KU Coach Bill Self Receives Hall of Fame Award
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self was one of three recipients of the 2015 Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame presented Thursday evening at the 2015 Family Reunion and Awards Dinner at the Hall.
The Class of 2015 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremonies got underway at the Hall’s “Court of Dreams” on Thursday. The formal evening consisted of returning Hall of Famers with the recognition of the Class of 2015, a brief forum, and the presentation of the Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Awards, the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award and the Curt Gowdy Media Awards.
Self, along with former Reebok CEO Paul Fireman and 14-year NBA veteran Steve Smith, are the recipients of the 2015 Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award. NBA coach and executive Rod Thorn received the John Bunn Lifetime Award, while legendary broadcaster Woody Durham and famed photographer and KU graduate, Rich Clarkson, received the Curt Gowdy Media Award.
Self, Fireman and Smith were chosen from a large candidate pool that represented every level of basketball and is reviewed annually by a distinguished selection committee appointed by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Mr. Jackson.
Winners of the Mannie Jackson – Basketball’s Human Spirit Award exhibit qualities such as striving to improve the community, making a commitment to others, hard work and embracing the core values of the game. Beyond the game, award winners must reflect the values of Mannie Jackson’s life-long mission to overcome obstacles and challenge the status quo, while taking responsibility for his or her actions and seeking the highest standard of excellence.
In 2006, Self and his wife, Cindy, established the Assists Foundation to function as a fundraising conduit for organizations that serve a variety of youth initiatives in Lawrence and the surrounding area. Assists has helped fund programs such as Kansas Action for Healthy Kids, Lawrence Public Library, Boys and Girls Clubs of Lawrence, Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Kansas and Head Start of Lawrence, among many others. The Assists Foundation has also helped create a program called ‘Winning Attitudes for Life’ within the Lawrence and Kansas City area school systems for elementary through high school students to promote healthy living, physical fitness, positive well-being and self-respect. The program helps students develop their leadership, team building, decision-making and communication skills.
Eleven basketball greats will be formally enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 11. Included is KU two-time All-American Jo Jo White who played under head coach Ted Owens from 1966-69. White will be the 18th Jayhawk all-time to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Kansas will be well represented at the Hall of Fame ceremonies as Owens will be present to see White get inducted. Former KU assistant men’s basketball coach John Calipari is also an inductee and will be presented by former KU head coach Larry Brown. KU women’s basketball legend Lynette Woodard will be one of the presenters for inductee Lisa Leslie and Brown will also be presenting Lindsay Gaze.
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