KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Former Kentucky coach Joe Hall and contributor Jim Host of Kentucky were part of a 10-man class inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday night at the historic Midland Theatre, tipping off a three-day celebration of college basketball.
Georgetown’s dominating center Patrick Ewing, Kansas legend Clyde Lovellette and North Carolina’s star guard Phil Ford headlined the class that also included coach Dave Robbins of Virginia Union; players Kenny Sailors of Wyoming, Earl Monroe of Winston Salem State and Willis Reed of Grambling; and contributor Joe Dean.
The 2012 induction ceremonies for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame may be seen on Sunday, December 9, at 10 p.m. (EST) on ESPNU.
As a Kentucky assistant coach in 1972, Hall had the unenviable task of succeeding Adolph Rupp. Unfazed by the task, Hall guided the Wildcats for 13 seasons, winning 75 percent of 397 games. Within three years, he reached the NCAA championship game and, in 1978, he earned National Coach of the Year honors while coaching Kentucky to its fifth national title with a 30-2 record. His Wildcat teams won eight SEC championships and earned a Final Four berth for the third time in 1984. He was named SEC Coach of the Year four times.
Few men have influenced the game of basketball as diversely as Dean. The three-time All-SEC player at LSU was a promotions and marketing executive with the Converse Rubber Co. from 1959-1987, advocating not only the Converse products but promoting the game of basketball wherever he traveled. In addition, he was a basketball color analyst with several networks including ESPN, NBC and Turner Sports from 1969-1987 before returning to his alma mater in Baton Rouge as director of athletics for 14 years.
The founder and principal of Host Communications, Host realized the potential growth of men’s basketball and partnered the NCAA with major corporations like Gillette, Valvoline and Pizza Hut. Host, who also had a background in broadcasting, went on to create a model for multimedia rights, bundling everything from coaches’ radio and TV shows, promotional appearances, endorsements and publishing into a single package for some of the nation’s top programs. He has been recognized as one of college athletics’ most influential people.