WORCESTER, Mass. --- The 2015 induction class of the New England Basketball Hall Of Fame will include several individuals with University of Connecticut connections. The induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, Aug. 8, at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.
Former UConn women’s basketball player Ashley Battle, former men’s players Tom Penders, Don Burns, Bob Boyd, and Norman Bailey, former UConn senior women’s administrator Pat Meiser, and former UConn assistant basketball coach Bill Gaertner will be among those honored by the NEBHOF.
As previously announced, former UConn men’s players Bruce Kuczenski and Randy LaVigne, as well as current UConn women’s basketball head trainer Rosemary Ragle will also be inducted.
The weekend’s festivities will begin on Friday, Aug. 7, at St. Mary’s High School gym in Worcester, with an event that will feature a senior women’s exhibition game, a Worcester vs. Boston Schoolboy Scholar-Athlete game, and a St. Mary’s tribute to longtime UConn Special Adviser for Athletics Dee Rowe, a former UConn and Worcester Academy head basketball coach and a Worcester native.
Battle was a five-year member of the UConn women’s program and was a part of three National Championships in 2002, 2003, and 2004. She played 149 games for the Huskies, scored 1,054 points and grabbed 696 rebounds.
Penders, an outstanding athlete out of Stratford, was a two-sport star at UConn, playing basketball and baseball for three years from 1964-65 through 1966-67, scoring 627 career points as a point guard. He went on to coach basketball at the high school level in Connecticut before a 36-year career as a college head coach, amassing 648 wins as the coach at Tufts, Columbia, Fordham, Rhode Island, Texas, George Washington and Houston.
Burns,a New London native, was also a two-sport athlete at UConn, playing basketball and baseball. He was three-year hoopster at UConn from 1954-1957, scoring 480 points in 74 games for the Huskies and helping them win three straight Yankee Conference titles. He went on to a successful high school coaching career at East Catholic in Manchester and also was head coach at University of New Haven and an assistant coach at Yale.
Boyd starred at UConn from 1968-1971, averaging double figures in each of his three seasons and finished with 1,122 points, still No. 41 on the school’s all-time scoring list.
Bailey was a heralded all-state high school player at Northwest Catholic in West Hartford before playing for three seasons at UConn from 1980-81 to 1982-83. He scored 552 career points and hauled down 238 rebounds.
Gaertner served as a UConn assistant basketball coach in 1971-72 under Dee Rowe, on a staff that also included the late Jim Valvano. Gaertner went on to become head coach at Norwich University.
Meiser was the senior women’s administrator at UConn for 11years, overseeing the hiring of women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma as well as implementing some historic advances for women’s sports at the school, while working with three athletic directors. She then moved on to a successful 21-year career as the athletic director at the University of Hartford before her retirement in 2014.
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