Growing up in Gastonia, North Carolina, women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell was the only girl on the playground, playing pickup games against boys who imitated NBA stars like Elgin Baylor and Jerry Lucas.
But after her selection to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Class of 2013, Hatchell will have something else to boast about when she sees those childhood friends at an upcoming reunion.
“Now I’m going to be able to say, ‘You know what, I know them and I have something in common with them,’” she said in a press conference Tuesday.
The three-time national coach of the year, who spent 11 seasons as a coach at Francis Marion, was introduced at center court in front of 75,000 fans at the Division I men’s basketball championship Monday. She will be enshrined in Springfield, Mass., on Sept. 8.
Hatchell received the call that she had been selected while in the parking lot of Harris Teeter, and she said former players and colleagues have lit up her phone with congratulatory emails and text messages.