Today is a very special day for Rick Pitino. Not only is he coaching his Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA championship game against Michigan tonight, but this morning he was also elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Pitino is one of a class of seven inductees announced today that will feature some other very well know names.
Nine-time All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive first team member Gary Payton will also be entering the Hall of Fame. “The Glove” played most of his 17-year career with the Seattle Supersonics, but won an NBA championship in 2006 as a member of the Miami Heat.
Along with Payton, former NBA star Bernard King was also elected today. King played 14 seasons in the NBA. The prime of his career was spent with the New York Knicks where he was a two-time All-Star (1984, ’85) and the NBA scoring champion in 1985.
Other members of the 2013 Hall of Fame class elected today are former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, North Carolina women's coach Sylvia Hatchell, former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis, and three-time Olympic gold medalist and six-time WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley.
There were five others elected to the Hall of Fame this year that were already announced: E.B. Henderson, Roger Brown, Oscar Schmidt, Richie Guerin and Russ Granik.
The official inductions will take place in Springfield, Massachusetts in September. Congratulations to the newest members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame!