Monday, February 16, 2004

KU interim coach Woodard Hall of Fame finalist


Kansas University interim head women's basketball coach Lynette Woodard -- a four-time Kodak All-American and the women's college career scoring leader -- has been named one of 16 finalists for enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The list of finalists was announced Sunday.

The Class of 2004 will be announced April 5 at a news conference in San Antonio.

"This comes as a complete surprise," Woodard said. "It is a privilege and an honor to be considered as one of the finalists for the Naismith Hall of Fame. Should I be chosen for induction, it would be a dream come true."

Woodard, a native of Wichita, enjoyed a phenomenal basketball career at the scholastic, collegiate, professional and international level.

She was a three-time all-state selection at Wichita North High and led her school to state championships in 1975 and 1977. A national high school All-American in 1977, Woodard went on to play at KU from 1978 to '81 and ended her career as the leading scorer in the history of women's basketball with 3,649 points (26 points per game, 12 rebounds per game). Her career scoring total still ranks second only to Pete Maravich (3,667 points) for the most points ever scored by a college athlete.

A four-time All-Big Eight selection, Woodard dominated the women's game, leading the nation in scoring in 1979, rebounding in 1978 and steals in 1979, 1980, 1981. She scored in double figures in 138 of 139 career games at Kansas and became the first female member of KU's athletics Hall of Fame.

Woodard in 1985 became the first female to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. She played two professional seasons with the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers and Detroit Shock.

For the past five seasons Woodard has served as an assistant coach for the Jayhawks and recently took over as interim head coach when Marian Washington took a leave of absence.

A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Hall of Fame.

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