April 2, 2009
DETROIT, Mich. - Larry Bird, Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Jud Heathcote, three key figures in the classic NCAA championship final between Indiana State and Michigan State in 1979, are among eight individuals to be enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, November 22, 2009. The announcement was made Thursday by the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation.
The ceremony will be held at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., which opened in October, 2007. The CBE, a world-class entertainment facility that provides a multi-faceted interactive experience for fans, shares a common lobby with Sprint Center and is the home of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
The 2009 inductees include former Michigan State coach Heathcote, who guided the Spartans to the 1979 NCAA championship; Gene Bartow, who coached his Memphis State Tigers to the NCAA title game in 1973 and later led UCLA to the Final Four in 1976; Wayman Tisdale, a consensus All-America and Big Eight Player of the Year in each of his three seasons at the University of Oklahoma; and Travis "The Machine" Grant of Kentucky State, at one time the all-time leading scorer in men's college basketball with 4,045 points.
A pair of individuals who helped shape the success of college and international basketball for decades will be inducted as contributors. Walter Byers was the first executive director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and served for 36 years while Bill Wall was a college coach and administrator and the NABC's executive director before serving as executive director of USA Basketball from 1975-92.