On Saturday evening, Becky Hammon, Gary Blair and the 1976 US Ladies’s Olympic Staff have been inducted into the Basketball Corridor of Fame. Listed here are highlights from the ceremony:
“Simply be you. Simply be you. Simply be you.”
These have been the phrases that Becky Hammon constantly heard from fellow Class of 2023 Basketball Corridor of Fame inductee Gregg Popovich throughout her time as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs.
Whereas Popovich repeated the phrase to pour braveness and confidence into Hammon after he made her the primary lady to function a NBA assistant coach in 2014, Hammon has reached basketball’s heights as a result of she all the time has simply been her.
As Hammon mentioned throughout her speech, “I’m not going to provide the conventional basketball speech as a result of, fairly frankly, there’s nothing conventional about me.”
She emphasised how “coronary heart, grit, will and a powerful thoughts” took her from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the highlight of Madison Sq. Backyard to the court docket and sideline in San Antonio to a record-breaking alternative in Las Vegas to, on Saturday evening, the Basketball Corridor of Fame.
Hammon additionally handed alongside a variety of the straightforward mantras which have motivated her via her lifetime journey within the sport she lengthy knew she cherished (identical to she knew she cherished Jesus). She recalled a poster on her bed room wall, alongside a poster of Michael Jordan, that learn, “Know your ABCs to perform your desires.” She famous her dad’s recommendation to her—“Rule the bottom not the air”—regardless that she idolized the hovering Jordan. She additionally shared her mission of “Mak[ing] pictures and win[ning] championships,” the aim understood by her sons, Cayden and Sam.
Hammon’s speech supplied perception into what makes her who she is, and why she has, and can proceed to, affect what girls have carried out, and can do, on this sport.
For extra about Hammon’s untraditional Corridor-of-Fame profession, take a look at:
Quickly after Gary Blair introduced that the 2021-22 girls’s faculty basketball could be his final, Zack Ward aptly wrote, “Gary Blair gained a nationwide championship for Texas A&M at a excessive level of UConn’s dominance of the game. It was no simple job.”
In 2011, Blair led the Aggies to the nationwide championship, the excessive level of his 37-year profession teaching girls’s faculty basketball. However as Blair asserted during his Hall of Fame induction speech, “I climbed to the highest of the mountain in girls’s basketball however success isn’t a vacation spot. It’s an ever evolving journey.”
He emphasised that journey started effectively earlier than he arrived as head coach at Texas A&M in 2003 or at Arkansas in 1993 and even at Stephen F. Austin in 1985. It started earlier than he earned his first of 852 NCAA victories.
Blair’s teaching journey started 50 years in the past South Oak Cliff Excessive College outdoors of Dallas, Texas. As Blair told it on Saturday night, “I’m satisfied that God led three younger girls to knock on the door of my workplace and ask me if I’d be occupied with teaching ladies basketball at South Oak Cliff Excessive College. Right here I’m 50 years later on the Naismith Basketball Corridor of Fame.”
Blair additionally used his Hall of Fame speech to insist, “We’d like extra recognition of girls within the Corridor of Fame.” Preach!
To study extra about that fateful starting of Blair’s basketball journey, make sure you learn:
1976 Olympic Staff (Ladies’s Veterans Committee)
Forty seven years in the past, in the summertime of 1976, girls’s basketball debuted on the Olympic Video games.
In Montreal, the 12 girls who have been members of the US nationwide workforce gained silver, an achievement that now’s memorialized as foundational to the expansion of the game in the USA, in addition to to the long run success of the USA on the worldwide stage.
Coached by Billie Moore, these 12 pioneering girls have been: Cindy Brogdan, Nancy Dunkle, Lusia Harris, Pat Head (Summitt), Nancy Lieberman, Charlotte Lewis, Gail Marquis, Ann Meyers (Drysdale), Mary Anne O’Connor, Patricia Roberts, Susan Rojcewicz and Juliene Brazinski (Simpson).
As Simpson said on Saturday night, “We performed for future generations which may see themselves in one among us.”
To get to know extra about these girls and their affect, check out:
A ultimate congratulations to Holly Rowe, the 2023 winner of Curt Gowdy Award for Digital Media.
The lengths Rowe has gone to raise and amplify the ladies’s sport is unmatched. And her insistence on emphasizing the significance of girls’s basketball and the integrity of girls’s basketball gamers is appreciated.