Six accomplished former players and two decorated former coaches have been selected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
The honorees will be enshrined in November 2021 in Kansas City at the 2021 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Celebration presented by Nike. The event is part of Kansas City’s Hall of Fame Weekend, which also includes the annual Hall of Fame Classic tournament.
Maryland’s late Len Bias, UCLA’s David Greenwood, Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins, Ohio State’s Jim Jackson, North Carolina’s Antawn Jamison, Kansas’ Paul Pierce join coaches Rick Byrd and Tom Penders to form the Class of 2021.
Rick Byrd won 805 games at Maryville, Lincoln Memorial and Belmont from 1979-2019, making him the 12th-winningest coach in Division I history. In 33 years at Belmont, he reached eight NCAA Tournaments and led the Bruins to 17 conference regular season and tournament championships. Byrd was named the 1995 NAIA Coach of the Year and, following Belmont’s jump to NCAA Division I, he won conference Coach of the Year honors in five different seasons.
Success followed Tom Penders throughout his four decades of coaching. He won 649 games as the head coach at seven programs, ranking him in the top 40 of the NCAA record book. Penders took four different schools – Houston, George Washington, Texas and Rhode Island – to the NCAA Tournament, and won three regular-season conference titles and four league tournaments. The Atlantic 10 selected Penders as its 1987 Coach of the Year after he led Rhode Island to 20 wins in his first season on campus.
The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame is located inside The College Basketball Experience (CBE), a world-class experiential entertainment facility adjacent to Kansas City’s T-Mobile Center. The Class of 2021 will be the 16th induction class in the Hall of Fame’s history.