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Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012

Newell named Lapchick recipient


NEW YORK — Four members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame have been selected as the 2012 recipients of the Lapchick Character Award.

Cathy Rush, C.M. Newton, Morgan Wootten and the late Pete Newell were announced Monday as the coaches to be honored this year with the award named after the Hall of Fame coach and that is presented by a group that includes Joe Lapchick biographer and former player Gus Alfieri. It recognizes those who have shown the character traits of Lapchick, who coached at St. John's and with the New York Knicks.

The awards will be presented at a luncheon at the New York Athletic Club on Nov. 15, and the honorees will be recognized that night at Madison Square Garden during the 2K Sports Classic, benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.

Rush is considered the pioneer coach in women's college basketball. Just two years out of school herself, Rush led tiny Immaculata College to the first three national championships conducted by the AIAW (1972-74) and six Final Fours in the organization's first seven seasons.

Newell is recognized as one of the all-time coaching greats. He led California to the national championship in 1959 and back to the title game the next season. He compiled a 119-44 record in a 14-year career that ended at age 44 for what many considered health reasons while others said it was over his disdain for the spotlight.

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