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Boeheim, Calhoun deserve Hall of Fame honor


April 4, 2005 | NCAA Tournament coverage on ESPN.com

Hooray, hooray, hooray! Congratulations to a pair of great Big East coaches, Jim Calhoun and Jim Boeheim, for making it into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

It sounds great to call them Hall of Famers – they have worked so hard over the years and are so dedicated to the collegiate game. Boeheim has been a lifer at Syracuse, as a player, assistant and head coach. I really feel he bleeds Orange, baby!

Boeheim got to cut down the nets two years ago in New Orleans when his team knocked off Roy Williams and Kansas to win the national championship. That was special, and everyone knew he made it big-time. To me, though, he never needed to validate himself, and the same can be said for Calhoun.

Yes, Calhoun has two national championships, but just as important is his consistency as a winner. You can count on both Connecticut and Syracuse to win 20-plus games every year and to make an annual trip to the Big Dance. They both face everybody's big challenge, and they respond. They are also class acts off the court.

This couldn't happen to two better guys. Each of them works hard on charity work and has fought hard to battle the dreaded disease of cancer. They are special people and ambassadors because they both showed they could move on as survivors of prostate cancer.

I couldn't be happier for these guys. They are so worthy of enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. It is a great honor and it is well-deserved. They are awesome, baby, with a capital A!

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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