UNC's Hatchell enters Hall of Fame
North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell officially took her place alongside the greatest names in her sport when she was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday at Symphony Hall.
Hatchell joins Tar Heels men's coach Roy Williams in the Hall of Fame, marking UNC as the only school in the nation to have both active basketball coaches in the game’s most exclusive club.
After being presented by Nancy Lieberman and Hubie Brown, Hatchell said that her faith, her family and her friends were the three key reasons that she became one of three women’s basketball coach with 900 career wins.
Hatchell told the crowd, which included Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler and George Gervin, that faith was the most important thing in her life.
“I tell people all the time I'm way to blessed to be stressed,” Hatchell said. “Faith gives me tremendous balance in my life.”
Hatchell also thanked her family, including Sammy, her husband of 34 years who is the associate head coach at Shaw, and her son Van, a walk-on for the UNC men’s team who graduated in 2011.
“Without a doubt, Van you are the greatest accomplishment of my life and I love both of you very much,” Hatchell said.
The 2013 12-person class also included nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton, seven-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, four-time NCAA Final Four coach Jerry Tarkanian, five-time WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Guy Lewis, four-time NBA All-Star Bernard King, ABA star Roger Brown, basketball pioneer Dr. E.B. Henderson, Brazilian standout Oscar Schmidt and former NBA executive Russ Granik.
Hatchell is the only coach to have won national championships at three different levels (AIAW, NAIA and NCAA). She won the 1994 NCAA title with UNC, where she has coached since 1986. She concluded her speech by saying that success is about relationships.
“The relationships that I have experienced and developed the past few days with all these wonderful people who share a love, a passion and a vision for the great game of basketball is something I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Hatchell said.
“I am humbled, honored and thankful to be a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame.”