LUBBOCK -- Four of the nation’s premier basketball players and four outstanding coaches have been named finalists for the prestigious Chip Hilton and Clair Bee Awards, to be presented by Chip Hilton Sports and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at the Final Four in Atlanta, April 2, 2007.
Chip Hilton Sports and the Basketball Hall of Fame began presenting the awards in 1997 as a way to honor outstanding excellence and character in college basketball during the past season.
The Selection Committee is composed of: Jay Bilas, Dave Gavitt, Bob Hammel, Bob Knight, Pete Newell, Billy Packer, Dean Smith, Dick Vitale, and Kevin Weiberg.
The Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award honors a senior Division I men’s player for demonstrating outstanding character, leadership, and talent similar to the qualities evident in the 24-book Chip Hilton sports fiction series. The books authored by Clair Bee enjoyed their first popularity in the late 1940s through the mid-1960s and were updated and re-released to a new generation of readers in 1999.
The Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award honors a Division I men’s basketball coach who through his actions on and off the court, makes an outstanding contribution to the sport of college basketball. The criteria for this award involves actions that inspire, motivate, coach and educate their teams to achieve their fullest potential and demonstrate outstanding character.
Coach Clair F. Bee, the late Long Island University coach and Hall of Famer, compiled an .826 lifetime winning percentage, still the best in major-college coaching history. Known as the “Innovator”, Clair Bee’s influence on the game also extended to strategies, (1-3-1 zone defense), (3-second rule), sports camps (Camp All-America), (Kutsher’s Sports Academy), writing technical coaching books, and conducting coaching clinics around the world.
By the time he left coaching in the 1950s, Clair Bee had already begun writing the Chip Hilton Sports Series, which are considered the top sports fiction series ever written.
The list of coaching finalists for the Clair Bee Award are:
Tony Bennett Washington State University
Bo Ryan University of Wisconsin
Scott Sutton Oral Roberts University
John Thompson III Georgetown University
The list of player finalists for the Chip Hilton Award are:
Adam Haluska University of Iowa
Tre’ Kelley University of South Carolina
Acie Law IV Texas A&M University
Alando Tucker University of Wisconsin
Last season’s Chip Hilton Award winner was of Gerry McNamara of Syracuse. Jim Larranaga of George Mason was the 2006 Clair Bee Award winner.