By Carl Adamec
Former University of Connecticut All-American Rebecca Lobo is among 12 women’s nominees for the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
It is the second straight year that Lobo has reached this point in the process. There are two first-time nominees: Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw and former Eastern Michigan University standout Laurie Byrd. Rounding out the women’s nominees are Leta Andrews, Jennifer Azzi, Kathy Delaney-Smith, Sylvia Hatchell, Kim Mulkey, Harley Redin, Theresa Shank, Dawn Staley, and Theresa Weatherspoon.
A candidate needs five of seven votes from the North American committee to become a finalist. The finalists will be announced in February at the NBA All-Star Game.
Lobo, a native of Southwick, Mass., led UConn to its first national championship in 1995. She was the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four as the Huskies completed a 35-0 season with a 70-64 win over Tennessee in Minneapolis. She was a two-time Big East Player of the Year, a two-time All-American, and the consensus national Player of the Year in 1995. She is one of four UConn players — Jamelle Elliott, Tina Charles, and Maya Moore are the others — to finish their careers with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds as she had 2,133 points and 1,268 rebounds. She is still UConn’s all-time leader with 396 blocked shots.
She went on to be part of the 1996 United States Olympic Team that won a gold medal in Atlanta and played in the WNBA with the New York Liberty, Houston Comets, and Connecticut Sun before retiring after the 2003 season.
Lobo was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn., in 2010.