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Sun September 8, 2013

Rick Pitino to Join Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday

Rick Pitino
Rick Pitino
Credit Creative Commons

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today.

Pitino, who guided the Cardinals to a national title in April, is part of a seven member class that includes retired NBA players Bernard King and Gary Payton and former coaches Guy Lewis and Jerry Tarkanian.

The group will be inducted this  afternoon in Springfield, Massachusetts.

"When humility enters your life you realize why you win and why you lose," Pitino said this week. "The reason I’m going into the Hall of Fame is I’m not Bernard King, I’m not Gary Payton. My players put me in the Hall of Fame."

Pitino chose former NBA coaches Dick Vitale and Hubie Brown to be his presenters. Both are now TV basketball analysts.  

Pitino served as an assistant to Brown at the New York Knicks. 

"Hubie taught me about 20 years of experience into two years of what pro basketball was all about. Nobody was a better organizer of a scouting report, of a practice. I learned so much with him."  Pitino said. 

The 60 year old Pitino also won an NCAA title at Kentucky in 1996 and took three different programs to the Final Four. He also was a head coach for the NBA’s New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.

Pitino's Career Statistics

College record: 662-235 (.738 win-loss percentage)

National title teams: 2 (1996 Kentucky Wildcats, 2013 Louisville Cardinals)

NCAA Tournament record: 48-16

Conference regular season titles: 9

Conference Tournament titles: 11

(statistics via sports-reference.com)