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College basketball hall of fame makes right choices


There is a lot to write about here, both good and bad, but were going to start with the best.

John Wooden.

OK, I admit it. I’m prejudiced. Deeply prejudiced. I grew up watching the Bruins on TV, watching them play basketball the way it was meant to be played – and if I ever say a college team plays like those UCLA teams, it’s the ultimate compliment I can give.

The reason UCLA played the way it played: John Wooden.

He’s the greatest coach, not just the greatest college basketball coach, who ever ran a team.

Someday, when my fingers are rested and there’s a need to fill space on SportsLink, I’ll expound on why I feel this way, but today I just am using the above word as an introduction into the induction of the first National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame class in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday.

And what a class: Wooden, Bill Russell, who led the University of San Francisco to back-to-back NCAA titles in the mid-50s, Oscar Robertson, UNC coach Dean Smith and the late inventor of the game – and former Kansas coach – Dr. James Naismith.

Wooden, who is 96 years old, was at the ceremony. So were the other living inductees. Of course, Naismith wasn’t there. But that’s OK. Naismith may have invented the game but Wooden perfected it.

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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