Catchings, Jackson finalists for women's hoops Hall of Fame
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Tamika Catchings and Lauren Jackson headline the list of 12 finalists Thursday for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
Catchings was a four-time Olympic gold medalist for the U.S. and also a five-time winner of the WNBA defensive player of the year award. She led the Indiana Fever to their lone title in 2012 and Tennessee to an NCAA championship in 1998.
Jackson helped the Seattle Storm win two championships in the WNBA and was the league's MVP three times.
The two former WNBA stars are joined by Swin Cash, who won three WNBA championships with Detroit and Seattle. She also won two NCAA titles at UConn.
Former Seattle coach Brian Agler was happy to hear his two former players were finalists.
“What separated (Jackson) from everybody else was how athletic she was for her size," said Agler. “I had never been around somebody like Swin who could compile All-Star numbers without running anything special for her. She did it on work ethic and sheer basketball instinct. The year we won it in 2010, she and Lauren both shot over 40% from the 3-point line and that sort of separate us from everybody else.”
The other finalists are DePaul coach Doug Bruno, USA Basketball national team director Carol Callan, former NCAA vice president for women's basketball Sue Donohoe, former USOC member and college coach Lucille Kyvallos, official Lisa Mattingly, former Western Kentucky coach Paul Sanderford, Division II coach Bob Schneider, three-time AIAW champion point guard from Delta State Debbie Brock and ESPN Vice President for Programming and Acquisitions Carol Stiff.
In addition to the 12 finals, the Hall of Fame announced that the 1980 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team will be honored as the 2020 Trailblazers of the Game. That team didn't participate in the Olympics because of the American's boycott of the games. That team included Anne Donovan and Carol Blazejowski and was coached by Sue Gunter with Pat Summitt as an assistant coach.