This year's Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame class has been announced. I'm pretty sure you will be familiar with the honorees: former Saint Joseph's sharpshooter Pat Carroll, former Penn guard Michael Jordan, former La Salle forward Crista Ricketts, and longtime college basketball writer Dick Weiss.
The inductees will be recognized at a banquet at the Palestra on Monday, April 14, at 6:00 p.m. While it's unusual to have the banquet after the season ends, there's a good reason for it: the event will also The banquet will also honor the players who win this season's Big 5 awards.
Tickets for the banquet are $50 each. They can be purchased by calling Steve Crider of the Big 5 office at 814-935-5015, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now for a few words on the inductees, for those of you who don't know their backgrounds.
- Pat Carroll played for the Hawks from 2002 to 2005. He won the Geasey Award as Big 5 Player of the Year as a senior, when he averaged 18.3 points per game and led the Hawks to the Atlantic 10 and NIT title games. He holds the Saint Joseph’s record for three-pointers made in a career (294), and a season (135), and career 3-point percentage (.445).
- Michael Jordan played for the Quakers from 1996 to 2000. He was the Ivy League player of the year in his senior season, and made the All-Big 5 First Team in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Jordan ranks in the top five at Penn in career points, assists, steals, 3-point field goals, and free throws. He's now an assistant at Colgate under head coach Matt Langel. The two were teammates at Penn and won Ivy League titles in 1999 and 2000.
- Crista Ricketts played for the Explorers from 2003 to 2007, making the All-Big 5 first team in all four seasons. She racked up 1,645 total points in her college career, the third-highest total in La Salle women's basketball history. After graduating, she played professionally in Spain, Portugal, and Austria.
- Dick Weiss spent 21 years at the Philadelphia Daily News and a decade at the New York Daily News, and has been a freelancer since last year. "Hoops," as everyone calls him, is one of just two men to be inducted into both the U.S. Football and U.S. Basketball Writers’ Halls of Fame. The Temple product lives in the Philly suburbs, as he has throughout his career. Among the many awards Weiss has won is the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Award, the institution's top prize for members of the media.
Weiss is also a dear friend of mine, and I can't let this post end without saying I'm thrilled that he's getting this honor. I know many of his friends in the college basketball media, both locally and nationally, feel the same way.