Basketball Hall honors Phoenix writer Gilmartin; KJ on list of 10 finalists
PHOENIX -- Former Suns beat writer and broadcast analyst Joe Gilmartin was named a recipient of the 2014 Curt Gowdy Media Award on Friday and will be recognized for his contributions to basketball during the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement events in August in Springfield, Mass.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame also announced on Friday that Suns Ring of Honor member Kevin Johnson is one of 10 finalists to be considered for election in 2014. The Class of 2014 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.
Former commissioner David Stern heads a list of five people who were named as "direct elects" to the Hall of Fame. He is joined by Bob "Slick" Leonard (ABA), Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton (Early African American Pioneers), Sarunas Marciulionis (International) and Guy Rodgers (Veterans).
Joining Johnson as 10 finalists for the Class of 2014 are players Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Spencer Haywood; NCAA coaches Nolan Richardson, Eddie Sutton and Gary Williams; womenâs coach Harley Redin; and Immaculata University, a womenâs collegiate team that won three consecutive AIAW national championships in the 1970s. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election and this year's inductees will be announced on Monday, April 7 at a press conference prior to the NCAA Men's Championship game.
Gilmartin, a sports columnist for the Phoenix Gazette for more than 30 years, joined the Gazette in 1962 as assistant sports editor before becoming sports editor in 1963 and continuing to write a column until 1996. In 1972, Gilmartin was named the first president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association and held the position until 1974. He also authored the book The Little Team that Could ... And Darn Near Did. about the Suns' run to the 1976 NBA Finals.
Johnson, a three-time NBA All-Star and five-time All-NBA pick, is one of five players in NBA history to average 20 points and 10 assists in three consecutive seasons.