Georgia’s Katrina McClain heads into Basketball Hall of Fame tonight

You might think Katrina McClain is kicked back and relaxed in retirement these days in her hometown of Charleston, S.C.

Not exactly. She’s relaxed when she’s not working with her foundation to prevent childhood obesity, writing children’s books, running basketball camps or raising her three children, Malachi, Emmanuel, and Genesis.

“I’m trying to keep busy and impact youth as much as I can,” said the author of “Our World,” published in October.

Oh, she’s also busy writing speeches for Hall of Fame inductions. That’s what she’s been doing lately. The former UGA All-American will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall tonight in Springfield, Mass.

“You always have a buzz in your stomach,” said McClain, who lists coach Andy Landers, Georgia teammate Teresa Edwards, Julius “Dr. J” Irving, and coach Vivian Stringer among her guests for tonight’s ceremony. “It’s the excitement of it. My biggest worry is making sure I don’t leave anybody out in my speech. They only give you a certain amount of time and you’ve got to get everybody else in.”

McClain is one of 12 people being enshrined this weekend. Also going in are NBA All-Star Reggie Miller; all-time winningest coach in NBA History Don Nelson; NCAA basketball official Hank Nichols; three-time Naismith Award winner Ralph Sampson; three-time NBA All-Star Jamaal Wilkes; first women’s professional basketball team All American Red Heads; early African-American pioneer Don Barksdale; international coaching legend Lidia Alexeeva; ABA/NBA superstar Mel Daniels; seven-time NBA All-Star Chet Walker; and one of the most significant contributors to the game of basketball, Nike founder Phil Knight.

McClain was the 1987 National Player of the Year for Georgia and had her No. 32 jersey retired. She ranks second on Georgia’s all-time career charts with 2,195 points (17.6 ppg) and 1,193 rebounds (9.5).

After graduation, she went on to an illustrious international and professional career. She won two Olympic gold medals, an Olympic bronze, three FIBA World Championship medals, and five more medals at the Goodwill, Pan Am and World University Games. She also played professionally in Japan, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

“I’m very proud for Katrina,” head coach Andy Landers said. “She was truly a great competitor who put in the work, sweat the sweat and felt the pain as she became the player that she was. Everyone loves to play. Katrina loved to compete. That set her apart. To have been able to play a small role in her development gives me great joy.”

McClain represents the second Lady Bulldog and the third Georgia player to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame. Teresa Edwards, McClain’s roommate and teammate at Georgia, and Dominque Wilkins were enshrined in 2011 and 2006, respectively.

7 comments Add your comment

MichaelFlorence

September 7th, 2012
2:38 pm

What a great news story. I was a football manager when Kat was there and she was always one of the nicest person to run into. Always a little shy, but she had the prettiest smilt that would just melt your heart – Until you played basketball against her. She was fearless and it is great to find out what she is doing now and to see that she is doing well.
What a great basketball player, but more important what a great human being.

Poopdawg

September 7th, 2012
2:48 pm

Congratulations Katrina.

P-Man

September 7th, 2012
3:49 pm

Congratulations to Katrina! It couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Though it’s been many years since I’ve seen her (I had a class with her at UGA), I think about her often, and what a great athlete she was.

claytondawg

September 7th, 2012
3:55 pm

A great athlete who represents U G A very well. Thanks.

KB

September 7th, 2012
11:21 pm

CONGRATS and well deserved. Great Lady Dawg

GatorPhil

September 7th, 2012
11:48 pm

Congratulations to a very deserving athlete. I remember her and knowing at the time I was seeing a great player.

It’s too bad, though that such a fine list of inductees, also including Reggie Miller and Don Nelson have the honor a little cheapened by the inclusion of Phil Knight. What his “contribution” to the sport is somewhat unclear to me. I don’t see how Chip Towers believes making billions OFF the sport contributes TO the sport. It’s not like he was supplying a product that was any different from Converse, Reebok and Addidas. Knight clearly belongs in a Business HOF, but not one for basketball.

Vince

September 8th, 2012
8:43 am

Katrina—You are a hell of a gal and a hell of a Dawg!!! Congratulations to you and to UGA.