HOUSTON - Chris Mullin, a three-time BIG EAST Player of the Year at St. John's who helped put the conference on the map in the early-to mid-1980s, highlighted a group of nine individuals elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Monday as part of the NCAA Final Four.
Mullin was chosen as the BIG EAST Player of the Year in 1983, 1984 and 1985 and remains the only player in conference history to win the award three times. Along with Georgetown legend Patrick Ewing - a 2008 Hall of Fame inductee - Mullin helped put a face on a young BIG EAST Conference by leading St. John's to four NCAA tournament appearances, including the 1985 Final Four.
Mullin won the Wooden Award as the nation's top player in 1985 and was a two-time consensus all-America selection. He went on to win two gold medals as a member of the United State Olympic team, including a memorable run in 1992 as part of the original Dream Team.
Mullin played 16 seasons in the NBA, mostly with the Golden State Warriors, who chose him with the seventh overall selection in the 1985 draft. He was a five-time NBA All-Star who averaged 18.3 points in his career. He went on to serve as Executive Vice President for Basketball Operations for the Warriors from 2004-09.
THE NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2011:
TERESA EDWARDS - Player, was the first American basketball player to participate in five Olympic games - winning gold in four of them and bronze in the fifth. In college, she was a two-time Kodak All-America selection while leading Georgia twice to the Final Four. For her efforts, she has been elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, National High School Sports Hall of Fame, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and US Olympic Hall of Fame. Elected as a Player from the Women's Committee.
TARA VANDERVEER - Coach, began her collegiate coaching career in 1978 and continues today at Stanford University. She has guided the Cardinal to two NCAA championships and this year became only the fifth Division I head coach to surpass 800 wins. At the International level, she has won Olympic gold in 1996 as well as gold in the Goodwill Games and World University Games. She has been named national coach of the year four times and has guided teams to eight Final Fours. Elected as a Coach from the Women's Committee.
ARVYDAS SABONIS - Player, known as one of best big men in European history, he made an additional name for himself here in the United States with the NBA. Known for his all round excellence and skill, he'd win Olympic gold and bronze as well as European championship gold with the Soviet Union and Lithuania between 1985 and 1996. Recognized as one of the greatest passing centers of all time, he also would be named the Euroleague's Most Valuable Player and was a two-time European Player of the Year. In the NBA, he would play with the Portland Trailblazers between 1995-2001 and 2002-2003. Elected as a Player from the International Committee.
Early African-American Pioneers of the Game Committee:
REECE "GOOSE" TATUM - Player, was the original clown prince of the Harlem Globetrotters and would be known as a basketball ambassador around the world for more than 25 years. He began his career in the 1940s as a baseball player for the Birmingham Black Barons and the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro National League. As a Globetrotter, he would play the important pivot position in the Globetrotter offense and was one of the first to shoot the hook shot with an arm span of 84-inches. He is also an enshrinee of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Elected as a Player from the Early African-American Pioneers Committee. (Born: May 31, 1921; Died Jan. 18, 1967)
ARTIS GILMORE - Player, member of the ABA 30-Man All-Time Team, would win one ABA championship and be named the ABA league and playoff Most Valuable Player. His ABA career would also include All-ABA First Team honors five times, and All-ABA Defensive Teams four times. In the NBA, he would be named to six NBA All-Star Teams between 1977-1988. For his playing career, he would score more than 24,000 points and averaged a double/double in both professional leagues. Elected as a Player from the ABA committee.
TOM "SATCH" SANDERS - Contributor, a New York native who was a member of eight Boston Celtics championship teams between 1961 and 1969, playing a critical role in the teams' legendary defensive success. Retiring as a player, he would coach at both Harvard University and with the Boston Celtics. Following his coaching career he would be instrumental in the development of the NBA's Rookie Transition Program and was a founder of the player programs for the NBA, which served as the benchmark for league sports throughout the world. He has been enshrined into multiple Halls of Fame, served in critical roles for the Legend's Foundation and is the associate director for the study of sport in society at Northeastern University. His remarkable career in basketball resulted in his recognition with the Hall of Fame's John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. Elected as a Contributor from the Veteran's Committee.
North American Committee Finalists:
HERB MAGEE - Coach, he has won more than 900 games at Division II Philadelphia University where he has coached since 1966. His victory count is good for first all-time in NCAA basketball history for any level and he continues to be active today at Philly U. He has guided the school to 25 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, has won 20 or more games in 30 years and has one NCAA National Championship. Elected as a Coach from the North American Committee.
CHRIS MULLIN - Player, a high school All-America from New York City, he was a five-time NBA All-Star and collegiate standout at St. John's, where he was named Big East Player of the Year an unprecedented three times. He won two Olympic gold medals, including one as a member of the 1992 `Dream Team', and his 16 NBA seasons with Golden State and Indiana produced over 17,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists. He was an NBA First Team pick in 1992, and still holds the all-time scoring record at St. John's, where he was named the Wooden Award Winner and a Sporting News All-America in 1985. Elected as a Player from the North American Committee.
DENNIS RODMAN - Player, known for his extraordinary rebounding and defensive skills - he would win five NBA championships, three with Chicago and two with Detroit. Named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year twice, he was named to a total of seven All-Defensive first teams while being selected to two NBA All-Star games. His rebounding statistics still rank as some of the best in history. Elected as a Player from the North American Committee.
TEX WINTER - Coach, began his coaching career in 1947 as an assistant with Kansas State University and continued at the collegiate and NBA levels until 2006. He was part of nine NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers and is known for building the foundation of the triangle-post offense, which helped form dynasties at the Bulls and Lakers. He was the youngest coach in college basketball history to receive Coach of the Year honors and guided Kansas State to six NCAA appearances and two Final Fours. Elected as a Coach from the North American Committee.