Philly flavor among basketball HOF finalists

Philly flavor among basketball HOF finalists
February 15, 2013, 6:45 pm
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Dawn Staley was named a first-time finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. (USA Today Images)

HOUSTON -- The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame uses All-Star weekend annually to announce its finalists for that year’s class. Those that make the cut will be announced at the Final Four and inducted in September.

Two people with Philadelphia ties were announced as finalists on Friday. Former Sixers guard and head coach Maurice Cheeks was named a finalist for the third time (see story). Former Temple standout guard and coach and three-time Olympic gold medalist Dawn Staley joined Cheeks on the list.

Cheeks has been involved in the NBA on the playing or coaching levels since 1978. Meanwhile, Staley is on the ballot for the first time and is one of two women’s committee finalists. Currently the head coach at the University of South Carolina, the Staley is considered one of the most decorated players in the history of women’s basketball.

In addition to her Olympic gold medals, Staley was a five-time WNBA All-Star and two-time National Player of the Year in college.

Finally, former Villanova player George Raveling was selected to receive the Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013. Raveling went into coaching after his days at Villanova and became an assistant coach for the Wildcats. He then was hired at the University of Maryland.

Raveling also served as head coach at Washington State, Iowa and USC before having to leave the profession due to health issues. He continues to have an impact in the sport as the Director of International Basketball for Nike.

Perhaps Raveling’s greatest claim to fame is that on Aug. 28, 1963 he received the original copy of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

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