The non-profit Bronx Basketball Hall of Fame inducted 15 new members to the Bronx Basketball Hall of Fame on July 15 at Mullaly Park.
The honors will be presented at its annual awards dinner to be held on Nov. 3 at the Villa Barone Manor at 737 Throgs Neck Expressway.
The organization was formed two years ago to establish and preserve a historical narrative of organized basketball from its inception to the current day and preserve the legacy of our local players, coaches, community leaders, and other contributors.
This year’s inductees are:
Niesha Alice Butler: She broke New York’s record for points scored (3,127 and 28ppg. avg.) in a high school career for both men and women. Named to New York City’s All City Team 4 years in a row, the only person to do so since Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Played for Riverdale Country School, the Gauchos, AAU Team, and Ga. Tech U. Played pro for the New York Liberty. Worked as a sideline reporter for the Atlanta Hawks, CBS Radio, MSG Network, and is a business entrepreneur and software engineer.
Jack Curran: He was a basketball and baseball coach for Archbishop Molloy High School and who won more games than any high school coach in the USA. Among his former NBA players were Kenny Smith, Kenny Anderson, Brian Winters, Kevin Joyce and Robert Werdann.
He was CHSAA Coach of the Year 25 times in basketball, 22 times in baseball and won championships in 3 different decades.
Tom Konchalski: Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee — was regarded as the top high school scout, teacher, writer, for more than 40 years. He learned from Jack Curran at Molloy High School and he attended Fordham University. in the Bronx. Worked with Howard Garfinkel at the famous Five-Star Basketball Camp.
Jamal Mashburn: He played 12 seasons in the NBA with a 19.1 ppg average. Attended Cardinal Hayes High School, Kentucky, All American, All-Rookie First Team NBA and NBA All-Star.
Howard Garfinkel: (Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame) He was a scout who ran the well-known Five-Star Basketball Camp for 42 years from 1966 to 2008 and the High School Basketball Illustrated, a scouting service. His camp produced over 600 NBA players and 10,000 NCAA D1 players, attended by players such as Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, LeBron James, and coaches, Chuck Daly, Bobby Knight, Rick Pitino, and John Calipari.
Hugh Evans: (Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame) He was an NBA referee for 28 seasons, 1969 regular season games, 35 NBA Finals. He later became assistant supervisor of NBA officials. He officiated amateur games in the summer league at the famed Rucker Park
Michelle Roberts: From the South Bronx, she is an attorney and is the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. She was the first woman to hold that position and the first woman to head a major professional sports union in North America. She is an adjunct faculty member at Harvard University.
Johnny Mathis: He played one year for the New Jersey Americans in the ABA and played in Spain and in the eastern League. He became a coach and coached Kennedy H.S. in Riverdale winning over 600 games in his career, and working with and teaching the youth.
John Isaacs: (Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame) He was a Panamanian American pro player as a member of the New York Renaissance, the New York Collegians, the Harlem Globetrotters, and other teams. He became a coach and Chris Mullin was one of his disciples.
Cal Ramsey: He was a standout player and an All-American for NYU and played in the NBA for 2 seasons for the St. Louis Hawks and New York Knicks. Subsequently he was with the Knicks for 25 years as a broadcaster and community representative working with youth and community organizations.. He played in the Rucker League and was known for his battles against legendary Connie Hawkins.
Butch Lee: He is the first Puerto Rican and Latin American born athlete to play in the NBA. He attended DeWitt Clinton and Marquette University under legendary coach Al McGuire, where he was an All-American and led them to the school’s first national championship. He played in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. He won Championships in the NCAA, NBA and the Olympics. He later played and coached in Puerto Rico.
Debbie Miller Palmore: She was a 4-year starter for Boston University, a cum laude graduate, an All-American, leading the team in every category, and the MVP every year. She averaged 20 points and 12.9 rebounds per game for her career. She was on the 1980 Olympic Team. She played professionally in Europe and South America. She pioneered the American Basketball League and was the general manager for the Atlanta Glory. She founded Top of the Key, a premier provider of basketball training, camps and clinics for both players and coaches.
Anne Gregory: She was a 4-year starter for the Fordham Rams leading the school in virtually every category including 2,548 points, 1,999 rebounds, and she ranks first all-time in the pre-NCAA/AIAW career rebounding list and 24th in scoring. She was the first woman inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jane Morris: She had been with Cardinal Spellman High School for more than 40 years, first as a player in 1967 and then coaching and teaching since the 1970s. She recorded more than 800 wins, several championships, and impacted the lives of thousands. The school named its court after her.
Steve Sheppard: A DeWitt Clinton graduate and University of Maryland, nicknamed “the Bear,” he was on the Olympic team which won a Gold Medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics. He played for the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons in the NBA.