WBHOF events begin Thursday

International fans and supporters of women's basketball will gather in Knoxville to celebrate as six legends of the sport will step off the court and into the spotlight during the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Induction weekend June 8-9.

Pre-weekend events include special appearances by former Lady Vols and WBHOF Class of 2007 Inductees Bridgette Gordon and Daedra Charles-Furlow at Barnes & Noble in West Knoxville on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. as part of the Rebound and Read Book-fair, which is a fundraiser to support the WBHOF involvement with local literacy programs.

On Friday at 6 p.m. at the WBHOF, the weekend's events tip off with a Chronicles of Legends dinner for the inductees, their family, friends and special guests. At 7 p.m., commemorative 2007 edition Induction basketballs will be presented to each inductee followed by a special inductee storytelling session at 8 p.m., in which each inductee will share some of his or her favorite basketball experiences.

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, the public is invited to a free Signature Line-up of Legends Inductee autograph session at the WBHOF. In addition to attending the autograph session, the public can tour the WBHOF's museum free of charge, taste Mayfield ice cream samples and visit with the Big Orange Army.

At 6:30 p.m., the events move to Knoxville's historic Tennessee Theatre for a silent auction, a fundraiser for the WBHOF, featuring sports memorabilia and other items. At 6:30 p.m., the Night of Legends gala reception begins with a trumpet fanfare announcing the arrival of each inductee in true red-carpet fashion and the music of the Dennis Dow Jazz Trio. The Induction ceremony begins at 8 p.m.

The ceremony will be hosted by ESPN personalities Doris Burke and Debbie Antonelli, and radio host Hallerin Hilton Hill, the Master of Ceremonies, who also co-wrote The Dream, the official theme song of the WBHOF. During the ceremony, The Dream will be performed by Evelyn Jack.

In addition to celebrating each inductees' crowning basketball achievements with the presentation of The Eastman awards, the Induction ceremony will feature the music of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the WBHOF Choir as well as a special basketball-themed performance by The Magic All-Star Mini Hip-Hop Dancers.

During Induction 2007, the WBHOF will observe the following special hours for the general public: June 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; June 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; June 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Highlights of the museum include a 17-foot bronze statue in the WBHOF lobby that pays tribute to the Hall's mission honor the past, celebrate the present, and promote the future of women's basketball; Modern Locker Room, an interactive exhibit that allows fans to view six coaches during their pre-game and half-time pep talks; State Farm's Tip-Off Theatre that shows a 15-minute movie, Hoopful of Hope, chronicling the history of women's basketball; Hall of Honor, presenting Hall of Fame inductees, their achievements and mementos; and a 24-foot 1966 Air-porter Pontiac limo that transported the legendary All American Red Heads basketball team across America.

The six members of the Class of 2007 are: Andrea Lloyd Curry, Pamela Kelly-Flowers, Daedra Charles-Furlow, Bridgette Gordon, Mel Greenberg, and Andy Landers.

WBHOF Induction 2007 tickets are available online at www.wbhof.com or by phone at (865) 633-9000, or by visiting the WBHOF ticket office.

THE INDUCTEES

In four years at Texas, Andrea Lloyd Curry helped to lead the Longhorns to the No. 1 ranking in the final women's basketball poll each year, winning the national championship in 1986 and becoming the first team to ever finish a season undefeated (34-0) that year. She was a five-time member of USA Basketball's Senior National Team, winning the gold medal in the 1988 Olympics, and an eight-time All-Star for the Italian Professional League. Lloyd Curry also played three seasons in the American Basketball League and two seasons in the WNBA.

A three-time All-American at Louisiana Tech (1980-1982), Pamela Kelly-Flowers won the Wade Trophy and the Broderick Award as the nation's most outstanding women's college basketball player in 1982. She led the school to the top ranking in the nation in her junior and senior years, while tallying a record of 143-10, the most wins ever over a four-year period in the history of the program. With Kelly-Flowers on the court, the Lady Techsters won two national championships the 1981 AIAW title and the 1982 NCAA title.

Daedra Charles-Furlow and Bridgette Gordon teamed up to lead the Lady Vols to the 1989 national championship. They are two of only five Lady Vols to have their numbers retired and were both members of the inaugural Class of 2001 into the Tennessee Lady Vol Athletic Hall of Fame. Individually, their statistics also speak volumes.

Charles-Furlow was the first player from the Southeastern Conference to win the Wade Trophy, when she received the honor in 1991. She was a two-time National Champion (1989, 1991) and two-time Kodak All-American while at Tennessee, and went on to represent the USA with a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics. Charles-Furlow played professionally in Japan, Italy and France from 1991-97 before returning to play for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks in 1997.

While at Tennessee, Gordon made an NCAA-record four consecutive trips to the Final Four, winning two national championships (1987 and 1989) and being named the Women's Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 1989. She was a First-Team All-Southeastern Conference performer all four years and earned SEC Player of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year honors in 1989. In 1988, Gordon was one of two collegiate members on the gold-medal winning USA Olympic women's basketball team in Seoul, Korea.

Combined, the four players boast five NCAA national championships, one AIAW title, two Olympic gold medals, an Olympic bronze medal, two Wade Trophies, over 8,000 points and almost 5,000 rebounds.

Serving on the staff of the Philadelphia Inquirer for the past 37 years, Mel Greenberg has become best known for his national and local coverage of women's basketball at the collegiate and professional levels. In 1976, he created the first weekly national collegiate women's basketball poll, which two years later began worldwide transmission as the Associated Press women's rankings. Greenberg has covered every national finals dating back to the era of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), earning him the nickname of The Guru.

In 28 seasons as head coach at Georgia, Andy Landers has never had a losing season, compiling a 684-215 (.761) record. A four-time National Coach of the Year, Landers has led the Lady Bulldogs to an average of 24.4 wins each season, a statistic that ranks fourth among all Division I women's basketball head coaches with at least 20 seasons of tenure. He has led Georgia to 24 of 26 NCAA Tournaments, which ranks second in the nation, including two national runner-up finishes, five Final Fours, 10 Elite Eights and 17 Sweet 16s. He has produced three National Players of the Year and 12 Kodak All-Americans.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories