Saint Joseph's announced that it will induct former former standouts John Griffin and Bill Phillips into its Men's Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, April 9, at the Hawks' annual Men's Basketball Awards Banquet. The event will be held in the Campion Banquet Facility on campus.
Here is some background on each from St. Joe's:
The 13th coach in the program's history, Griffin served as head coach from 1990-95 and compiled a 75-69 record in five seasons. Taking over in 1990-91, he guided the Hawks to 13 wins in each of his first two seasons, and to an 18-11 record in 1992-93, which ended a four-year streak of sub-.500 campaigns. Griffin led the Hawks to NIT appearances in 1993 and 1995 and coached Hawk greats such as Bernard Blunt, Rap Curry and Craig Amos.
Griffin played for the Hawks from 1974 to 1978 and appeared in 65 games, and was a team captain his senior year. He returned to Hawk Hill in 1980 and spent two seasons as an assistant coach on the staffs of Jim Lynam and Jim Boyle before leaving to become the head coach at Siena College. Griffin went 70-44 at Siena and worked in private business for a few years before returning to his alma mater in 1990.
"John Griffin gave every ounce of his energy to the SJU basketball program as a player, coach and alum. His work ethic and passion were clear indications that he embodied "The Hawk Will Never Die" spirit. John is a very deserving member of Saint Joseph's Basketball Hall of Fame," said current head coach Phil Martelli, who was a member of Griffin's staff for all five years.
Phillips played from 1999 to 2002 and was one of the top scholar-athletes in SJU basketball history. In three years with the Hawks, after transferring to SJU, Phillips scored 1,007 points to rank 47th on the all-time scoring list, and grabbed 686 rebounds to rank 22nd all-time. He averaged 11.6 points per game both his junior and senior seasons and ranks fifth on the all-time list in career field goal percentage (.527).
Phillips was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference and All-Big 5 teams in both his junior and senior years, earning second-team recognition on both squads in 2002. He is also the only Hawk to be named an Academic All-America, and was a third-team selection in 2001 and a second-team honoree in 2002.
"Bill Phillips embraced the college basketball experience. Truly a scholar-athlete, he accomplished greatness on and off the court here at Saint Joseph's. His selfless style of play allowed those around him to achieve significant accomplishments," said Martelli. "Highly skilled, tough minded, and cerebral are the characteristics that Bill Phillips utilized to achieve Hall of Fame status."
The banquet, which also recognizes the 2009-10 Hawks, begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. For reservations, call 610-660-1706 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org