James Worthy is a Hall of Famer

NEW ORLEANS, LA. - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Monday that former University of North Carolina star James Worthy is one of five players, one coach and one contributor that have been elected for enshrinement this Sept. 4-7, 2003, in Springfield, Mass.

The other electees include former Boston Celtics center Robert Parish, George "Meadowlark" Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters, former Los Angeles Lakers announcer "Chick" Hearn, former Louisiana Tech women's coach Leon Barmore, former Italian star Dino Meneghin and veterans committee electee Earl Lloyd, a pioneer in African-American basketball history.

Worthy, a native of Gastonia, N.C., was one of the best players in Carolina history and in 1996 was named one of the Top 50 players in NBA history. A power forward who could dominate with his speed and agility, Worthy led the Tar Heels to the 1982 NCAA championship and was named MVP of the Final Four. Named Helms Foundation National Player of the Year in '82, Worthy was named an All-America 11 times in his college career by various organizations. He is one of seven Tar Heels to have their number (No. 52) retired by Carolina.

Worthy played his entire 12-year professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He helped lead the Lakers to the 1985, 1987 and 1988 NBA championships and make a total of seven NBA Finals appearances. He was named MVP of the 1988 Finals after averaging 22 PPG, 7.4 rpg and 4.4 apg. He was chosen for seven NBA All-star Games (1986-92) and is one of only seven Lakers to have his number (No. 42) retired.

Worthy is the seventh Tar Heel player or coach to be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Larry Brown (coach), Ben Carnevale (coach), Billy Cunningham (player/coach), Robert McAdoo (player), Frank McGuire (coach) and Dean Smith (coach). With McAdoo's nomination in 2001 and Brown's in 2002, Carolina has had a Hall-of-Fame inductee in each of the last three years.

The seven new electees represent the 45th group to enter the Hall of Fame since the institution began the process in 1959.

The Class of 2003 was selected from a record-group of 30 finalists. The Honors Committee elected Parish and Barmore on their first year of eligibility. Worthy had been a finalist the previous three years; Meneghin and Lloyd were finalists the last two years and Lemon was a first-time finalist, but has been reviewed by the North American Screening Committee the last three years. An individual needs five of seven votes from their Screening Committee to become a Hall of Fame finalist and 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election.

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