Sept. 6, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- Former Georgia Lady Bulldog Katrina McClain began a weekend full of ceremonies as part of her induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall in Springfield, Mass., on Thursday.
McClain, the 1987 National Player of the Year for Georgia who went on to an illustrious international career, is one of the dozen inductees into the Hall this year. All 12 honorees took part in a press conference at the Hall of Fame on Thursday afternoon. The official enshrinement ceremonies will be conducted at Springfield's Symphony Hall on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. The class also will be introduced during a celebration at Mogehan Sun Resort on Saturday night.
"You always have a buzz in your stomach with something like this…that never goes away," McClain said earlier this week. "There's such an excitement about the Naismith Hall of Fame, though. I'm so privileged to become a part of it. I want to make sure I think of everyone who is important to me and who has played a part in my life and my basketball career. That's the biggest thing when you're getting ready for this and writing a speech. You only get a certain amount of time to get it all in and there are some many people who are so important."
Also being enshrined this weekend are five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller; all-time winningest coach in NBA History Don Nelson; NCAA basketball official Hank Nichols; three-time Naismith Award winner Ralph Sampson; three-time NBA All-Star Jamaal Wilkes; first women’s professional basketball team All American Red Heads; early African-American pioneer Don Barksdale; international coaching legend Lidia Alexeeva; ABA/NBA superstar Mel Daniels; seven-time NBA All-Star Chet Walker; and one of the most significant contributors to the game of basketball, Nike founder Phil Knight.
"I'm very proud for Katrina," head coach Andy Landers said. "She was truly a great competitor who put in the work, sweat the sweat and felt the pain as she became the player that she was. Everyone loves to play. Katrina loved to compete. That set her apart. To have been able to play a small role in her development gives me great joy."
McClain represents the second Lady Bulldog and the third Georgia player to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame. Teresa Edwards, McClain's roommate and teammate at Georgia, and Dominque Wilkins were enshrined in 2011 and 2006, respectively.