Seven inductees enter Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Photo Credit: Wade Payne/AP

A septet of notable women’s basketball figures were immortalized this weekend in Knoxville as they were enshrined into the 2018 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class.

Fittingly, as the festivities emanated from Knoxville, one could not help but feel the late, great Pat Summitt’s presence at the Tennessee Theater where the inductions took place.

Chamique Holdsclaw played under Summitt in the mid-to-late 1990s and was part of teams that won back-to-back-to-back national championships at Tennessee.

Holdsclaw also became the school’s all time leading scorer and rebounder. After her collegiate career with the Lady Vols, she went on to play professionally for four WNBA teams – including the Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks. She was the 1999 WNBA Rookie of the Year and was part of the 2000 United States Basketball Women’s National Team that won a gold medal in Sydney.

Education was number one, my grandmother could care less about basketball.

–Chamique Holdsclaw

Coach Summitt along with Mickie [DeMoss] was the only coach that said, ‘I have a 100-percent graduation rate,’ and so my grandmother was basically signed, sealed, delivered, you’re going to Tennessee.

Chamique Holdsclaw

Speaking of Mickie DeMoss

Holdsclaw played under Summitt and DeMoss, who has attained a mountain of success in women’s basketball as an assistant coach. While with the Lady Vols, she won over 800 games as an assistant and also was with all six of their national championship winning teams.

DeMoss also had some professional success as she was the assistant coach for the 2012 Indiana Fever team – led by another Lady Vol in Tamika Catchings – to a WNBA championship that year.

We could win a championship. We could lose at the buzzer. Or we could get a great kid or we could lose a kid. It wasn’t going to shake who she was as a leader. To me that was key, that she was just unshakeable.

–Mickie DeMoss on Pat Summitt

The 2018 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony proved to be a banner one for assistant coaches. Not only was DeMoss inducted, but UConn assistant Chris Dailey was as well.

Between Dailey and DeMoss, they are the first two inductees to receive honors for their contributions to the women’s game as assistant coaches. Dailey has been with the Huskies for all 33 seasons with Geno Auriemma at the helm – along with his 11 national titles.

I never thought it would be a possibility just because I knew what the criteria was and it had always been a head coach.

Chris Dailey

I was surprised, humbled, just overwhelmed.

–Chris Dailey

Anyone who knows New Jersey basketball more than likely has heard of the name Rose Marie Battaglia.

In nearly 40 years as a coach, she has won over 700 games. In addition to two championships with Paramus Catholic High School, she also coached the program at Bergen Community College to 10 Garden State Athletic Conference Championships and a quartet of NJCAA Final Fours.

I cried when I was called to say I was going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I knew I would do it tonight to. They are tears of happiness, so I guess it’s allowed.

Rose Marie Battaglia

Before Katie Smith ascended to the WNBA’s head coaching ranks with the New York Liberty, she donned Ohio State Buckeye red where she broke the Big Ten’s scoring record for women’s or men’s basketball.

Smith also previously played for the Liberty along with winning a couple of WNBA championships as a member of the Detroit Shock.

One of the co-architects of the W’s first dynasty in the late 1990s with the Houston Comets, Tina Thompson had a much storied career at the professional level.

She and Sheryl Swoopes led the Comets to four titles from 1997 to 2000. She also won a pair of Olympic gold medals after playing collegiately at Southern California. Thompson is currently the head coach at the University of Virginia.

In 26 seasons as a coach, Ceal Barry has amassed over 500 wins and her teams have appeared in the Elite Eight three times.

She also was at the helm for four Big 8 tournament championships at the University of Colorado and was an assistant on the 1996 gold-medal winning United States Basketball Women’s National Team in Atlanta.

By: Akiem Bailum (@AkiemBailum on Twitter, Instagram)

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