Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and Kim Mulkey are finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and Kim Mulkey are finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018. In addition, ten-time AAU National Champions Wayland Baptist University are finalists in the team category.

It was recently announced that Smith and Thompson have been selected for induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (WBHOF) Class of 2018. Kim Mulkey was inducted into the WBHOF in 2000.

The Hall of Fame’s women’s screening committee selected the finalists. The entire Class of 2018 will be announced on Saturday, March 31 at a press conference in San Antonio prior to the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Inductees will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts in early September

Women’s Committee Finalists From the Hall of Fame

KIM MULKEY [Coach] – Mulkey has led the Baylor Bear to two NCAA National Championships (2005, 2012). She ranks third all-time among head coaches in win percentage. In 2012, Mulkey was named the Consensus National College Coach of the Year earning the Naismith Coach of the Year, Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year, WBCA National Coach of the Year and USBWA National Coach of the Year. As the head coach of Baylor since 2000, she has guided her team to16 NCAA Tournament appearances including 12 Sweet Sixteens, eight Elite Eights and three Final Four appearances. Her Baylor squad has also won eight Big 12 regular season championships (2005, 2011-2017) and eight Big 12 Tournament championships (2005, 2009, 2011-2016), earning her Big 12 Coach of the Year honors five times (2005, 2011- 2013, 2015). Mulkey is the first person to win a national championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

KATIE SMITH [Player] – Smith is a WNBA Finals MVP (2008) and two-time WNBA Champion with the Detroit Shock (2006, 2008). A native of Ohio, Smith played for the Ohio State University (1992-1996) where she was named Big Ten Player of the Year (1996). In 2001, she was the first female Buckeye athlete to have her number retired. With the ABL’s Columbus Quest, Smith was a two-time ABL All-Star (1997, 1998) and two-time ABL Champion (1997, 1998). In the Women’s National Basketball Association, Smith was selected as a WNBA All-Star seven times (2000-2003, 2005, 2006, 2009), and was named to the WNBA’s Top 20 at 20 in 2016. Smith is the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball, having scored over 7,000 points in both her ABL and WNBA career. As a member of USA Basketball, Smith earned FIBA World Championship gold in 1998 and 2002, as well as Olympic gold in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Smith is currently the head coach of the New York Liberty.

TINA THOMPSON [Player] – Thompson is a four-time WNBA Champion with the Houston Comets (1997- 2000) and a nine-time WNBA All-Star (1999-2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013). She was the first player selected in 1997 WNBA draft and earned All-WNBA First Team honors three times (1997, 1998, 2004). In commemoration of the league’s 20-year history in 2016, Thompson was named to the list of Top 20 players. A native of Los Angeles, she played for University of Southern California (1993-1997) and attended high school and college with Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie. On the international stage, Thompson won a Russian National League Championship and EuroLeague Championship in 2007, as well as a Romanian National League Championship in 2010. As a member of USA Basketball, she earned Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.

WAYLAND BAPTIST UNIVERSITY [Team] – Long before women’s college basketball became an NCAA sport in 1982, the Wayland Baptist University women’s basketball team won 131 consecutive games from 1953-58 and 10 AAU National Championships overall (1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975). Coached by Hall of Fame Bunn Award winner Harley Redin, their rosters included exceptional players such as three-time AAU All-American Patsy Neal, two-time FIBA World Championships gold medalist Katherine Washington, co-captain of the 1980 United States Olympic team Jill Rankin, and AAU national tournament MVP Lometa Odom. Coach Redin and team sponsor Claude Hucherson, as well as five players have been enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The team as a whole was recognized as Trailblazers of the Game in 2013.

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