Former Georgia All-American and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain was announced Monday as one of this year’s 12 inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“It was very sweet,” McClain told TV interviewer Jim Nantz from the podium at the announcement ceremony in New Orleans. “It’s always good to feel like you’re part of a family and knowing from the past, my best friend Teresa Edwards was inducted last year of course she always talks about how great it feels and how the Hall treats you so nice, so it’s a wonderful feeling and I’m so honored.”
McClain will be inducted alongside players Reggie Miller, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes, coach Don Nelson, official Hank Nichols and team, the All-American Red Heads. They will join five previously announced directly elected inductees: player Mel Daniels, Don Barksdale, Chet Walker, coach Lidia Alexeeva and contributor Phil Knight.
McClain attended last year’s induction ceremony in Springfield, Mass., when her former Georgia teammate Edwards joined the Hall of Fame membership. McClain said she does not know who she will ask to induct her at this year’s September ceremony, but “I’ve got a few ideas.”
McClain was Georgia basketball’s first-ever National Player of the Year in 1987. She was a two-time Kodak All-American (1986-87) and was USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year in 1988 and 1992 -- two key years in her international experience.
She was on U.S. gold medal-winning teams in the 1988 and 1996 Olympics and led the Americans to bronze in 1992. She also won gold in 1986 and 1990 and bronze in 1994 at the FIBA World Championships and five more medals at the Goodwill Games, Pan-Am Games and World University Games.
“It’s amazing how everything you do counts and everything you do matters,” she said when asked what induction means to her. “Even from that point, from your high school career, they’re watching you and they’re seeing everything you do, so always look to be positive and be a good role model.”