The Indiana Fever coach won her first WNBA title, months later her 91-year old mom passed away, and now she found out she’ll be inducted into the women’s basketball Hall of Fame next June.
”When I found out I immediately thought of my mother and how excited she would be,” said Dunn, who was coaching the East conference All-Star team. ”She’s always been my favorite fan. She’ll be smiling down proudly for me. It’s my 43 year of coaching, so I can look back and say I’m excited to be a part of the history of the growth of women’s basketball collegiately and professional. It’s a unique moment for me.”
Dunn has been coaching for 43 years in both the pros and in college. She’s been the Fever’s head coach since 2007 after spending four seasons as an assistant. Dunn also coached in the former American Basketball League and in college at Purdue, Miami and Mississippi.
”Well you know it’s overwhelming, it’s humbling, it’s a tremendous honor,” she said. ”I know some of my colleagues and peers that are already in the basketball Hall of Fame and to be able to join them is a wonderful moment for me.”
The 2014 class also includes Yolanda Griffith, Michelle Edwards, Charlotte West, Mimi Griffin and Jasmina Perazic.
Griffith was a standout center in the former American Basketball League and starred for the former Sacramento Monarchs, winning a WNBA title as well as playing for the U.S. in the Olympics and winning a pair of gold medals.
Edwards helped Iowa earn its first No. 1 ranking in the mid-1980s before playing in the WNBA for a few years. She is currently an assistant for her former coach, C. Vivian Stringer, at Rutgers.
”This entire journey has been surreal,” Edwards said. ”To be able to do what you love for so many years at the highest level is such a blessing.”
Edwards, Griffith and Perazic are all now college assistant coaches.
West was a founder of the former Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), pre-dating the arrival of the NCAA competition for women in 1981-82. She also was a successful women’s athletic director at Southern Illinois.
Griffin was one of the early women’s basketball broadcasters of the modern era and is the third media member to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Perazic starred at Maryland before playing on Yugoslavia’s 1984 Olympic team.
Additionally, the 1976 USA women’s basketball team, which won a silver medal when women’s basketball became part of the Olympics in Montreal will be the second recipient of the Hall’s recently added trailblazer award.
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