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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Former UConn star Wolters a finalist for Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Kara Wolters, a member of UConn's first national championship team and the 1997 national player of the year, is one of 12 finalists on the ballot for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Wolters ranks eighth in UConn history with a 15.6 scoring average and third with 370 career blocked shots, would join former teammates Rebecca Lobo and Jen Rizzotti as former Huskies inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame if she is one of six people named as part  of the class of 2017 on Feb. 12.

There are two other candidates with Connecticut ties.

Louise O'Neal, who coached the Southern Connecticut State women's team to third-place finishes in the AIAW national tournaments in 1971, 1973 and 1974 and Joan Bonvicini, one of O'Neal's former players with the Owls, were also among the 12 finalists.

Bonvicini won more than 700 games in stints at Long Beach State, Arizona and Seattle highlighted by trips to the 1987 and 1988 Final Fours at Long Beach State.

The six-member Hall of Fame class will be announced on Feb. 12 with induction taking place on June 10 at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Here are the bios from the official release

YELENA BARANOVA (Foreign Player - Russia)1992 Olympic gold medalist.
Fifth all-time in WNBA blocked shots.
2001 WNBA All-Star.
ROSE MARIE BATTAGLIA (Coach)NJCAA Hall of Fame inductee with four NJCAA Final Fours in 38 years of coaching and an overall record of 702-240-2.
Led Paramus Catholic High School (Paramus, New Jersey) to two consecutive state championships.
1998 WBCA Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
SALLY BELL (Official)33-year tenure as a women's basketball official.
Officiated 15 NCAA Division I Women's Final Fours, including 13 consecutive from 1992 through 2004, as well as the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
1991 Naismith Women's Basketball Official of the Year.
EVELYN BLALOCK (Coach)Led Kilgore College (Kilgore, Texas) to three NJCAA National Championships in 1988,1990 and 1993.
Named WBCA Junior/Community College National Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1990.
Inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
JOAN BONVICINI (Coach)During her 37-year career, she was the 17th coach to reach 700 career victories.
1981 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Coach of the Year. 
1982 USA Basketball Jones Cup head coach (silver medal) and 1993 World University Games head coach (bronze medal).
NORA LYNN FINCH (Contributor)Served as inaugural chair of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee from 1981 through 1988 and negotiated first women's basketball tournament television contract.
NCAA representative to the U.S. Collegiate Sports Council from 1988 through 2017, and served as its president from 1992 through 1996.
Member of NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee, NCAA Division I Management Council, NCAA Division I Championships Cabinet (chair), NCAA Division I Membership Committee, NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Issues Committee (chair).
CHRISTINE GRANT (Contributor)Founding member of Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). 
Recipient of 2007 NCAA Gerald R. Ford Award, 1998 NCAA Honda Award of Merit, 1995 Women's Sports Foundation Billie Jean King Contribution Award,1993 NACWAA Administrator of the Year, 1992 WBCA Administrator of the Year.
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women at University of Iowa and consultant for the Civil Rights Title IX Task Force from 1973 through 2000.
RICK INSELL (Coach)Led Shelbyville Central High School (Shelbyville, Tennessee) to 10 state championships, two USA Today national championships.
More than 1000 victories at Shelbyville High School and Middle Tennessee State University.
1992 WBCA High School National Coach of the Year.
LOUISE O'NEAL (Veteran)Led Southern Connecticut University to third-place finishes in the National Women's Collegiate Championships in 1971, 1973 and 1974, with eight straight appearances in the national championship tournament.
Served in several national leadership positions, including NCAA Long-Range Planning Committee, Women's Basketball Rules Committee, and NACDA Executive Board.
Recipient of 2004 WBCA Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award and 2011 NACWAA Lifetime Achievement Award.
CRYSTAL ROBINSON (U.S. Player)Three-time ABL All-Star.
Three-time NAIA All-American and two-time NAIA national scoring leader.
1996 NAIA National Player of the Year.
SHERYL SWOOPES (U.S. Player)Three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Led Houston Comets to four WNBA Championships.
1993 WBCA Wade Trophy winner and Naismith Player of the Year.
KARA WOLTERS (U.S. Player)2000 Olympic gold medalist.
1997 AP National College Player of the Year.
1996 Victor Award, USBWA, UPI and AP All-America First Team and 1997 WBCA Kodak All-American.


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