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Posts Tagged ‘ABA.’

Legendary North Carolina Tar Heels coach Dean Smith dies at 83

Dean Smith (2009 photo by Zeke Smith via wikipedia commons)

Dean Smith, the Hall of Fame legend who won two national championships at North Carolina along with an Olympic gold medal while coaching, has died. He was 83.

In a statement released by the university from the Smith family,  the coach died “peacefully” at his Chapel Hill home Saturday evening. He was with his wife and five children.

Smith coached some of the biggest names ever in college basketball. The list is long Michael Jordan, Larry Brown, Billy Cunningham, Hubert Davis, Matt Doherty, Phil Ford, George Karl, Charlie Scott, James Worthy, John Kuester, Jeff Lebo, Mitch Kupchak, Sam Perkins, Bob McAdoo, Kenny Smith, Rick Fox, Jerry Stackhouse, Walter Davis, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter and Rasheed Wallace to name a few.

He sent more than 50 players to the NBA and ABA.

Smith had health issues in recent years, where he had a condition that was causing him to lose memory. He stayed out of the public’s eye since 2010. His wife, Linnea, accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom on his behalf from President Barack Obama in November 2013.

Born Feb. 28, 1931, in Emporia, Kan., the son of public school teachers, Dean Edwards Smith graduated from the University of Kansas with a communications degree in 1953. He played for the Jayhawks teams that won the NCAA title in 1952 and finished second the next year. While at Kansas, Smith played for another legendary basketball coach in Phog Allen which the Jayhawks home arena is named after, Allen Fieldhouse.

He served as an assistant coach at Kansas to Allen and Dick Harp before joining the Air Force. He was an assistant basketball coach at the Air Force Academy, and also the baseball and golf coach for a year, before leaving in 1958 to join Frank McGuire’s staff at North Carolina. When McGuire left to coach in the NBA in the summer of 1961, the university selected Smith, 30 years old at the time, to take over the program.

Smith had an 8-9 record his first season and never had one again.

He won two championships in his career, 1982 and 1993. Other career accomplishments included: 11 regional titles which led to the Final Four; 13 ACC Tournament titles; 18 ACC regular season titles; NIT title in 1971; National Coach of the Year 4 times and ACC coach of the Year 9 times.

He is the member of several Hall of Fames: North Carolina 1981; Basketball 1983; Kansas 1996; College Basketball 2006 and the ingaural class of FIBA in 2007

Smith retired in October 1997 with a career record of 879-254, having eclipsed ‘The Baron” Adolph Rupp’s record of 876 victories during the NCAA tournament earlier that year in March.

Smith was very active in his church, politics, while speaking out on social issues such as civil rights, the death penalty, affirming gays and lesbians.

During his regime at UNC, Smith, with the insistence of his pastor started to recruit black athletes to his team. In 1967, swingman Charlie Scott became the first black athlete on scholarhip.

In politics, he supported Democrats and Liberals. He donated money to the presidential campaigns of Howard Dean, Bill Bradley, North Carolina alumnus John Edwards and Obama.

With his wife, Linnea,  Smith is also survived by daughters Sandy, Sharon, Kristen and Kelly; son Scott; and several grandchildren.

Dean Smith Center interior (2007 photo by Greenstat via wikipedia commons)

 

Former Notre Dame, NBA star Woolridge dies at 52

 

Orlando Woolridge (photo courtesy of Notre Dame athletics)

Former basketball star Orlando Woolridge died on Thursday night at his parents’ home in Mansfield, Louisiana. He was 52.

Woolridge had suffered for years with a chronic heart condition and was under hospice care.

The 6’9, 215-pound center/forward played in the NBA with Chicago, New Jersey, the Lakers, Denver, Detroit, Milwaukee and the Philadelphia 76ers.

One of the most-prolific dunkers in NBA history, Wooldridge played in 851 games scoring 13,623 points (16.0 ppg), grabbed 3,696 rebounds (4.3 rpg) and dished out 1,609 assists (1.9 apg).

He played his final two seasons of basketball in Italy with Benetton Treviso and Buckler Bologna.

Woolridge also coached three teams, the LA Sparks in the WNBA and two teams from the ABA.

 

Info compiled from NBA, Notre Dame, Radio & TV news

Ex-Indiana basketball player, coach, Lou Watson dies at 88

 

(courtesy of WPClipart.com)

Former Indiana Hoosiers All-American Lou Watson, had the distinction of being the coach between two of the most successful coaches in the school’s history, Branch McCracken (364-174) and Bobby Knight (661-240), died in Fairfax, Virginia at the age of 88.

Watson, who was from Jeffersonville, Indiana, which is located just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, was an All-American for McCracken in 1950. When he left the Bloomington, Indiana school, he was their all-time leading scorer.

Watson became McCracken’s long-time assistant coach, then became IU’s head basketball coach from 1966-71 and guided the Hoosiers to a co-Big Ten championship in 1967. That team was known as the “Cardiac Kids” due to their playing so many down-to-the-wire games.

Watson, who ended his coaching career with a 61-60 record, coached George McGinnis, who went on to the ABA and NBA, during the 1970-71 season when he gained All-American status.

 

Info compiled from Indiana University, Radio & TV news

He was inducted into the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1989.

 

 

Knicks win streak reaches 7; Lin dishes out 13 assists vs. Kings

 

Jeremy Lin while at Harvard (photo by Johnkin via wikipedia commons)

The New York Knicks were supposed to be led by Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

But instead, they’re being led by the Lin factor and the results are very good.

Jeremy Lin did not have to score a lot of points on Wednesday night in the New York Knicks, 100-85 win over the Sacramento Kings.

The Harvard grad handed out a career-best 13 assists as the Knicks reached the .500 mark and won its seventh straight game.

Lin, a point guard, scored 10 points in a Knicks offense that shot 51 percent from the floor.

Lin scored 136 points in his first five starting assignments, most by any NBA player since the league merged with the ABA in 1976.

Lin is the reigning NBA Eastern Conference player of the week. He played 26 minutes in the game and sat out the end of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter.

New York is 15-15 on the season.

This is the first time since the end of last season that the Knicks have won seven-in-a-row.

Celebrities at the game included former vice president Al Gore and former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson.

 

 

Info compiled from New York Knicks & NBA news

2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Class is set

Basketball Hall of Fame interior (photo by Bill McCurdy via wikipedia commons)

The 2011 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s induction class has been finalized.

The class will be inducted in August.

Players include Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin, longtime NBA and ABA star Artis Gilmore, former Portland TrailBlazers center Arvydas Sabonis, Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, Harlem Globetrotter Reece “Goose” Tatum and Boston Celtics player and Harvard coach Tom “Satch” Sanders.

Coaches include Tex Winter, innovator of the triangle offense, Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer and Philadelphia Textile University coach Herb Magee.