Richmond named to Hall of Fame

By The Mercury

Former Kansas State basketball All-American Mitch Richmond was among 10 individuals announced Monday to the 2014 class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

A consensus All-American during his two-year career at K-State from 1986-88, Richmond will be joined in the 2014 Hall of Fame induction class by Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s, seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning and national championship-winning head coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams.

The announcement was made during a press conference at the men’s Final Four.

“It is an honor for us to welcome this highly-esteemed Class of 2014 into the Basketball Hall of Fame,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in a release.

Richmond is the fourth person with K-State ties to be named to the Naismith Hall of Fame, following head coaches Jack Gardner (1984) and Tex Winter (2011) and fellow player Bob Boozer, who was a part of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team elected in 2010.

The Hall of Fame induction is one of many honors for Richmond, who was selected as a member of K-State’s All-Century Basketball Team in 2003 after earning recognition to the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. He is one of 11 players to have their jersey retired at K-State.

A 6-foot-5 forward from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Richmond assembled perhaps the greatest two-year playing career in school history for then-coach Lon Kruger from after transferring from Moberly Junior College in Moberly, Mo.

Richmond is one of 25 players in KSU history to top 1,000 points, ranking 10th on the all-time scoring list with 1,327 points and fourth in career scoring averaging (20.7). His 1,327 points are the most by a player in a two-year career, while his 786 points as a junior in 1987-88 are the second-most in a season. He still ranks among the Top 10 in 21 career statistical categories at K-State.

“Individually, Mitch was very focused on doing whatever it took to be a great player, but at the core, he was most concerned about his team,” Kruger said. “He had the ability to raise the bar for all those around him, and he could do this because his teammates respected his work ethic and selflessness.”

Richmond helped guide the Wildcats to 45 wins, two NCAA tournaments and a trip to the 1988 NCAA Midwest Regional Final.

Following graduation, Richmond won a spot on the 1988 U.S. Olympic team and was a first-round draft pick (fifth overall) by the Golden State Warriors. He became one of the premier shooting guards in the NBA during his 14-year career, appearing in six NBA All-Star games, and being named the most valuable player of the 1995 All-Star Game in Phoenix. Richmond also earned second-team All-NBA honors in 1994, 1995 and 1997 and third-team honors in 1996 and 1998.

Richmond is one of just 10 players in NBA history to average 21 or more points in each of his first 10 seasons, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Oscar Robertson. He finished his pro career with more than 20,000 points, 3,801 rebounds, 3,398 assists, 1,211 steals and 254 blocks.

The 2014 Class will be enshrined on Aug. 8 at the Springfield Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass.

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