Naismith Basketball HOF Adding Some Local Flavor

Carla Gugino starred as Cathy Rush in 'The Mighty Macs.' (credit: IMDB.com)

Carla Gugino starred as Cathy Rush in ‘The Mighty Macs.’ (credit: IMDB.com)

The class for the 2014 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was released yesterday. The group is headlined by NBA greats Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond, former outspoken Alabama Head Coach and National Champion Nolan Richardson and recently retired NBA commissioner David Stern.

The list of 2014 honorees also has its own sense of local flavor.

Going into the hall this year will be former Temple basketball great, Guy Rodgers and the 1972-74 Immaculata Women’s Basketball team.

Rodgers was elected into the hall via the Veterans Committee. Rodgers led Temple University to two Final Four appearances in 1956 and 1958. Rodgers was a unanimous First Team All American in 1958 and made the All-Tournament team that year.

The former Owl was a three-time Big Five MVP (1956-58). Rodgers also tallied 1,767 career points for the Owls in three seasons which stood as a school record until 1991 when it was broken by Mark Macon. Rodgers went on to play in the NBA for 12 seasons.

As a professional, he played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Chicago Bulls, the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks. Rodgers never won an NBA title but he had his share of amazing moments.

Rodgers led the NBA in assists twice in his career (1963, 1967) and was a four-time All-Star (1964-64, 1966-67). Rodgers also tallied 28 assists in a game to tie an NBA record. Perhaps his most prominent passing night came on March 2nd, 1962 when he dished out 20 dimes. One of his teammates benefited greatly that evening. That teammate was Wilt Chamberlain who scored 100 points that night.

Rodgers passed away in 2001.

One of history’s most dominant basketball teams of all-time existed just on the outskirts of Philadelphia. Immaculata University’s women’s basketball team was coached by Cathy Rush. From 1972-74 the team won three straight National Championships.

During that span, the team had a dominant 60-2 record. The group served as pioneers as they were the first women’s college team to play in a nationally televised game, to play at Madison Square Garden and to play in Australia.

The roster included some of the nation’s best players including Theresa Shank, who was a three-time All American. Shank recorded 1,167 points and 952 rebounds in her career. Also on the team was Marianne Crawford, who was a two-time Kodak All- American who tallied 747 points and 544 assists and Mary Scharff, who was a Kodak All-American recording 1,235 points and 583 rebounds in her career.

All three were named to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

The feats of this team were so impressive they were chronicled in the movie “The Mighty Macs,” (2011) which starred Carla Gugino.

 

The 2014 Hall of Fame class will not include a player that many believed deserved a spot in Sixers point guard Maurice Cheeks. An induction could have eased Cheeks’ wounds following his firing from the Detroit Pistons after just 50 games. Cheeks will have to wait for his call to the hall.

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Posted on April 8, 2014, in Features, Ray Boyd and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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