Basketball swept most of the headlines for the Alaska Sports Hall Of Fame’s new class of inductees on Monday, according to a press release.
The ASHOF Class of 2014 included two of Alaska’s all-time great basketball players, Jeannie Hebert Truax and Mario Chalmers, as well as the University of Alaska Anchorage’s 1988 upset of Michigan earning the Moment Category selection.
Hebert Truax was inducted into the University of Miami Hall of Fame in 2003. She started 119 games and finished her career ranked second in assists (694), third in scoring (1,766) and fourth in steals (237). She helped Miami earn its first berth to the NCAA Tournament in 1989 and post an 18-0 Big East record in 1992. As a high school star in Fairbanks at North Pole and Monroe, she won three player-of-the-year awards. As a high school coach, she has guided Wasilla to four Class 4A state championships, including three in a row (2010-12).
Chalmers is the only Alaskan and one of only a handful nationally to win titles at the high school, NCAA Division I and pro levels. He has two NBA championships with the Miami Heat, and in college he sank a dramatic 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and help lead Kansas past Memphis in the NCAA title game. He was a three-time Alaska Player of the Year at Bartlett High School.
UAA’s upset basketball win over No. 2-ranked Michigan in 1988 was one for the ages. On Dec. 29, 1988, the UAA men’s basketball team shocked the college basketball world by upsetting the No. 2-ranked Michigan Wolverines, 70-66, at a tournament in Utah. Ron Fischer scored 16 points to lead UAA past a Michigan team that featured five future NBA players and went on to win the 1989 NCAA championship.
The 1,000-mile Yukon Quest was selected in the Event Category. The Quest is run every February between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon. Because of the harsh winter conditions, difficult trail and the limited support that competitors are allowed, it is arguably the toughest race in the world. First run in 1984, the race course follows the route of the historic Klondike Gold Rush and challenges mushers with harsh weather, arduous climbs and long, lonely stretches between checkpoints.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame will hold an induction ceremony in March 2013 at the Anchorage Museum auditorium. The event will be free and open to the public. The date and time will be announced at a later time.
“The Selection Panel had to make some extremely difficult choices,” ASHOF Executive Director Harlow Robinson said. “There were many strong candidates in all categories and they arrived with a class we can all be very proud of.”
Over 1,600 people participated in the public voting process. The accumulative public vote total constituted one ballot equal to a selection panel member’s ballot.
Two new individuals will appear on next year’s public ballot by virtue of appearing on a selection panel ballot for the first time this year. These candidates include Iron Dog legend John Faeo, and Lathrop High School basketball coach and UAF hoops legend Milo Griffin. They will join the existing candidates on next year’s ballot.
The ASHOF selection panel consists of Bob Eley, sports editor, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (chairman); Beth Bragg, columnist and former sports editor, Anchorage Daily News; Lew Freedman, Chicago, former Anchorage Daily News sports editor and author of numerous books about Alaska sports; George Houston, longtime Juneau Douglas High School basketball coach, Mike Janecek, Palmer, longtime high school coach and athletics administrator; Danny Martin, sports writer, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; Kathleen Navarre, Kodiak and Dimond High School coach and administrator, Steve Nerland, Anchorage, American Legion baseball manager; and Mike Sica, longtime Alaskan sports broadcaster and journalist. Results of Internet voting by the public constituted the panel’s tenth vote.