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Becky Hammon Headlines Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 1/21/2022 Madeline Coleman
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One official, two contributors, four coaches and five players make up the group of potential Class of 2022 inductees.

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Becky Hammon is among the 12 finalists for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2022, which was announced during Thursday’s game between Louisville and North Carolina State.

The other finalists include Debbie Antonelli (contributor), Alice “Cookie” Barron (veteran player), Evelyn Blalock (coach), Cathy Boswell (player), Doug Bruno (coach), Donna Lopiano (contributor), Lisa Mattingly (official), Delisha Milton-Jones (player), Paul Sanderford (coach), Bob Schneider (coach) and Penny Taylor (international player).

The Class of 2022, which will be the 23rd group of inductees, and 2022 Trailblazers of the Game award recipient will be announced on Valentine’s Day during the Maryland-Iowa game, and the induction ceremony is slated for June 11 in Knoxville. 

Some of the finalists have been trailblazers. Blalock founded the women’s basketball program at Kilgore College, guiding the team to three NJCAA Championships (1988, 1990, 1993). Meanwhile, Bruno has been the head coach of DePaul’s women’s basketball program, leading the team to 24 NCAA Tournament appearances. 

Schneider posted an all-time coaching record of 1,045–293 with just two losing seasons in the span of 40 years while Mattingly served as an official for 33 years, refereeing the NCAA Women’s Final Four Championship game 10 times and semifinals seven times. Additionally, she officiated the WNBA League Championship Series from 2000 to ’07 and the league finals from 2002 to ’06. 

But alongside these coaches, contributors and official, there are standout players who are finalists alongside Hammon. Barron played for the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens, leading them to a 104–0 record from 1954 to ’57. Boswell helped lead USA Basketball to gold in the 1984 Olympics, and Milton-Jones holds two gold medals (2000, 2008), two WNBA championships and is a three-time WNBA All-Star. 

Taylor, the sole international player in the group, is a three-time WNBA Champion (2007, 2009, 2014) and three-time WNBA All-Star (2002, 2007, 2011). 

Hammon is listed as a finalist as a player, having a slew of accomplishments ranging from six-time WNBA All-Star (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011) to being named among WNBA’s Top 15 Players of all-time in 2011. She recently made headlines as she left the Spurs to become the new Aces head coach, saying, “I sat in head coaching interviews [in the NBA] and people said two things: ‘You’ve only been in San Antonio and you’ve never been a head coach.’ Well I can tell you right now Mark Davis met me, Nikki [Fargas] met me and said ‘That’s a head coach right now.’”

Hammon previously said she will pull double duty finishing off the season with the Spurs before fully joining the Aces.

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