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Worthy led the Tar Heels of Dean Smith to two Final Fours and the 1982 championship, when he scored 28 points in a victory over Georgetown. He was selected first by the Los Angeles Lakers in the draft, and would become a seven-time All-Star and play on three NBA title teams.

“We’re extremely honored, but I for one am honored because of the men that came before me, when I look at Cazzie and Joe and Coach Sutton,” Worthy said. “Those are the types of people that laid the path for us youngsters to come and do what we’ve been able to do.”

Knight was honored just a few days after watching his protege, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, break his record for wins among men’s Division I coaches. The longtime coach at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech has served as a presenter for other Hall of Fame inductees, but finally got his night under the spotlight.

So, too, did Einhorn, who founded the TVS Television Network. It was Einhorn who brought the ground-breaking game between Houston and UCLA in 1968 to a national audience, ushering in the era of college basketball on television. Now the vice chairman of the Chicago White Sox, Einhorn was joined at the induction by his old law school classmate, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

“This is kind of unreal,” Einhorn said. “When you go down and see the Hall of Fame plaques, I was looking at it today, I was saying, `I’m up there. I worked with a lot of those people.’ “

People like Sutton and Sampson, Worthy and Knight, who laid the groundwork for March Madness, the billion-dollar TV contracts and the big business of college basketball today.

“The success that we’ve had, the people have made it possible for us _ I appreciate being appreciated,” Worthy said, “and it’s an honor to be inducted with all of you.”