Richardson’s legacy is bittersweet. The 72-year-old coach ended his coaching career with the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA after winning an NCAA Championship with the Arizona Razorbacks in 1994. He was also part of the first All-Black starting five for Texas Western (now UTEP) under coach Don Haskins.
His team beat Kentucky for the NCAA title in 1966, when Adolph Rupp was the coach and Pat Riley was a player. Richardson will celebrate without his son, Nolan III, who was found dead 2 years ago at age 47 and his daughter Yvonne who died of leukemia at the age of 15. Some of his former Texas Western teammates have also died.
“I know they would be so happy and delighted,” said Richardson told ESPN. “I ask the good Lord to give them the message that things are good and I’ve done all right.”
Longtime NBA commissioner David Stern, college coach Gary Williams, Immaculata College’s women’s basketball team and New York Knicks player Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton will all be inducted as well. The ceremony takes place on August 8 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
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