* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- Wyoming Cowboy basketball legend the late Kenny Sailors added another Hall of Fame honor to his resume as part of the 2024 American Basketball Hall of Fame Class. Sailors is already member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the UW Athletics Hall of Fame.

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Sailors, a remarkable man who lived an incredibly full life, passed away at the age of 95 on Jan. 30, 2016.

Born Jan. 14, 1921, in Bushnell, Neb., Sailors and his family moved to Egbert, Wyo., in 1929. Sailors would become one of the icons of the game of basketball. Credited with developing the modern-day jump shot, he led Wyoming to the 1943 NCAA Championship, was named the 1943 National Player of the Year.

In November of 2012, he was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Mo.

Sailors and his former head coach, Everett Shelton, are the only two representatives from the state of Wyoming in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Shelton was inducted in the inaugural class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

After teaming with Shelton to lead Wyoming to the NCAA Championship in 1943, Sailors enlisted in the Marines and served from 1943-45 in the South Pacific during World War II. Away from the game he loved for two years, Sailors returned to Wyoming for the 1945-46 season and once again earned All-America honors. He was a two-time Consensus All-American in 1943 and ‘46 and a two-time AAU All-American those same seasons.

Sailors was one of the pioneers of professional basketball, joining the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in its inaugural season in the fall of 1946. He played his first three professional seasons in the BAA. The BAA became the National Basketball Association (NBA) beginning with the 1949-50 season and Sailors played his final two seasons in the NBA.

Upon his retirement from professional basketball after the 1950-51 season, Sailors returned to his native Wyoming to become a licensed hunting and fishing guide in Jackson Hole (1951-65). Years later, he moved to Alaska and continued his love for the outdoors, guiding hunting and fishing expeditions from 1965 to 1999 when he retired.

Also during his time in Alaska, Sailors influenced the lives of countless young people, serving as a girls and boys basketball coach in Glennallen and Angoon, Alaska. Sailors pioneered girls basketball in the public school system in the state of Alaska, including introducing the first state girls basketball championship tournament. He won three consecutive state girls championships at Glennallen and led his team to 68 consecutive wins during that streak. He of course also taught his jump shot to the young women and men of Alaska.

The 2024 classes is headed by some of the most well-known basketball trail blazers from the likes of former NBA greats Larry Bird, Dave Bing, Phil Chenier, George Gervin, Harlem New York City Playground Legend Joe "The Destroyer" Hammonds, WNBA player Semeka Randall and Kenny Sailor.

This year's class also features five coaches that have made a tremendous impact on and off the court, from the late great University of Indiana Basketball Coach Bobby Knight

to Farrell High School Legendary Coach Ed McCluskey, to former Cleveland State University Coach Kevin Mackey, and former University of Cincinnati Coach Bobby Huggins, to current basketball Coach Dru Joyce of St. Mary-St. Vincent High School, who coached NBA Superstar LeBron James. Each of these coaches has succeeded in molding young men into better basketball players and better people.

Other notable names that will be includes former NBA players Campy Russell, Brad Sellers, Terry Cummings, Rick Mahorn, Jerrod Mustaf, Ray Scott, WNBA player Semeka Randall, and former Harlem Globetrotter Greg Bell.

The American Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history hall of fame that will be located in the city of Detroit, Michigan. It will honor and tell the full history of basketball. The American Basketball Hall of Fame was founded by LaMont "ShowBoat" Robinson who played 28 years of barnstorming basketball from 1987-2015.

Robinson played in Denmark and the USBL, then with several barnstorming teams from Meadowlark Lemon’s Harlem All-Stars, 1989 Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals Tour, ShowBoat Robinson's Harlem Road Kings, to ShowBoat Robinson's Harlem Clowns. Robinson was nominated to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. He was inducted into the American Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

The American Basketball Hall of Fame will honor both men and women players as well as coaches and give them another chance to be inducted into a national hall of fame. The American Basketball Hall of Fame will look closely at high school legends, playground hoopsters, small college players, international players, barnstorming players and teams, from the ABA, CBA, EBA, USBL, Harlem Globetrotters, Harlem Clowns, Harlem Wizards, etc...The American Basketball Hall of Fame will not just honor major college and NBA players.

The American Basketball Hall of Fame hosted its inaugural class on Sunday, October 13, 2019 in the city of Detroit, Michigan, and due to covid-19 the 2020 and 2021 live ceremonies were hosted virtually.

The American Basketball Hall of Fame has inducted five classes.

The goal of the American Basketball Hall of Fame is to build a state-of-the-art world class basketball complex that will also be one of the premier basketball facilities in the world, with a track, weight room, film room, classrooms, dormitory rooms, basketball theme restaurant, and a basketball field-house that will feature 3-4 basketball courts for camps, clinics, AAU tournaments, summer and midnight basketball leagues etc... To date, the American Basketball Hall of Fame has inducted 78 players, coaches and contributors.

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