Friday, March 1, 2024

Moore, Augustus headline 2024 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class

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Former Minnesota Lynx and USA Basketball teammates Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus headline the 2024 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame class that was announced Thursday night.

The pair won four WNBA championships with the Lynx and helped the U.S. to Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016. Augustus was also part of the 2008 Olympic team that won gold.

Other inductees include former players Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Rita Gail Easterling; former official Violet Palmer, the first woman to referee an NBA game; and coaches Sue Phillips and Mary Scovel.

The Hall of Fame will also recognize Cheyney University as its recipient of the “Trailblazer of the Game.” The Afghan Resettlement Program will receive the “For the Love of the Game” award.

Moore officially retired from playing basketball in January — five years after she played her last game with the Lynx. In between her last game and her retirement announcement, Moore helped her now-husband Jonathan Irons win his release from prison by getting his 50-year sentence overturned in 2020.

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She went 150-4 in her career at UConn. The two-time AP Player of the Year and four-time All-American was a key part of the Huskies’ 90-game winning streak that was the longest ever until the school had an 111-game run a few years later.

Augustus was drafted first by the Lynx in 2006 after winning back-to-back AP Player of the Year awards while starring at LSU. She led the Tigers to the Final Four from 2004-06.

McWilliams-Franklin was on the 2011 Lynx team with Moore and Augustus. She also previously had won WNBA titles with the Detroit Shock in 2006 and ’08.

Easterling played for Mississippi College from 1973-77, helping the team make the 1974 AIAW national championship game. She had a short career as well in the Women’s Professional Basketball League, a precursor to the WNBA.

Phillips had a 761-165 record as a high school coach at Archbishop Mitty High in California. She also has been a major part of USA Basketball, coaching many of the youth teams that have won gold medals.

Scovel won six junior college national titles as coach of Gulf Coast State College in Florida. She went 646-91.

Palmer officiated at nearly ever level, including the NBA, WNBA and women’s college basketball. She officiated over 700 regular-season NBA contests, making history in 1997 when she became the first female to do so.

The induction ceremony will be April 27 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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