Former Sparks great Lisa Leslie, a four-time Olympic gold medalist who led L.A. to two WNBA titles, headlines a group of six who are part of the 2015 women’s basketball Hall of Fame induction class.
In addition to Leslie, former WNBA star Janeth Arcain and former University of Georgia standout Janet Harris are part of next year's class. Former women’s college basketball coaches Gail Goestenkors (Duke, Texas) and Kurt Budke (Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma State) will be inducted, as will longtime Oregon high school basketball coach Brad Smith.
Leslie was one of the WNBA’s first stars, leading the Sparks to consecutive league titles in 2001 and 2002. She was a three-time WNBA most valuable player (2001, 2004, 2006). Upon retiring in 2009, Leslie held the WNBA career records for points (6,263) and rebounds (3,307).
Leslie led the U.S. women’s basketball team to gold-medal triumphs in four consecutive Olympic Games, starting at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
Arcain led the Houston Comets to four straight WNBA titles following the league’s birth in 1997. Selected 13th overall by the Comets in the first WNBA draft, Arcain was an accomplished international player, leading Brazil to gold at the 1994 world championships. She also won silver and bronze medals at the Olympics during her career.
Harris was the first player in NCAA history to record 2,500 points and 1,250 rebounds during her career at Georgia (1981-85).
Goestenkors, an assistant coach with the Sparks, qualified for the NCAA tournament 18 consecutive years while coaching for Duke and Texas. She ranks ninth in all-time winning percentage among NCAA Division I women’s basketball coaches.
Budke posted a career record of 80-16 with Louisiana Tech before taking over Oklahoma State’s program in 2005. He guided Oklahoma State to three NCAA tournament appearances in his five years with the university. He died in an airplane crash in November 2011.
Smith, a coach at Oregon City High, won 629 games and 26 league championships during his 27-year career at the school.
The induction ceremony will take place in June in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times