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The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame narrowed its candidates for the class of 2022 to 12, which includes six-time WNBA All-Star and newly named coach of the Las Vegas Aces Becky Hammon.
The WBHOF class of 2022 will be announced Feb. 14 during the Maryland at Iowa game, which will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. The induction ceremony at will take place on June 11 in Knoxville.
Hammon was selected for her 14-year WNBA playing career with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars, as well as her coaching career. Hammon became the first woman to be a full-time assistant coach in the NBA in 2014, and was a San Antonio Spurs assistant coach until December when she was announced as the Aces new coach. Hammon was also the first woman to serve as head coach for an NBA team when Gregg Popovich was ejected from a game Dec. 30, 2020.
The finalists include Lisa Mattingly, who officiated the NCAA Women's Final Four Championship 10 times and the WNBA Championship Series and Finals from 2000-07.
Among the 12 finalists are trailblazers like coach Evelyn Blalock, who started the women's program at Kilgore College and led it to three NJCAA championships. Or Alice "Cookie" Barron, for her career with the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens, who were 104-0 from 1954-57 and won three national championships.
Contributor Donna Lopiano was the women's athletic director at Texas for nearly 20 years and was the Chief Executive Officer of the Women's Sports Foundation from 1992-2007.
Some were selected for their levels of success, like DePaul women's basketball coach Doug Bruno, who has led the Blue Demons to 24 NCAA Tournament appearances in 36 years. Bruno also has six Olympic gold medals as a coach with USA Basketball. Penny Taylor is a three-time WNBA champion and three-time WNBA All-Star who won two Olympic silver medals for Australia.
Cathy Boswell helped the U.S. win its first gold medal in basketball at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and ended her career at Illinois State with 2,005 points and 1,054 rebounds. Delisha Milton-Jones is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time WNBA champion with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Others were selected for consistent excellence throughout their careers, like contributor Debbie Antonelli, who is entering her 34th year as a TV analyst. Antonelli averages 80 college basketball games per season.
Paul Sanderford and Bob Schneider round out the list of finalists. Sanderford spent 25 years as a coach and led Western Kentucky to 12 NCAA Tournaments and three Final Fours. Schneider coached for 40 years and only recorded two losing seasons.
Class of 2022 finalists
Debbie Antonelli (Contributor)
Alice "Cookie" Barron (Veteran player)
Evelyn Blalock (Coach)
Cathy Boswell (Player)
Doug Bruno (Coach)
Becky Hammon (Player/coach)
Donna Lopiano (Contributor)
Lisa Mattingly (Official)
Delisha Milton-Jones (Player)
Paul Sanderford (Coach)
Bob Schneider (Coach)
Penny Taylor (International Player)
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Women's Basketball Hall of Fame announces finalists for Class of 2022