Basketball: Leslie headlines 2015 women’s Hall of Fame class
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie headlines the 2015 women’s basketball Hall of Fame induction class announced Saturday.
She is joined by former Houston Comets star Janeth Arcain, University of Georgia standout Janet Harris, former Duke coach Gail Goestenkors, longtime Oregon high school coach Brad Smith and Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke, who was killed in a plane crash in 2011.
The Immaculata teams that won championships from 1972-74 will receive the Hall’s trailblazer award.
Leslie also won two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks and was the league’s MVP three times. She helped the U.S. win gold medals at the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
The group will be inducted next June at the Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Arcain had a stellar career playing for Brazil. She guided the team to a gold medal at the 1994 world championship as well as a silver and bronze at the Olympics. She came to the WNBA in 1997 and was the 13th pick in the draft. She helped lead the Comets to WNBA championships in the league’s first four years.
Harris starred at Georgia from 1981-85, earning All-SEC honors all four seasons. She was the first player in NCAA women’s basketball history to scored 2500 points and grab 1,250 rebounds. She helped the Lady Bulldogs win the SEC crown in 1983 and 1984 and reach the Final Four twice.
Goestenkors guided Duke and Texas to the NCAA tournament 18 straight years, including four trips to the Final Four and two national championship game appearances. She was The Associated Press coach of the year in 2007 and is ninth among all-time Division I coaches in winning percentage. Goestenkors is now an assistant with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Smith has won 629 games and 26 league championships while coaching at Oregon City High School over 27 years. In 2012 he received the Morgan Wooten Award for lifetime achievement in coaching high school from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Budke was a successful coach at Louisiana Tech before arriving at Oklahoma State in 2005. He was 80-16 while in charge of the Lady Techsters, leading them to three consecutive NCAA tournaments. In his five years at Oklahoma State, Budke appeared in three NCAA tournaments, including a trip to the regional semifinals in 2008.
He died on Nov. 17, 2011, when he was out recruiting.