Hall Of Fame Gala at the Mohegan Sun
By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It was years of work and grit that was done by this year’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees that allowed them to be selected into the Class of 2019 in Springfield Massachusetts. The Class included Al Attles, Teresa Weatherspoon, former Laker and Sacramento King Vlade Divac, Paul Westphal, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma, Bobby Jones, Chuck Cooper and Carl Bruan were inducted posthumously.
Bill Fitch who coachd five different NBA teams including the Clippers was unable to attend.
After being enshrined many inductees headed south to The Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut to share some memories. The Sun is located along the shores of the Thames River in picturesque Eastern Connecticut.
An excited Weatherspoon seemed to be the life of the party at the Sun. Cynthia Cooper HOF (2010), along with Tina Thomson ( HOF 2018) and Sheryl Swoopes (HOF 2016) were presenters at the enshrinement.
Weatherspoon was an original WNBA player with the New York Liberty. She helped them reach the finals in 1997 and 1999. A native of Pineland, Texas led Louisiana Tech to a National title in 1988.
“The game has meant so many things to me, it’s been my sanctuary, it’s been my safe haven. The games has allowed me to see things I thought I’d never see, meet people I never thought I’d meet,” said Weatherspoon.
Golden State Warrior Alvin Attles was on hand. Attles played college ball at North Carolina A&T-where he had his #22 retired in February 2015. He also had his #16 retired with the Warriors.
He coached Golden State to an NBA title in 1975 with a veteran Rick Barry and smooth rookie in Jamal Wilkes.
He is a true ambassador to the game and still attends all games. now He and his wife Wilhelima live in Oakland.