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Pitino, Payton chosen for Hall of Fame

April 8, 2013 at 11:51 PM   |   Comments

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ATLANTA, April 8 (UPI) -- Rick Pitino, coach of 2013 NCAA champion Louisville, was among inductees announced Monday for the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Other inductees named in Atlanta, where Pitino's Cardinals defeated Michigan for the title, are Gary Payton, who played on nine NBA all-star teams, players Bernard King and Dawn Staley and Coaches Jerry Tarkanian, Sylvia Hatchell and Guy Lewis.

Pitino, at a news conference hours before his team's 82-76 victory, called the induction a "pretty special distraction."

Payton said he just "wanted to be a guy in the NBA doing something" when he started in the league.

"When I started getting better I never believed I would be in the Hall of Fame," he said.

Staley, a five-time WNBA all-star and winner of three Olympic gold medals, said she was "shocked and in awe of this tremendous honor."

Hall enshrinement ceremonies will be in Springfield, Mass, the weekend of Sept. 6-8.

Five others, who were chosen in February, will also be inducted:

-- Richie Guerin, voted in by the Veterans Committee.

-- Roger Brown, by the American Basketball Association Committee.

-- Oscar Schmidt, by the International Committee.

-- Russ Granik, by the Contributors Direct Election Committee.

-- Edwin B. Henderson, by the Early African-American Pioneers Committee.

"The Class of 2013 is one of the most distinguished groups that the Hall of Fame has ever inducted at one time," said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board.

"These individuals span decades of the game and have impacted the sport on every level."

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