketball, Vitale was recipient of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy electronic media award (1988) and won the NABC Cliff Wells Appreciation Award in 2000.
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level worldwide – professional, collegiate, men and women. For more information, please visit our website at www.hoophall.com or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.