Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame next Sunday, Sept., 8, at 2 PM in Springfield, MA. Pitino spoke to the media on Monday afternoon regarding next week’s induction ceremony.
“The way it happened this year is extra special,” says Pitino. “To when a national championship when you’re a part of this is really special.”Not only did he win his second national championship in April, but Pitino is the only coach in the history of college basketball to win national titles with two different schools.
Once he found out that he’d be a part of the 2013 Hall of Fame class, Pitino had to choose a current member of the hall of fame to present him at the enshrinement ceremony. He chose ESPN announcer Dick Vitale and former NBA coach Hubie Brown.
“I’m honored to receive a call from Rick to be his presenter because I had felt that he belonged in the Hall of Fame for the last decade,” said Vitale. “He’s done a magnificent job as a college coach and did a solid job as an NBA coach. He’s a great teacher, motivator, and communicates exceptionally well. He is so vital to the university as his name becomes identified with Louisville. To me, he’s just a genuine, solid gold, Hall of Famer.”
ESPN announcer Jay Bilas also had very high praise for Coach Pitino. “Rick Pitino is among the greatest coaches in the game’s history,” says Bilas. “As a teacher, tactician, clinician, competitor and winner, few can match his success, rich experience in the game, and his amazing record. Pitino was successful with limited resources, and with no three-point line or shot clock. He rebuilt a blueblood brought to its knees and turned it into a championship powerhouse. He was an innovator with the three-point shot and full court pressure. And, he rebuilt a second powerhouse in the Commonwealth into a champion. Few can match his record, or his incredible knowledge and ability level. I respect and admire Rick Pitino as much as any coach I’ve ever been around.”
Sunday’s enshrinement ceremony will be televised by NBA-TV at 2 PM.