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Richmond Named to Basketball Hall of Fame

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April 11, 2014
By Kelly McHugh

It is, perhaps, one of basketball's greatest honors.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame includes names such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley - and that's just to name a few.

So when former Wildcat Mitch Richmond (1986-88) found out his name would also be placed among that crowd, he was overcome with emotion. 

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"I couldn't be more honored, excited and overjoyed to be a part of the Hall of Fame," writes Richmond in his blog. "Words cannot really express how I truly feel right now. I don't think it's really hit me quite yet, and it's hard to even tell you how I feel to tell you the truth."

On Monday, April 7, Richmond was one of 10 individuals named to the 2014 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class and will join K-State's head coaches Jack Gardner (1984) and Tex Winter (2011), as well as fellow player Bob Boozer who was a part of the 1960 U.S. Olympic team elected for the Hall of Fame in 2010.

"This honor means everything to me. Since I got the news last week, I've been looking back at my career, and it makes you reminisce about it all - the accomplishments and even the downfalls that made me pick myself up, dust myself off and get back out there," he continued on his blog. "It makes you look at the good and bad times...and you realize, it was all worth it."

A consensus All-American during his Wildcat career, Richmond, a 6-foot-5 forward from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., played under then-head coach Lon Kruger and quickly established a name for himself. The community-college transfer became one of just 25 players in school history to score more than 1,000 points and ranks in the top 10 all-time with 1,327 total career points - and remember that's just in two years. He is fourth in school history in average points per game (20.7) and his 786 points as a junior in 1987-88 are the second-most points scored in a single season. 

In his two years at K-State, Richmond guided K-State to 45 wins, two NCAA Tournament appearances and a trip to the 1988 NCAA Midwest Regional Final. During his senior season, he led K-State to a then school-record tying 25 wins and topped off his campaign by earning second team All-American honors.

After his Wildcat career came to an end, Richmond became a first round NBA Draft pick (fifth overall) by the Golden State Warriors.

While he was already facing bright, new basketball horizons after college, he was also selected to compete for the United States on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Basketball team where, in 1988 Seoul Olympics, he would earn the bronze medal followed by a gold medal at the 1996 Barcelona Olympics as a member of the "Dream Team."

During his 14-year career in the NBA, Richmond became one of just 10 players in the history of the league to average 21 or more points per game in each of his first 10 seasons and played in a total of six NBA All-Star games. 

"The game took me through high school and then to college, and then when I realized it could take me to the NBA, wow, that was unbelievable," he continued in writing. "I didn't know where my NBA path would take me, but to get to this point, the Hall of Fame, it's the greatest achievement you could ever get. A Championship ring, All-Stars, Rookie of the Year, Olympic medals...and now this. It's really a beautiful thing."

Also in this year's Basketball Hall of Fame class is NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning, former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, former Maryland coach Gary Williams, former Indiana Pacers coach Bob "Slick" Leonard, NBA star Nat Clifton, the first NBA player from Lithuania Sparunas Marciulionis, NBA All-Star Guy Rodgers, former NBA Commissioner David Stern and the 1972-74 Immaculata University women's team.

The Class of 2014 will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame during a week of events beginning on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Springfield, Mass. 

For the complete release on Richmond's induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame, click here

 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh, Mark Janssen or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.