And its in! The Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2006 has been announced, and the class includes: Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins Joe Dumars, Geno Auriemma (Connecticut women's head coach), Sandro Gamba (Italian coach) and Dave Gavitt (longtime contributor). Of the six inductees, three were first-ballot selections: Barklet, Auriemma, and Gavitt.

Barkley, who went to college at Auburn and played for the Sixers, Suns and Rockets in the NBA, was an undersized power forward who used his muscles and his mouth to earn the admiration of many fans. Barkley also played on the first US Olympic Basketball “Dream Team” at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Wilkins' earned the nickname "The Human Highlight Film”, for his amazing dunking ability. He went to college at Georgia and spent most of his NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks.

Dumars, the current President of the Detroit Pistons, played on the Pistons’1989 and 1990 world championship teams in 1989 and 1990. He, along with coach Larry Brown, then helped the Pistons win the NBA crown again in 2004.

Auriemma has won five NCAA women basketball championships with the UCONN Huskies and will likely win his 600th career game next season.

Gamba was a coach in European basketball leagues for more than three decades, including coaching Italian basketball teams in four consecutive Olympics, from 1980-1992. Gamba’s coached teams won the silver medal at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and won the gold medal at the 1983 European Championships.

Gavitt led Providence to eight straight 20-win seasons before helping to establish the Big East Conference. He also played a key role in expanding the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to 64 teams.

The official induction ceremony will occur in Springfield, Mass. in September.


Mon 04/03/06, 6:21 pm EST



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