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Christian Laettner, Sidney Wicks Lead National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 3:52 PM, under ,

The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2010 has been announced, and leading the way for the eight member group is Christian Laettner of Duke and Sidney Wicks of UCLA.

Wicks helped Coach John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins to three straight NCAA championships from 1969-71. He was selected as the tournament’s most outstanding player as a junior in 1970 and earned at least one national player of the year award in each of his last two seasons.

The 2010 induction class also includes coaches Tex Winter, the innovator of the triangle offense who coached at Marquette, Kansas State, Northwestern, Washington and Long Beach State; and Davey Whitney, with more than 500 career wins in a long career at Alcorn State, including taking one of the first teams from a historically black university to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1979.

The 2010 induction ceremonies will be held on Sunday, November 21, 2010, at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and the historic Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo.

2010 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees

Wayne Duke, Contributor

After graduating from the University of Iowa, Wayne Duke began his career in sports information at Northern Iowa and later at Colorado. He was the first employee hired at the NCAA by Executive Director Walter Byers in 1952 and wrote the first manuals for the NCAA basketball tournament and the College World Series. Duke also began the compilation of the elaborate NCAA record books and was a prominent force in cultivating media interest, especially with television.

He became commissioner of the Big Eight Conference in 1963 at the age of 34 and moved on in 1971 to become commissioner of the Big Ten, where he was instrumental in the conference being at the forefront of affirmative action, the integration of women’s sports, limiting athletic grants-in-aid and improving academic standards and graduation rates.

Duke served on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee from 1975-81, when the tournament expanded from 32 to 40 to 48 teams, meaning teams other than conference champions could get into the field. He was also on the Basketball Television Negotiating Committee at a crucial time for the NCAA as TV money started to reach unimagined numbers.

Following his retirement from the Big Ten in 1989, he became the tournament chairman of the EA Sports Maui Invitational and is still chairman emeritus.

Tom Jernstedt, Contributor

Not long after graduating from and working as an athletic administrator at the University of Oregon, Tom Jernstedt (pictured left) was hired by the NCAA as director of special events. After 38 years with the NCAA, the relationship has not only been fruitful for Jernstedt and the NCAA but for all of college basketball.

While serving in various positions including chief operating officer, senior vice president and executive vice president, Jernstedt has been a steady and guiding force, especially as liaison to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. He has helped nurture the championship tournament through several expansion processes, not only in terms of the number of teams involved, but also in the size and scope of the venues, the revenues from marketing and broadcast rights, and the overall image as one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

Christian Laettner, Player

He may most often be remembered for his spectacular game-winning shot to top Kentucky in the NCAA tournament, but it was steady habits over four seasons that made Christian Laettner special. He helped lead Duke to the NCAA Final Four in each of his four seasons with the Blue Devils, who captured back-to-back national championships in his final two seasons (1990-91, 91-92).

Duke University Blue Devils

CENTER OF ATTENTION: Christian Laettner of the Duke University
Blue Devil battles for position during a NCAA game against
Canisius College on December 7 1991. Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images

He made the All-East Regional team and second team all-ACC as a freshman before beginning to dominate as a sophomore when he averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds and was named third team All- America, second team All-ACC and MVP of the East Regional. While leading Duke to its first NCAA title as a junior, Laettner earned second team All-America honors and was the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four.

He topped off his career with another NCAA championship in 1991-92, as the national player of the year as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference Player and Athlete of the Year. Ranked third in Duke history in career points (2,460) and rebounds (1,149), he holds the Blue Devils’ record for free throws made with 713. Laettner was the third player taken in the 1992 NBA Draft and played 12 seasons in the NBA.

David Thompson, Player (Founding Class member)

Among the most amazing leapers and scorers ever to play college basketball, David Thompson was a three-time All-America and twice was named national player of the year. As an 18-year old sophomore at North Carolina State, he averaged 24.7 points and 8.1 rebounds on his way to earning the first of his three Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors and was the youngest player ever named to the AP All-America first team.

Thompson powered the Wolfpack to the 1974 NCAA Championship as a junior and turned down lucrative offers from professional basketball twice to return to NC State for his senior season. The first player selected in the 1975 NBA draft, he is the only player in history selected as the most valuable player in ABA and NBA all- star games. Thompson was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1996.

Jerry West, Player (Founding Class member)

Arguably the best pure shooter in basketball history, Jerry West was a three-time All-America at West Virginia. West, who holds 17 Mountaineer records, led his team to three consecutive NCAA tournament berths and the national championship game in 1959 and averaged 29.3 points and 16.5 rebounds per game as a senior.

West Flies For The Block
TAMING THAT CAT: West Virginia's Jerry West, right, soars through the air
to prevent the University of Kentucky's Adrian Smith from making a layup
during an eventual Kentucky defeat at home in Lexington on June 22 1959.
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

He was co-captain of 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team with Oscar Robertson. West played 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, was a 14-time all-star pick, and the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 1972 when the Lakers captured the NBA championship. A two-way player who earned NBA all-defensive honors four times, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1980.

Davey Whitney, Coach

His teams won 711 games in 35 years of coaching but Davey Whitney (pictured left from his playing days with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues from 1952-54) did so much more than win basketball games.

The “Wiz”, who earned more letters than any other athlete at Kentucky State University, brought his Alcorn State University program to heights that never seemed possible. The Braves dominated the Southwestern Athletic Conference with nine championships and little recognition until 1979, when Whitney guided his team to a berth in the NIT, one of the first for a historically black institution. Alcorn also upset in-state rival Mississippi State in the opening round.

The next year, Alcorn earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, one of four for Whitney-coached teams, and topped South Alabama in the opening round. USA Basketball has recognized Whitney’s coaching talents on several national teams and he was the recipient of the NCAA’s first Journey Award in 1972.

Sidney Wicks, Player

Sidney Wicks was one of those rare collegiate players who only experienced perfection. Wicks played on three of Coach John Wooden’s UCLA teams and helped lead the Bruins to NCAA championships from 1969-71. The 6-8 power forward was the Bruins’ leading scorer (18.6) and rebounder (11.9) as a junior when he was named Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Final Four and earned national co-player of the year honors from the Helms Athletic Foundation.

On the Cover: UCLA's Sidney Wicks appeared on the cover of the
November 30, 1970 issue of Sports Illustrated.

He earned player of the year awards from the USBWA and The Sporting News while again topping UCLA in scoring and rebounding as a senior. The second pick in the 1971 NBA draft by Portland, he played 10 seasons in the NBA and earned rookie of the year honors in 1972. He returned to UCLA as an assistant coach from 1984-88.

Tex Winter, Coach

Best known as the innovator of the triangle offense, Tex Winter was the head coach of five college programs, serving at Marquette, Kansas State, Northwestern, Washington and Long Beach State.

Tex Winter ex NBA coach at a basketball training c
Teaching Down Under: Former college and NBA Coach Tex Winter teaching at a
basketball training camp for New Zealand players. Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images

The University of Southern California graduate was the first full-time assistant coach at Kansas State and helped Coach Jack Gardner and the Wildcats reach the 1959 national championship game. He became the head coach at Marquette at the age of 28 and stayed for two seasons before returning to Kansas State as the head coach.

Winter guided the Wildcats for 15 seasons, won eight Big Eight titles and was the national coach of the year in 1959, when K-State was rated the number one team nationally by both wire services. He later carried his coaching expertise to the NBA, where he helped the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers win 10 NBA titles.

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