This year marks the 22nd class to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn. The 2020 Inductees to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (WBHOF) will be headlined by Tamika Catchings, Lauren Jackson, and Swin Cash. Also joining will be Debbie Brock, Carol Callan, Sue Donahoe, and Carol Stiff. On June 13th, the class will receive their Baron Championship induction rings.
Along with the induction class, the WBHOF has an annual ‘Trailblazers of the Game’ category, which will see the celebration of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team. Coached by the late Sue Gunter of LSU, the team, though selected, was never able to compete in the games due to the United States’ boycott.
The team includes: Carol Blazejowski (class of 1999), Denise Curry (1999), Anne Donovan (1999), Tara Heiss (2003), Kris Kirchner, Debra Miller, Cindy Noble Hauserman (2000), LaTaunya Pollard (2001), Jill Rankin Schneider (2008), Rosie Walker (2001), Holly Warlick (2001), Lynette Woodard (2005), Sue Gunter (head coach, class of 2000), Pat Summitt (assistant coach, class of 1999), and Lea Plarski (manager, class of 2002).
Here’s a look at the class of 2020:
Catchings has won it all. A four-time Olympic gold medalist with the United States (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), success has been her most consistent feature.
While playing for Tennessee University, her awards in 2000 included the WBCA Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year, and USBWA Women’s National Player of the Year. Earlier, in 1998, Catchings assisted the team on their way to winning the NCAA Championship.
During her WNBA career with the Indiana Fever, Tamika was named league MVP in 2011, and followed that up with the league title in 2012. Currently, Catchings works as the general manager and VP of basketball operations with the Fever.
Says Catchings, “I am grateful and honored to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. I share this with all inductees, but especially my college coach, mentor and friend, Pat Summitt. She believed in me before I believed in myself which provided opportunities beyond my imagination. Her influence in my life continues to inspire me to use my voice and my platform to impact future generations.”
From Albury, Australia, Lauren Jackson is this year’s international player nominee. Jackson dominated the WNBA as a seven-time All-Star, and three-time league MVP. She also won the championship twice with the Seattle Storm in 2004 and 2010.
On the international stage, Jackson helped lead the Australian women’s national basketball team to three consecutive Olympic silver medals, and a bronze in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 respectively.
Cash’s 15-year professional basketball career was full of achievements. On the national stage Cash was a two-time Olympic gold medalist in 2004 and 2012.
During her time with UConn, Cash, with her strong scoring and defensive skills, led her team to two NCAA national championships in 2000 and 2002.
Throughout her illustrious WNBA career, Cash became a three-time league champion, four-time All-Star, and two-time All-Star Game MVP.
During off-seasons, and post-retirement, Cash took her knowledge of the game to the NBA broadcast side, working as an ESPN analyst, and in-game commentator for NBC.
Currently, she is the director of franchise development for the WNBA’s New York Liberty.
Debbie Brock spent her career playing in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) in the 70s. During her time as a point guard with Delta State University, she led the team to become three-time AIAW national champions.
A Kodak All-American (1978), Brock was inducted into the Delta State Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, and will be a great addition to the WBHOF.
Carol Callan has been a force behind the bench during her career in basketball. Director of the USA Women’s National Team since 1996, Callan has led her teams to Olympic gold six consecutive times.
Carol’s expertise is in strong demand at both the national and international levels. For Team USA, she currently serves as chair of the National Team Steering Committee, Player Selection Committee, and Developmental National Team Committee. Callan also works as President of FIBA Americas, and the FIBA Competitions Commission in a member role.
Sue Donohoe has made significant contributions to women’s basketball at the collegiate level. A director of both the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, she then became the vice president of NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball from 2003-2012.
Donohoe’s work has led her to receive the 2017 Dave Dixon Award for her decisive role as a sports administrator, and the 2019 WBCA Lifetime Achievement award. Sue is also an inductee of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Stiff started her career in women’s basketball as the number one draft pick in 2001 for the Seattle Storm, where she led the team to the league championship twice. During her time in the WNBA, she was also a three-time league MVP. Playing for the Australian national team, Carol won three Olympic silvers and one bronze medal.
Stiff currently works with ESPN as the VP for programming & acquisitions with emphasis on women’s basketball for both the NCAA and WNBA. In 2011 she won the WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award.
To be eligible for Induction, all players must have been retired from participation at the highest level for at least three years, and meet the requirements listed by the WBHOF. For the contributor category, a significant impact on the sport must have been made.
Induction day will feature an autograph session followed by the ticketed reception, ceremony at Tennessee Theatre, and the post-induction celebration at the WBHOF.