Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings headline Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame candidates

Photo Credit: Rolling Out Magazine

After such illustrious playing careers (and now adding on to those with inroads in basketball front offices), it is only a matter of time before we attach the term “Hall of Famer” to the resumes of both Swin Cash and Tamika Catchings.

Could it happen next year? Possibly as both were announced as among the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s candidate list for 2020.

Both are first-time nominees and are among those nominated by the Women’s Committee.

Cash’s career spanned five teams in the WNBA along with overseas play. She played for the Detroit Shock, Seattle Storm, Chicago Sky, Atlanta Dream and New York Liberty before retiring in 2016. Cash is a three-time WNBA champion winning two titles with the Shock and once with the Storm in 2010.

She is a two-time NCAA champion, four-time WNBA All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medalist and was named one of the WNBA’s 20@20 in 2016.

Since her her playing days, she has held front office positions with the Liberty and now with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Catchings, after being drafted out of Tennessee, played her entire WNBA career with the Indiana Fever – including in 2002 where she won the Rookie of the Year award and in 2012 when she won her first-ever WNBA championship along with being named Finals MVP.

She won the regular season MVP award the year before and is also one of the WNBA’s 20@20. She is a 10-time All-Star, a five-time defensive player of the year and a four-time Olympic gold medalist.

Catchings also was recently promoted to general manager of the Indiana Fever when Marianne Stanley, former Washington Mystics assistant, was announced as the team’s new head coach.

Also on the list that is sure to get some eyeballs are Becky Hammon, Kim Mulkey and Marianne Stanley. Hammon played in the WNBA from 1999 until 2014. The latter half of her career was in San Antonio with the Stars, but she donned the Liberty uniform from 1999 to 2006.

Hammon made six All-Star appearances, was named one of the W’s 20@20 in 2016 and won a gold medal at the 1998 Jones Cup in Taipei.

Since then, she has become an assistant under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs and her name is constantly appearing as a candidate for head coaching positions – including the recently vacated New York Knicks job after the firing of David Fizdale.

Hammon was first a nominee for the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018 when Katie Smith and Tina Thompson were also first-time nominees. Her coaching resume also includes coaching the San Antonio Spurs Las Vegas Summer League team to a championship in 2015.

Mulkey has been Baylor’s head coach since 2000 after a stint at Louisiana Tech where she was an assistant and then associate head coach. She won an NCAA championship as a player for Louisiana Tech and also won an Olympic gold medal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

She has won 10 Big 12 tournaments and three NCAA championships as a coach – including last season when the Bears triumphed over Notre Dame. Her other two championships occurred in 2005 and in 2012.

Mulkey is also a member of the Louisiana Tech Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Stanley has been an assistant coach for a number of teams – including the Mystics, Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks. She was the WNBA’s Coach of the Year in 2002 with Washington and was an assistant for the 2019 Mystics team that won a championship.

She will enter 2020 as the Indiana Fever’s new head coach.

The list of nominations from the Women’s Committee also include players Jennifer Azzi, Susan McConnell, Valerie Still and Debbie Miller-Palmore (first-time nomination) as well as coaches Leta Andrews and Barbara Stevens.

The Women Veterans Committee Nominations include players Alline Banks Sprouse, Lometa Odom, Teresa Shank and Hazel Walker as well as coaches John Head and Harley Redin and a pair of teams – the Edmonton Commercial Grads and the Nashville Business College team.

Those names are also on an overall list of nominees that includes Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Rick Adelman, Chauncey Billups, Muggsy Bogues, Marcus Camby, Richard Hamilton, Tim Hardaway, George Karl, Shawn Marion, Toni Kukoc, Rollie Massimino, Digger Phelps, Bo Ryan, Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber, Jay Wright, Marv Albert, Dick Baumgartner, Curt Gowdy, Billy Packer and Donnie Walsh.

The finalists will be announced during NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago with the final Class of 2020 being unveiled at the Men’s Final Four in Atlanta.

This year’s enshrinement ceremony for the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is slated for Aug 29, 2020 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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