TWO OUTSTANDING CLASSES TO ENTER THE OBHOF ON APRIL 9
COLUMBUS – 2022 will be a landmark year for the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.
In fact, soon after the March Madness subsides, the Hall of Fame will keep the game of roundball in the spotlight by inducting both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 during a special ceremony April 9th in downtown Columbus. The 2020 Class will be honored at 4:30 pm, with dinner to follow at approximately 6 pm. The 2021 Class will be honored immediately after dinner, at 7 pm. The ceremonies will be held at the Hyatt Regency at 350 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.
The 2020 class includes longtime NBA coach Bill Fitch, former Ohio State standouts Kelvin Ransey and Toni Roesch, two-time NCAA champion Tony Yates and former NBA champion Antonio Daniels. Among the headliners for the 2021 class are Cleveland Cavaliers chairman Dan Gilbert, former Xavier All-American Byron Larkin, high school coaching legend Dave Hoover and former Ohio State women’s coach Nancy Darsch.
Class of 2020
The following 18 individuals will be inducted into the Class of 2020:
- Bucky Albers was a longtime sportswriter for the Dayton Daily News and contributor to the success of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. He has helped craft the biographies of over 200 inductees over the last 15 years.
- Beth Conway was the girls high school coach at Bishop Hartley High School and led them two state championships in 1976 and 1978.
- Antonio Daniels played at St. Francis DeSales High School before heading to Bowling Green State University, where he was named 1997 MAC Player of the Year. He went on to be the fourth overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft, helped garner an NBA championship for the San Antonio Spurs in 1999 and retired in 2011.
- June Brewer Daugherty was an early pioneer of women’s basketball who found great success as a player at Westerville South High School and Ohio State University and then moved into coaching roles at Kent State, Stanford, Boise State, Washington and Washington State. Daugherty will be inducted posthumously; she died on August 2, 2021.
- Rob Doss serves as the supervisor of Women’s Officials for several NAIA, NCAA Division II and Division III conferences. He has officiated multiple OHSAA state and regional tournaments as well as national tournaments for the NCCAA, NJCAA and NCAA Division II regional, Elite Eight and National Championship Games.
- Bill Fitch, a native of Davenport, Iowa, coached in the NBA for 25 seasons, being named Coach of the Year twice (1976, 1980). He was the first coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1970 when the team was formed in the expansion and turned them into a playoff contender. He went to Boston next and led the Celtics to the 1981 NBA championship. Prior to his pro coaching career, he coached at several colleges, including Bowling Green State University. He was the recipient of the NBA’s Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2012-13 NBA season and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in September 2019.
- Ericka Haney had a great career in the mid-’90s at Toledo Central Catholic before playing as part of Notre Dame’s 2001 NCAA National Championship Team. Haney went on to play professionally and is now coaching on the collegiate level.
- Mike Haley was a very successful high school boys’ coach, winning four state championships, three at Dayton Roth (1976, 1981, and 1982) and one at Dayton Dunbar in 1987. Haley was also part of the 1964 Ohio University team that was inducted in the OBHOF in 2017. Haley will be inducted posthumously; he died in 2017.
- Hank Josefczyk played for Yorkville High School in the late 1950s where he averaged 45.1 points per game. He went on to the University of Dayton where he was a three-year letterman and was the leading scorer in eight games in the 1958-59 season. He was integral in that season’s triple-overtime win over Duke in the Dixie Classic.
- Kelly Lyons made her mark at Bethel High School in Tipp City before heading to Old Dominion College, where she averaged 24.7 points per game, ending her time at Old Dominion with 2,224 points and 1,008 rebounds.
- Mike Moran has been coaching at the high school and collegiate level for decades, first at St. Joseph’s High School where he led them to two state championships before heading to the collegiate level. He has coached John Carroll University for over 25 years, leading his teams to the NCAA tournament 12 times and advancing to the Final Four in 2004.
- Caity Motter Henniger was a prolific scorer at Bluffton High School and was named the Division III Player of the Year and Ms. Basketball before landing at Ohio State University. During the 2002-2003 season, she averaged 15.4 points per game and still holds the program record for most three-pointers during a season (106).
- Harry Pontius was a stellar athlete in basketball, football and track both in high school and at Western Reserve during the 1930s. He received All-Ohio honors in both football and basketball while at Newton Falls High School and twice was named all-conference in those sports at Western Reserve. He played professional basketball with the Goodyear Wingfoots and also toiled on the football field for the Pittsburgh Pirates (now Steelers) under an alias, so as not to jeopardize his basketball contract. Pontius will be inducted posthumously; he died in 2009.
- Kelvin Ransey was a Macomber High School and Ohio State University phenom, finishing second in the Big Ten in scoring as a junior with 21.4 ppg and ranked second on the team to center Herb Williams as a senior with 16.2 ppg while leading the way with 5.9 assists per outing. He was the fourth overall pick in 1980 NBA draft and spent six seasons playing professionally.
- Toni Roesch has contributed to women’s basketball since her days at Bishop Hartley High School in the late ’70s and early ’80s, where her teams made it into post-season play each year, including the state semi-final in 1981. She went on to play at Ohio State, making three NCAA tournament appearances and winning the Big Ten Championship in 1986. After several coaching stints, she is the owner of a basketball training facility and is a radio analyst for OHSAA Girls State Tournaments, Ohio State Radio and is a WBNS radio commentator for Ohio State Women’s Basketball.
- Earl Shaw led the College of Wooster in scoring from 1946-1950, earning first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors each time. He became the first player in program history to score more than 400 points in a single season and more than 1,000 in his career, amassing 1,491 total points.
- KB Sharp honed her talent at Bexley High School and was named first-team all-state and honorable mention All-American her senior year. She went on to find success at the University of Cincinnati and in the professional ranks. She spent six years in the WNBA and also played in Europe, leading her St. Petersburg, Russia team to the EuroCup Championship.
- Tony Yates was a three-year starter and an invaluable playmaker for the University of Cincinnati, winning back-to-back NCAA national championships in 1961 and ’62, victimizing in-state foe Ohio State each time, and was runner up in 1963. He and his older brother, Fletcher, led Lockland Wayne to a high school state championship in 1952. Yates will be inducted posthumously; he died on May 16, 2020.
Four teams will also be recognized for their achievements: The 1981 & 1982 Dayton Roth High School boys state champions, coached by 2020 Inductee Mike Haley, and the 1976 & 1978 Bishop Hartley High School girls state champions, coached by 2020 Inductee Beth Conway.
Class of 2021
The following 17 individuals will be inducted into the Class of 2021:
Nancy Darsch made a deep impression on women’s basketball, learning her trade as a trusted assistant for Pat Summitt from 1978-85 before taking over as the head coach at Ohio State. She compiled a record of 234-125 in 12 years at OSU, the highlight season coming in 1992-93 when the addition of freshman phenom Katie Smith catapulted the Buckeyes to a 24-4 record, Big Ten title and run to the NCAA title game. Darsch also coached for USA Basketball and was head coach of the New York Liberty in the WNBA’s inaugural season of 1997. She was inducted into the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 and enters the Ohio Basketball Hall posthumously. She died on Nov. 2, 2020.
Jeff Gibbs was an unstoppable interior force at 6-1 – not a misprint – and led the nation (all divisions) in rebounding three straight years despite playing nightly against foes who were a half a foot taller or more. As a senior at Otterbein, he produced 30 double-doubles in 32 games and was named the NABC NCAA Division III Player of the Year. In 2002, he led the Ohio Athletic conference in rebounding (16.3 per game), steals (2.4 per game) and field-goal percentage (68.4).
Dan Gilbert is chairman of the Cleveland Cavaliers, acquiring the franchise in 2005. Under his leadership, the franchise has won six Central Division championships, five Eastern Conference titles and the NBA Championship in 2016 – Cleveland’s first major professional sports championship in 52 years. The franchise has numerous off-the-court accomplishments, including local and national recognition for business operational excellence and community impact. Gilbert’s Cleveland sports investments and leadership also include the Cleveland Charge (the Cavaliers' NBA G League affiliate), the Cavs Legion GC (an NBA 2K League affiliate), and the Cleveland Monsters (the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets). Gilbert – a successful businessman, investor, and philanthropist – is founder and chairman of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), as well as the Rock Family of Companies, a portfolio of technology businesses and real estate investments. To date, the Rock Family of Companies have invested more than $2 billion in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.
Johnny Green was an explosive athlete and native of Dayton who starred at Dunbar High School and Michigan State University with military service in between. He was the fifth overall selection of the 1959 NBA draft after a Big Ten MVP season at MSU and set a rookie record for the New York Knicks with 25 rebounds and against the Philadelphia Warriors, a mark that still stands. He went on to log more than 12,000 points and was named an NBA All-Star four times during a lengthy professional career.
Jim Hamilton, immediately likable and impactful in every life venture, is the class representative for being an outstanding Contributor to the Game. As a four-year starter at Glenford High School, he led the Golden Horde to an overall mark of 101-9. He was a mainstay in the starting lineup for Miami University and played on two MU teams (1957-58 and 1958-59) that are now enshrined in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. Immediately after graduating in 1960, he embarked on a successful high school coaching career that included an 18-year run at Upper Arlington, where he later became athletic director. He now continues to strive for betterment of the game as a Board member of the Ohio Basketball HOF.
Dave Hoover won more than 400 high school games from 1983 to 2006 after incredibly successful runs at Westerville North and Canton McKinley. He is a three-time state champion, 11-time district titlist and seven-time conference coach of the year. At Westerville North, he led the Warriors to five OCC championships and the 1994 state title. He finished his Hall of Fame career by helping McKinley cut down the nets in 2005 and 2006.
Kim Jordan was a star on the hardwood throughout her time at Wehrle High School and at Ohio State. A four-year starter for the Buckeyes in the late 1970s, Jordan simply was ahead of her time as an athlete, making her an easy choice as the first freshman in program history to receive a full scholarship. She averaged right around 17 points and eight rebounds a game for the Buckeyes at a time when such figures were at a premium. She still ranks eighth in OSU women’s career scoring and was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.
Fran Krompak was a pioneer for girls basketball across Ohio and is best-known for coaching her alma mater of Toledo Central Catholic from 1969-80, producing a record of 140-25 and eight Toledo City League titles in 11 years. While also coaching tennis, volleyball and the cheerleading team, she guided the 1976 Central Catholic hoops squad to the state title and a 15-1 record. The following year, she returned the team to the state tournament. Central Catholic has named its gymnasium playing floor after her.
Byron Larkin was the first Xavier player to have his jersey number retired and the high-energy guard remains XU’s all-time leading scorer with 2,696 career points. In fact, he led the program in scoring in each of his four seasons including 25.3 points per game in his senior season of 1987-88. He arrived a known commodity in the Cincinnati area after a prolific career at Moeller High School.
Keith McLeod was a standout both at Canton McKinley High School and Bowling Green State University. A 6-2 guard who excelled at both ends of the court, McLeod was named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year in 2002 after leading BG with 22.9 ppg. He finished his collegiate career with 1,895 points – still good for second all-time in Falcons history. He went on to a lengthy professional career including stints with four NBA teams and several more overseas.
Gene Mehaffey racked up 242 wins in 11 seasons at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee and then really made his mark with 283 more coaching victories in 20 seasons at Ohio Wesleyan University. He captured the 1988 Division III national championship, which earned him accolades as both the Ohio and National Coach of the Year. He owns four North Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championships and three NCAC tournament titles.
Dr. Denny Morris enters the Hall of Fame after a distinguished career as a basketball official. A native of Lima, Ohio, Dr. Morris graduated from Elida High School, Bowling Green and the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. He’s been involved with the Ohio High School Athletic Association since 1975 and has officiated the boys basketball state finals three times (2002, ’05 and ’07). He’s served as an OHSAA Basketball Rules Interpreter since 2005 and has been the Director of Officiating Development for Basketball since 2010.
Fritz Nagy was a 1949 graduate of the University of Akron and still is considered one of that school’s all-time great players despite a career that began at North Carolina and one that was interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II. A charter member of Akron’s Sports Hall of Fame, Nagy enters the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame posthumously. He passed away in 1989 at the age of 65.
Julie Plank is a beloved figure in central Ohio known for her determination and leadership on the court as well as her impact in a wide-reaching coaching career. A Columbus native who endeared as an Ohio State point guard in the 1980s, Plank started coaching at Capital University, served under the likes of Tara VanDerveer at Stanford and Jim Foster at Vanderbilt and was an assistant for the gold medal-winning USA women’s team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She also has coached for several WNBA teams and was the head coach of the 2009-10 Washington Mystics.
Mel Thomas – her nickname is short for Melanie – cashed a standout career at Mount Notre Dame High School in Cincinnati to earn her place with the powerhouse Connecticut Huskies. A 5-9 shooting guard, Thomas was named the Big East’s Most Improved Player as a sophomore in 2006 and served as a co-captain for legendary coach Geno Auriemma as both a junior and senior. She logged more than 1,000 points in her career and still ranks in the top ten in UConn history with 224 made three-pointers.
Ralph Underhill led Wright State University to the 1983 NCAA Division II championship, a dream season that also saw him named National Coach of the Year. In 18 seasons at WSU, he amassed 356 wins and mentored some of the best players in school history, including all-time leading scorer Bill Edwards.
Luke Witte was a native of Philadelphia and dominant presence at Marlington High School in Alliance, Ohio, who eventually teamed with Jim Cleamons and Allan Hornyak to deliver a Big Ten championship for legendary coach Fred Taylor in 1971. A 7-footer with a surprisingly deft touch, he also played for three seasons in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The following teams will be also recognized for their achievements: The 1992 & 1993 Owens Community College men’s NJCAA champions and the 1963 & 1964 Dresden Jefferson High School boys state champions.
“We’re excited to celebrate two more classes of tremendous athletes, coaches and contributors in 2022. It’s especially exciting that we’ve now passed our 15th Anniversary – a milestone for any organization with a grassroots foundation like ours,” said Executive Director Sheila Fox. “We rely on our champions and fans to support us financially and reminding us of the greatest players and coaches from their communities that have made their mark on Ohio basketball. We’re working to preserve this fascinating history for future generations.”
Tickets for both ceremonies go on sale soon. To purchase tickets, read the official bios of each inductee and for more information, visit www.OhioBasketballHallofFame.com.
Background: Founded in 2005, the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame recognizes the remarkable achievements of both male and female athletes across high school, college, and professional basketball—along with phenomenal coaches and individuals who’ve impacted the game along the way. Together with a dedicated collection of coaches and basketball enthusiasts, Doc Daugherty and the late Don Henderson led the charge to establish the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame with a mission of preserving legacies, celebrating greatness, and honoring excellence. Our annual Induction Ceremony, hosted in Columbus, celebrates basketball and its rich legacy. As of 2021, we’re proud to have recognized 266 individual inductees representing 30 Ohio colleges and universities and 112 Ohio high schools. The list of charter members of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame reads like a Who’s Who of some of the sport’s most recognizable figures – Jerry Lucas, Jimmy Jackson, Oscar Robertson, Clark Kellogg, Bill Hosket Jr., Paul Walker, Jay Burson, John Havlicek, Bob Knight, et al.