Who Was the First Person Inducted Into the Basketball Hall of Fame As a Player and Coach?
John Wooden was the first person to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for both his playing and coaching careers. Most of Wooden’s coaching career took place at UCLA during their legendary 20th-century success streak, when they won 10 NCAA men’s basketball titles during the 1960s and early 1970s. Thanks to his accomplishments as the UCLA coach, which included guiding the team to an undefeated record of 30-0 in 1963-64, Wooden was given the nickname “The Wizard of Westwood.”
The 1963-64 perfect season came just three years after Wooden was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his performance as a student-athlete, which included him winning the College Basketball Player of the Year award in 1932. Wooden is arguably far more famous for his coaching career, and that career was honored with induction to the Hall of Fame in 1973. At the time, he was the first person to earn this double induction for his roles as player and coach. At UCLA, Wooden coached such famous names as Lew Alcindor, who later experienced massive NBA success under the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Walton.