sunny.png
Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 3:09PM

Divac, Moncrief, Sikma, Weatherspoon headline '19 Hall class

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The longest active streak of missing the NBA playoffs belongs to Sacramento, where general manager Vlade Divac has been trying to return the Kings to the league's elite over the last four seasons.

Back when the slick-passing Serbian big man was in the paint, the Kings had quite the run. For his impact on the NBA as one of the pioneering Eastern Europeans, Divac was announced Saturday as one of the 12 honorees in the 2019 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"We created something special there, the first day of training camp that led us," said Divac, who played for Sacramento from 1998-2004, with a peak in 2002 when the Kings lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference finals. "For six years, we were the most exciting team in the league and really played basketball the right way."

The class will be enshrined at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Sept. 6. Selected this year with Divac were NBA players Carl Braun, Chuck Cooper, Bobby Jones, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma and Paul Westphal, NBA coach Bill Fitch, NBA contributor Al Attles, WNBA player Teresa Weatherspoon, the 1957-59 teams from Tennessee A&I and the Wayland Baptist University program.

Divac, who was elected directly by the international committee, played 16 years in the NBA, including eight with the Lakers. The 7-foot-1 Divac had his jersey retired by the Kings after helping them start a streak of eight straight postseason appearances upon his arrival. They never advanced past the conference finals, a surge that coincided with the Lakers dynasty of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

One of Divac's fellow starters on those Kings teams was Chris Webber, who wasn't included in the class. Now an analyst for CBS Sports, Webber quickly sent Divac a congratulatory message after the announcement in Minneapolis at the Final Four.

"For the last five or six days when I found out I was going to be there, I was only hoping that he was going to be next me," Divac said. "I'm sure it's going to happen down the road, but it would be awesome if he was right next to me."

Moncrief and Sikma, who were elected by the North American committee, were teammates with the Milwaukee Bucks from 1986-89. The seven-time All-Star Sikma, who won an NBA title in his second season with the Seattle SuperSonics, set a record with the Bucks in 1988 as the only center in history to lead the league in free-throw percentage at 92.2. Sikma is now a consultant with the Toronto Raptors, who are in second place in the Eastern Conference behind the resurgent Bucks.

"My hope is we get in the conference finals and we're facing the Bucks, and then I'll kind of keep my thoughts to myself a little bit," Sikma said, smiling.

Moncrief was a five-time All-Star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the mid-1980s for the Bucks, who lost in the Eastern Conference finals three times during his career. Moncrief also reached the Final Four in his final season at Arkansas, 1978-79, under coach Eddie Sutton, for whom he gave credit for instilling in him the fundamentals that carried him to professional success.

"You'd take a four-hour practice: three hours on defense. Seriously," Moncrief said. "And they wonder why I couldn't shoot when I got to the NBA! I didn't shoot. I just played defense."

Weatherspoon, who was elected by the women's committee, was a five-time WNBA All-Star for the New York Liberty who was the first in the league to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 assists. She led Louisiana Tech to an NCAA championship in 1988.

Jones and Westphal were the other players elected by the North American committee. Jones was an eight-time NBA All-Defensive first team pick and four-time All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers, winning a title with them in 1983. Westphal was a five-time All-Star who won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 1974.

Fitch coached in the NBA for 255 seasons, leading the Celtics to a title in 1981 and still holding the franchise's best winning percentage at .738. The other election by the North American committee was the Tennessee A&I teams that won NAIA championships in 1957, 1958 and 1959. The program now known as Tennessee State was the first to win three straight titles in any college division.

Attles was a direct election by the contributor committee. He played for the Philadelphia Warriors from 1960-71 and later was a coach, executive and ambassador for the organization. Cooper, who died in 1984, was directly elected by the early African American pioneers committee. He was an All-American at Duquesne in 1950 and the first African American player drafted by an NBA team. Braun, directly elected by the veterans committee, died in 2010. He was a five-time NBA All-Star who won a title with the Boston Celtics in 1962.

Wayland Baptist, elected directly by the women's veterans committee, was among the first women's programs to award scholarships. Under the guidance of coach Harley Redin, the small school in West Texas won 131 straight games from 1953-58 and 10 national championships overall.

___

More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/MarchMadness and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball, AP Sports - NBA, AP Sports - WNBA
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Angry Costa damages Atletico's chance to pressure Barcelona
With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in unstoppable form, Barcelona didn't need much help to stay on course for another Spanish league title
6:48PM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Graham suggests US-Israel defense pact
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says he wants the United States to enter into a mutual defense agreement with Israel.
6:31PM ( 22 minutes ago )
NCAA Latest: Salt in foul trouble for Virginia vs Auburn
The first 10 minutes of the Final Four matchup between Auburn and Virginia is going about as expected: The Tigers are throwing up 3-pointers and the Cavaliers are slowing the pace
6:31PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Lightning ties NHL record with 62nd win, beat Bruins 6-3
Tampa Bay Lightning earned record-tying 62nd win, top Boston Bruins 6-3
5:57PM ( 57 minutes ago )
NCAA Latest: Harper swishes Auburn into Final Four showdown
Auburn is in its first Final Four and Virginia its first since 1984, but with both sporting orange and blue it's hard to tell who has the crowd support
5:54PM ( 59 minutes ago )
NCAA Latest: Sharps, squares split on winners of both semis
The betting public is split on Virginia and Auburn in the first game of the Final Four
5:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Irish one win away from joining exclusive back-to-back club
It's been a somewhat difficult road back to the title game for Muffet McGraw and Notre Dame; face Baylor for NCAA title
3:28PM ( 3 hours ago )
Nuggets clinch Northwest with 119-110 win over Trail Blazers
Nikola Jokic scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, Paul Millsap finished with 25 points, and the Denver Nuggets clinched the Northwest Division title with a 119-110 win over the Portland Trail Blazers
2:24AM ( 16 hours ago )
Lakers surprise playoff-bound Clippers 122-117
Alex Caruso scored a career-high 32 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 25 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the playoff-bound Clippers 122-117
2:20AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Duke's Williamson wins AP men's college player of the year
Duke freshman Zion Williamson is The Associated Press men's college basketball player of the year
8:03PM ( 22 hours ago )
Michigan State, Texas Tech get ready for a Final Four grind
Michigan State, Texas Tech get ready for a Final Four grind
6:46PM ( 1 day ago )
Virginia, Texas Tech ride tough defenses into Final Four
Virginia and Texas Tech are using different defensive styles to lock down on opponents entering the Final Four
6:13PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Ex-US Sen Ernest 'Fritz' Hollings of South Carolina dies
He had a long, distinguished career in the Senate and even an unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination
5:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
Kim Kardashian West plans CBD-themed baby shower
Kim Kardashian West is 'high key freaking out' about the arrival of her fourth child, the second by surrogate, plans CBD-themed baby shower
12:30PM ( 6 hours ago )
Ex-US Sen Ernest 'Fritz' Hollings of South Carolina dead
Former South Carolina Senator Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings, a moderate six-term Democrat who made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1984, has died. Family spokesman Andy Brack says Hollings died early Saturday. He was 97 years old.
12:09PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Fans mourn grunge rock icon Kurt Cobain 25 years after death
On the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, dozens of people are leaving flowers, candles and written messages at a Seattle park near the house where the music icon killed himself
6:53PM ( 1 day ago )
Darrell Waltrip starts victory lap on his 2nd NASCAR career
Darrell Waltrip begins victory lap on his second NASCAR career
6:44PM ( 1 day ago )
Former sports radio co-host Carton gets 3½ years in prison
Sports radio personality Craig Carton has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison for a ticket reselling scam that ended his decade-long show with ex-NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason
6:42PM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
NCAA Latest: After crushing defeat, Purdue looks big picture
After crushing defeat by Virginia in regional finals, Painter and Purdue look to big picture
2:10PM ( 1 day ago )
NCAA Latest: Injured Auburn star not expected at Final Four
Noon Injured Auburn star Chuma Okeke is not expected to travel to Minneapolis to be with the team when it plays Virginia in the Final Four on Saturday
12:58PM ( 1 day ago )
NCAA Latest: Curry sends Auburn, Texas Tech his new kicks
NBA star Steph Curry sends Auburn, Texas Tech players pairs of his new Under Armour sneakers
12:43PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Celtics run away from Pacers to take control of No. 4 seed
Jason Tatum scored 22 points and Gordon Hayward added 21 to lead the Boston Celtics to a crucial 117-97 victory at Indiana
10:41PM ( 20 hours ago )
Bucks clinch top seed in the East, NBA with win over 76ers
Giannis Antetokounmpo outdueled fellow MVP candidate Joel Embiid, finishing with 45 points and 13 rebounds and leading Milwaukee to a 128-122 victory over the 76ers as the Bucks clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and the league
3:59AM ( 1 day ago )
No. 1 Bucks: Milwaukee clinches top spot in the NBA
Bucks wrap up No. 1 seed in the East, Raptors will be No. 2, and everything else remains undecided
3:05AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Williams, Duggan weigh in on US soccer discrimination suit
Serena Williams and Meghan Duggan applaud players from US women's national soccer team who filed gender discrimination lawsuit
3:12AM ( 3 weeks ago )
Kuzma wins MVP, US tops World in Rising Stars 161-144
All-Stars in training: Kuzma scores 35 to win MVP, and U.S. tops the World 161-144 in Rising Stars game
11:15PM ( 1 month ago )
The Latest: US tops World in Rising Stars game, 161-144
Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers scored 35 points, Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics added 30 and the U.S. beat the World team 161-144 in the Rising Stars game for first- and second-year players at All-Star Weekend
10:59PM ( 1 month ago )
AP Sports - WNBA
Angry Costa damages Atletico's chance to pressure Barcelona
With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in unstoppable form, Barcelona didn't need much help to stay on course for another Spanish league title
6:48PM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Graham suggests US-Israel defense pact
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says he wants the United States to enter into a mutual defense agreement with Israel.
6:31PM ( 23 minutes ago )
NCAA Latest: Salt in foul trouble for Virginia vs Auburn
The first 10 minutes of the Final Four matchup between Auburn and Virginia is going about as expected: The Tigers are throwing up 3-pointers and the Cavaliers are slowing the pace
6:31PM ( 23 minutes ago )
French priest's 150-year-old heart being venerated in NYC
The 150-year-old heart of a French priest is on a U.S. tour _ a Roman Catholic relic with New York City as its latest stop
6:27PM ( 27 minutes ago )
NCAA Latest: Auburn-Virginia under way at Final Four
The first national semifinal is under way with Auburn, fresh off a trio of wins over Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky, taking on No. 1 seed Virginia at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
6:10PM ( 43 minutes ago )