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Vol. 57, No. 2 • January 2020 • .pdf version
Five Hall of Famers: two centuries of experience
The 2020 USBWA Hall of Fame class recognizes approximately two centuries of experience within the industry and our organization, covering the men's and the women's game from coast to coast. In alphabetical order:
For almost four decades with the USBWA, nearly all of them as executive director, Joe Mitch has been the face of the organization. Joe grew the membership to its current level of more than 800. He developed programs to promote coverage of college basketball by offering scholarships to journalism students and developing such awards as the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Henry Iba Award, the Wayman Tisdale Award and the annual recognition of women. Joe was named in 2015 to the Hall of Fame of the Missouri Valley Conference, where he spent about 30 years as an administrator, and was awarded the NABC's Cliff Wells Appreciation Award in 2019.
As a member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff, Wendy Parker was regarded as one of the first national authorities on women's college basketball. For years, her columns in Basketball Times provided essential information for an audience that had traditionally concentrated on the men's game. She regularly covered Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference basketball and was a consistent presence at the Women's Final Four. Wendy was respected for her work on the impact of Title IX and the women's sports establishment.
Since Bill Reynolds began working at the Providence Journal in 1981, not far from the headquarters of the Big East conference, he has been an authority on the dramatic rise of the collection of northeast independents and one of the most prolific basketball writers in the country. Last August, after more than 38 years, he decided "I'm easing off a bit" at the age of 74. His books include "Fall River Dreams," "Success Is a Choice" (with Rick Pitino), "Glory Days" and "Basketball Junkie" (with Chris Herren).
After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1974, Mark Whicker covered college basketball in Winston-Salem, Dallas and Philadelphia, where he wrote about David Thompson and Dean Smith, the Big Five and Rollie Massimino. After moving west to the Orange County Register, he continued to delve into the college game with insight and illumination amid the focus on the L.A. pro scene. An award-winning columnist many times over, his roots have always been in college basketball.
Jack Wilkinson, the Georgia Sportswriter of the Year in 2001 and 2004, was a regular at Final Fours during a career of more than 30 years. After starting at Newsday while a student at Hofstra University, he worked at the Miami News, Chicago Daily News, New York Daily News and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Some of his best work included coverage of the St. John's teams coached by Lou Carnesecca and the Georgia Tech teams coached by Bobby Cremins. When Atlanta hosted the Final Four in 2002, Jack's essay about his family's love of the game – including the devotion of his younger brother Tom and the day Jack scored 23 points in a ninth-grade game while guarded by Julius Erving – was one of the most talked-about stories of the weekend.
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