The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee, will induct three players (Janeth Arcain, Janet Harris and Lisa Leslie) and three coaches (the late Kurt Budke, Gail Goestenkors and Brad Smith) this weekend. There also will be a ceremony naming the south rotunda of the Hall of Fame building after legendary former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.
Here is a look at the 2015 inductees:
An indispensable part of the Houston Comets' four straight WNBA titles (1997-2000), Arcain joined Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoops and Tina Thompson as the franchise's Big Four in launching the league. Arcain averaged 10.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in eight seasons in the WNBA. A 5-11 guard, she also was one of the most important players in the history of Brazilian women's basketball, starring on her national team for many years. She won a gold medal at the 1994 World Championship, in which the Brazilians beat the United States in the semifinals, and won Olympic medals in 1996 (silver) and 2000 (bronze).
A Kansas native, he paid his dues for many years coaching successfully in the junior college ranks. He won four juco national championships at Trinity Valley in Texas and continued to win at the Division I level, first at Louisiana Tech and then at Oklahoma State. He went from 6-22 in his first season (2005-06) at Oklahoma State to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance just two years later. In all, Budke had three NCAA tournament appearances in six seasons at Oklahoma State. His career was tragically cut short at the start of the 2011-12 season, when at age 50 he and assistant Miranda Serna died in a plane crash while on a recruiting trip.
Duke didn't become DUKE, the women's basketball powerhouse, until Goestenkors' 15-year tenure in Durham, North Carolina. She changed the dynamics of the ACC by transforming the Blue Devils into perennial national contenders as Duke entered the upper tier of recruiting. Duke made four trips to the Women's Final Four under Goestenkors, who was 396-99 overall there, including a 179-55 ACC mark. She also coached five seasons at Texas (102-64) and is now an assistant with the WNBA's Indiana Fever. As a USA Basketball assistant, she helped guide the United States to gold medals at the Olympics (2004 and '08) and World Championship (2002).
She would be a first-ballot inductee into a "most underappreciated" Hall of Fame in women's basketball. Other Georgia players have received more acclaim, but none racked up bigger numbers than Harris. The Chicago native's decision to go to Georgia in 1981 gave that program its first true superstar recruit. Recently retired coach Andy Landers credits Harris with opening the door for him to lure great players from around the country. Harris played in two Women's Final Fours at Georgia, where she finished with 2,641 points and 1,398 rebounds from 1981-85. A three-time All-American, she then played for 14 seasons overseas, competing professionally in Italy, Japan, Spain, Israel, Greece and Turkey. Had she been a decade younger, she'd have been a WNBA standout, but she was near retirement when the league launched in 1997.
A national star from high school on in greater Los Angeles, Leslie didn't make the Women's Final Four but was an All-American at Southern Cal. After finishing her USC career in 1994, Leslie had a three-year wait before the WNBA started. She was one of that league's foundational players and helped build excitement for its 1997 launch by leading the U.S. team to Olympic gold in the Atlanta Games in 1996. Leslie retired in 2009 after winning two WNBA championships and four Olympic golds.
He brought an up-tempo, fast-breaking style to the Oregon City (Ore.) High School girls' team and for nearly three decades helped set the bar nationally for prep excellence. Many of his players went on to Division I collegiate careers, including Lindsey Yamasaki, who was a two-sport standout at Stanford. Smith retired in 2006 with a career record of 629-87 in 27 seasons, winning 10 Oregon state championships. In 2012, Smith received the Morgan Wooten Award from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in high school coaching.