The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 17th group of inductees, the Class of 2015, on ESPN during the WNBA All-Star game at US Airways Center in Phoenix. The six members of the Class of 2015 are: Janeth Arcain (player), Kurt Budke (coach, posthumously), Gail Goestenkors (coach), Janet Harris (player), Lisa Leslie (player), and Brad Smith (coach). The Class of 2015 will be available to answer media questions regarding their induction into the Hall on Monday, July 21st at 1 PM (EST). Please call-in to (855) 384-4184 and use access code 6339000. The Class of 2015 will be formally inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on June 13, 2015 in Knoxville, TN. For more information regarding the 2015 WBHOF Induction Ceremony please visit www.wbhof.com.
With the addition of the Class of 2015, the WBHOF will recognize the 1972-74 Immaculata College Mighty Macs for their contributions to the game in a display at the Hall entitled "Trailblazers of the Game". The Mighty Macs will join the All American Red Heads, Edmonton Grads, the Former Helms/Citizens Savings/Founders Bank, the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens, and the 1976 USA Olympic Team as the only six groups recognized as "Trailblazers of the Game".
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining which individuals will be inducted each year and which groups will be honored as "Trailblazers of the Game". Voting is based on various factors, which include moral character, integrity, sportsmanship, record of performance, ability, national or international recognition, and contributions to the game of women's basketball.
In order to be considered for selection for induction, an individual must meet the following prerequisites:
- Player: Must be retired from the highest level of play for at least five years
- Coach: Must have coached the women's game at least 20 years
- Referee: Must have officiated the women's game at least 10 years
- Contributor: Must have significantly impacted the game of women's basketball
For information regarding the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and the 2015 Induction Ceremony please visit www.wbhof.com.
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame-Class of 2015:
JANETH ARCAIN (Player): Arcain played eight seasons in the WNBA helping the Houston Comets to the first four WNBA Championships. She was named Most Improved Player and First Team All-WNBA in 2001. Arcain led the Brazil National team to the gold medal in the FIBA World Championship in 1994. She also led the Brazil Olympic team to the silver medal in 1996 and the bronze in 2000.
KURT BUDKE (Coach, Posthumously): Budke was a two-time NJCAA Coach of the Year (1995, 1998) and guided Trinity Valley to four NJCAA National Championships. His junior college record 273-31 (.898) is the highest winning percentage in NJCAA history. From 2002-2005 at Louisiana Tech, he compiled a record of 80-16 leading Louisiana Tech to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. At Oklahoma State his teams went 99-68 highlighted by a Sweet 16 appearance in 2008.
GAIL GOESTENKORS (Coach): In 20 years as a collegiate head coach, Goestenkors compiled a 498-163 record being named the WBCA National Coach of the Year and Naismith Coach of the Year in 2003, and AP Coach of the Year in 2007. At Duke, she guided the Blue Devils to 13 NCAA Appearances including 7 Elite Eight appearances, and four Women's Final Four appearances. Goestenkors was also named the 2006 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year.
JANET HARRIS (Player): Harris played at the University of Georgia and was the first player in NCAA women's basketball history to record 2,500 points and 1,250 rebounds. She averaged a double-double of 20.2 points and 10.7 rebounds at Georgia. Harris was a three-time Kodak All-American (1982, 1984, 1985). In high school, she led John Marshall High to an 88-6 record averaging 19 points and 14 rebounds in her senior season. She also played professionally in Italy, Japan, Spain, Israel, Turkey, and Greece.
LISA LESLIE (Player): In college, Leslie led University of Southern California to an 89-31 record earning National Freshman of the year in 1991. In 13 years in the WNBA, she guided the Los Angeles Sparks to two WNBA Championships in 2001 and 2002. Leslie was a three-time WNBA MVP, eight-time WNBA All-Star and eight-time first team All-WNBA selection. Leslie also led the USA National team to four gold medals in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.
BRAD SMITH (Coach): In 27 years as Oregon City High School's head coach, Smith compiled a 629-87 record. He guided Oregon City to ten 4A State Championships. He was named National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year and WBCA National Coach of the Year in 2007. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honored Smith with the 2012 Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball.
The mission of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame is to "honor the past, celebrate the present, and promote the future" of women's basketball.