Inaugural Small College Basketball HOF Class Announced

July 8, 2016

Usually the biggest schools with the best sports teams get all the attention and recognition. Though many of the top athletes in the country compete at these Division I schools, there is a long history of excellence at smaller colleges that has continuously been overlooked. But John McCarthy, founder of Small College Basketball (SCB), is ready to change the narrative. SCB, which includes schools from Division II, Division III, and the NAIA, has announced the inaugural class of inductees who have been selected for the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame. 

Earl Monroe playing for Winston-Salem State

 

The list includes:

Players

Dr. Dick Barnett (Tennessee A&I)

Bevo Francis (Rio Grande)

John Ebeling (Florida Southern)

Travis Grant (Kentucky State)

Bob Hopkins (Grambling)

Lucious Jackson (Pan American College)

Phil Jackson (North Dakota)

Earl Monroe (Winston-Salem State)

Willis Reed (Grambling)

John Rinka (Kenyon)

Jerry Sloan (Evansville)

 

Coaches

Clarence Gaines (Winston-Salem State)

Arad McCutchan (Evansville)

John McLendon (North Carolina College, Hampton, Tennessee A&I, Kentucky State & Cleveland State)

 

Contributor

Dr. James Naismith

Bevo Francis leading Rio Grande with an amazing 113-point performance against Hillside 

A national committee of 14 current and former head coaches, sports information directors, athletic directors, commissioners, historians, and media members had the difficult task of selecting the SCB Hall of Fame class. Over 100 years of small college basketball history was sorted through and extensive research was conducted to narrow down the candidates.

Each committee member submitted a list of 50 people that seemed worthy of being inducted into the hall of fame. McCarthy then trimmed the list to the top 50 people recommended by the entire committee. After much deliberation, the selection of great players and coaches was narrowed down to the final 15. 

Azusa Pacific Athletic Director and SCB Hall of Fame selection committee member Gary Pine explained that the decision to limit the inaugural induction class to 15 was meant to make the honor exclusive. "It sets the stage and the foundation for the rest of the classes to come," he said.

Creating a hall of fame specifically for college basketball at smaller schools is an integral part of McCarthy’s vision. He knows college basketball inside and out, formerly serving as a head coach, an athletic director, the founder of the Collegiate Basketball Invitational, and the Director of the NAIA Division 1 Men's Basketball National Championship tournament. 

Jerry Sloan goes towards the basket while playing for the Evansville Aces

Now, as the founder of SCB, he hopes to bring more attention to the smaller and less-publicized levels of the sport.

"Through the years, there have been so many great players, coaches and contributors that have been involved in our game at the small college level," said McCarthy. "Through the creation of the SCB Hall of Fame, we will pay tribute to them, and recognize their accomplishments on a national scale."

The official 2016 induction ceremony is set to take place at the Ford Center in Evansville Indiana on Thursday, November 17.

Interested in purchasing tickets and honoring some of small college basketball’s all-time greats? You can purchase tickets/tables to the SCB Hall of Fame Induction by visiting the following link, www.HoFClassic.com, or by calling 812-421-2212. For more information on the SCB Hall of Fame such as the admissions process, the committee, the inductees themselves, and more, visit SmallCollegeBasketball.com.

 

Credit to HeroSports.com

Photos provided by John McCarthy

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