KU Coach Bill Self Traveled to Connecticut for Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Before Returning to Lawrence for Weekend Graduation Ceremonies | Tale of Tait
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self will travel to Connecticut on Friday morning to participate in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony which will feature the late Eddie Sutton.
Self is one of three co-hosts for the legendary coach, a four-time National Coach of the Year who has achieved 806 career wins in 37 seasons as a college head coach, primarily in Arkansas, the Kentucky and Oklahoma State.
Joining Self to introduce Sutton, who passed away on May 23, 2020, will be Kentucky coach John Calipari and former Arkansas and NBA great Sidney Moncrief.
The ceremony will take place Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Sutton is one of nine inductees into the 2020 Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Class. The presentation has been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.
The timing is tight for Self, who remains busy on the recruiting trail and also plans to return to town this weekend for the KU graduation ceremonies, which will feature Marcus Garrett, David McCormack, Mitch Lightfoot, Chris Teahan, Silvio De Sousa and Keith Langford.
But Self, who entered the room in 2017, said Thursday he would not miss the induction.
“With everything going on, I wouldn’t be going without Coach Sutton,” Self said in a phone interview with Journal-World. “But just to be able to be there with this situation and the ceremonies for this particular class, it’s going to make it pretty special to be there.”
Generally speaking, those presenting the inductees to the Hall of Fame do not speak at the ceremony. But given that Sutton himself won’t be in attendance, Self said he believes the trio presenting him will wear the moment.
Contrary to his own speech four years ago, Self said there were no nerves associated with this Hall of Fame experience.
“Perhaps most of my conversations have already been done by video,” he said.
Joining Sutton in the 2020 class: a longtime FIBA executive Patrick Baumann, 18-time NBA All-Star and five-time NBA Champion Kobe bryant, 10-time WNBA star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika captures, 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan, 15 times NBA All-Star and nine times NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin garnett, three-time NCAA National Championship coach Kim mulkey, five-time National Coach of the Year Division II Barbara stevens and twice NBA Cham-pion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
NBA legend Michael Jordan is expected to feature Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
“It could be awesome,” Self said. “I’m excited about it.”