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For VanDerveer, Monday’s announcement was bittersweet, coming just hours after her Stanford team lost 63-62 to Texas A&M in a national semifinal in Indianapolis.

“This is kind of a tough morning to be a basketball coach for me waking up after our loss last night,” she said on a conference call. “This opportunity to be enshrined in Naismith is an incredible honor, and I’m overwhelmed by it.”

In December, VanDerveer became the sixth woman to get 800 coaching victories.

“It’s the ultimate compliment to a coach or basketball player,” she said. “I’m humbled and honored. You should be really excited about it, but I wish it hadn’t come on this day. I’m not feeling great about myself or how we played. You go back and think about all the things I could have done or should have done. The sun didn’t come up this morning here.”

For longtime Philadelphia University coach Magee, the all-time, all-division NCAA wins leader with 922 career victories, this is heady territory. He only got into coaching only after turning down an offer to work for a chemical company.

“I coached the JV team when I first got started and we had some success and I knew ‘this is what I should be doing,’” Magee said.

Edwards won four gold medals while playing on five U.S. Olympic teams and starred collegiately at Georgia, taking the Bulldogs to two Final Fours. She enjoyed a lengthy professional career both in the U.S. and overseas and is now the director of player personnel for the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock.

“I feel like the little girl gets to play with all the big boys again,” Edwards said. “It’s like how I started, going from begging to play with them to being the first one chosen. I feel like this time I get to share the spotlight with the biggest boys in the world.”

Gilmore was elected by the Hall’s ABA committee. Gilmore is a member of the all-time ABA team and was a six-time NBA All-Star who scored more than 24,000 career points.

The class also includes Sabonis, one of the greatest passing centers in basketball history. The Lithuanian-born Sabonis was among the first European players to successfully transition to the NBA, spending nearly a decade with the Portland Trail Blazers.


AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg in Indianapolis contributed to this report.