UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Indiana Fever head coach Lin Dunn headlined the 2014 class of inductees into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, announced on ABC Saturday during the network’s broadcast of the WNBA All-Star Game, where Dunn was serving as head coach of the Eastern Conference team. Joining Dunn in the 16th group to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be held on June 14, 2014, at the institution’s home in Knoxville, Tenn., will be Michelle Edwards (player), Mimi Griffin (contributor), Yolanda Griffith (player), Jasmina Perazic (player), and Charlotte West (contributor).
In conjunction with the 2014 inductions, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame will also honor the 1976 USA Women’s Basketball Olympic Team for their contributions to the game in a display at the Hall entitled “Trailblazers of the Game”. The 1976 team will join the All American Red Heads, Edmonton Grads, the Former Helms/Citizens Savings/Founders Bank, and the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens as the only five groups recognized as “Trailblazers of the Game.”
“It is a moment of my career to look back and reflect … and be honored and humbled,” said Dunn of her selection. “This is my 43rd year of coaching and obviously I started when I was very young, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of women’s basketball in college and in the professional [leagues]. I coached before Title IX was even thought of. … I will be going into a Hall of Fame that many of my colleagues, peers and people that I have tremendous respect for are already in.”
Noting that the Hall is situated in Knoxville, where she earned her master’s degree in physical education and near where she began her storied career as a player at Clarksville, Tenn.’s Austin Peay State University, Dunn added, “We will celebrate the moments, reminisce and celebrate the wonderful moments we have had in women’s basketball.”
Dunn tallied more than 400 wins as a college coach and was twice named Big Ten Coach of the Year while coaching at Purdue. She entered the professional coaching ranks in the now-defunct American Basketball League with the Portland Power, where she earned Coach of the Year honors in 1998. After moving to the WNBA, she served as the first head coach of the Seattle Storm, where she most notably signed future megastars Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird. The runner-up WNBA Coach of the Year in 2009, Dunn guided her current team, the Indiana Fever, to its first WNBA championship last season, despite injuries to key players.
Elected to the Hall of Fame as players are Michelle Edwards, Yolanda Griffith and Jasmina Perazic. Edwards played for the University of Iowa, leading the Hawkeyes to a 102-22 record from 1984-1988. She is the only Hawkeye women’s basketball player to have her jersey retired. Edwards was named a 1988 Kodak All-American, Naismith All-American, USBWA All-American, Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, and the University of Iowa’s Athlete of the Year. She also played five seasons in the WNBA.
Griffith is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time WNBA All-Star. She was the 1999 WNBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Newcomer of the Year. She lead the Sacramento Monarchs to the 2005 WNBA Championship. In college, Griffith was a 1991 Kodak Junior College All-American, a 1993 WBCA Division II Player of the Year, and a 1993 Kodak Division II All-American.
Perazic played for the University of Maryland, leading the Terps’ to the 1982 NCAA Final Four and a final ranking of No. 3 in the country. She was named a 1983 Kodak All-American and co-ACC tournament MVP. Perazic was a two-time member of the Yugoslavian Olympic Team leading them to the bronze medal in 1980. She played one season in the WNBA for the New York Liberty.
Broadcaster Mimi Griffin and Title IX pioneer Charlotee West were named to this year’s Hall of Fame class as contributors to the game. Griffin is considered to be the first broadcast expert for women’s basketball. She served as the “face” for women’s basketball in its’ early television exposure and laid the foundation for women’s basketball on television. Griffin was the first woman color analyst for a NCAA men’s tournament game on ESPN in 1990. She was also named the 1994 WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award winner.
West was a huge advocate for women’s sports and pioneer for Title IX. From 1960 to 1986 she served as the director of athletics for women at Southern Illinois University. She helped transform the department from its meager beginnings into a nationally recognized program with a budget of more than $1 million dollars for 11 sports. West was the 1983 WBCA Administrator of the Year and was the first recipient of the Honda Award.
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