Feb. 12, 2010
BERKELEY - The 1960 U.S. Olympic champion men's basketball team, which was coached by Cal legend Pete Newell and featured Golden Bear center Darrall Imhoff on the roster, has been named a finalist for induction into the Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame.
Announced in conjunction with this weekend's NBA All-Star game, this year's list of finalists include two-time NBA MVP, 14-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz and Scottie Pippen, a six-time NBA champion as a member of the Chicago Bulls and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, both first-time nominees. They will be considered along with previous finalists, such as legendary high school coach Bob Hurley of St. Anthony's in Jersey City, N.J., and Cynthia Cooper, who helped the Houston Comets win four WNBA titles and aided the U.S. to Olympic gold (1988) and bronze (1992) medals.
Also headlining the list for 2010 are three legendary teams, the 1960 Olympic team, the 1992 U.S. Olympic team, also known as the "Dream Team," and the All-American Red Heads, a finalist selected by the Women's Committee.
The complete list of finalists includes from the North American Screening Committee: players Dennis Johnson (2005 World Championship Qualifier Team assistant coach), Bernard King, Karl Malone (1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medalist), Chris Mullin (1984 and 1992 Olympic gold medalist), Scottie Pippen (1992 and 1996 Olympian) and Jamaal Wilkes, father of former Cal players Omar and Jordan Wilkes; coaches Bob Hurley (1995 USA Junior Select/Hoop Summit Team head coach), Don Nelson (1994 USA World Championship Team head coach) and Tex Winter; contributor Jerry Buss; and the two USA Olympic teams. From the Women's Screening Committee: Cynthia Cooper (1988 and 1992 Olympian), Harley Redin (1959 Pan American Games head coach, 1964 World Championship and 1971 Pan American Games Team head coach) and the All-American Red Heads team. From the International Screening Committee: coach Vladimir Kondrashin and Brazilian Legend Maciel "Ubiratan" Pereira while Richard Guerin and Gus Johnson represent the nominees from the Veteran's Screening Committee.
The Class of 2010 will be announced on Monday, April 5, at a news conference in Indianapolis prior to the NCAA's Men's Championship game. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2010 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, Aug. 13.
The 1960 U.S. Olympic team compiled an 8-0 record at the Rome Olympics and won its games by an average margin of 24 points. Ten players went on to play in the NBA and six team members have been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, including coaches Pete Newell and Dutch Lonborg. The Hall of Fame players from the '60 team are: Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West.
Newell served as Cal's head coach from 1955-60 and guided the Bears to the 1959 NCAA title, as well as a runner-up finish in 1960. Imhoff completed his All-American career at Cal in '60, and he later became just the fourth Cal men's player to have his jersey retired during ceremonies last February. Both Newell and Imhoff are members of the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.
For more information about the finalists for the 2010 Naismith Hall of Fame class, visit the USA Basketball website.