Twenty-six of the best female players ever to step on area courts, five former Siena College standouts, six legendary coaches and three noted officials spearhead a huge class for the second annual Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame.
The 49 new members were announced at Friday’s press conference at the Times Union Center. The place and time of the induction dinner will be announced at a later date.
The coaches selected include the late Walt Pryzbylo, who excelled at Linton; former Philip Schuyler mentor Ron Sontz; former Saint Rose coach Mike Long, who started the Golden Knights’ program; Shenendehowa’s Ken Strube, who is the all-time Section II leader in victories for girls’ coaches; former Catholic Central and Troy coach Don Bassett, who also served as an assistant coach for the Albany Patroons, the College of Saint Rose and as a volunteer assistant for the University at Albany; and former UAlbany coach Richard “Doc” Sauers, who won 702 games for the Great Danes. Sauers’ selection was made puiblic in an early announcement, along with Siena’s Billy Harrell, at a special ceremony in December.
Former Siena players also dominated the first full year of girls’ selections into the Hall of Fame. Cathy Rousseau Boland, Jolene Johnston (Shenendehowa), Michelle Collins, Val Higgins (Schalmont), Katelyn Dooley (Lansingburgh) and Heidi Harkins (Bishop Scully) each excelled for the Saints.
Other leading competitors among the girls included Anita Kaplan (Bethlehem Central, Stanford), Katrina Springer (Broadalbin-Perth), Debbie and Laura Barnes (Shenendehowa), Julie McBride (Catholic Central, Syracuse) and Kim Corbett (Colonie, Maine).
Siena men on the list include Harrell; Jeff Robinson (LaSalle), who was a member of the first Saints’ team to earn an NCAA bid in 1988-89; Rod Owens (Catholic Central); Corey Osinski (Schalmont); Fred Shear (Waterford); and Fred Daniels (Albany).
Schenectady-area players who joined the elite group include former state champion John Leonard (Niskayuna, Manhattan), Randy Cross (Mont Pleasant, Boston College), Jason Graber (Draper, UAlbany) and Kashif Hameed (Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, Iona), who was a former Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
Lucious Jordan (Colonie), who was a member of the first UAlbany team to earn an NCAA tournament berth; College of Saint Rose standout Steve D’Agostino (Guilderland), a multiple All-American and two-time Northeast-10 Player of the Year; and former Union College stalwart Tom Bacher (Catholic Central) round out the second men’s class.
For the first time, area referees were included in the induction class. Named to the inaugural group were Tom Brennan, Bill Varno and the late John Cahill Sr., who was the head of the state’s referee association and is the father of current refs John and Dinny Cahill.
“We tried to catch up with the girls,” said Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame president and founder Rene Leroux. “For our original list, we started with the 1950 season, but for this list, we used the 1980 season as a starting point. We tried to get many of the best female players on our list. The list will go down in numbers in future years, but we’re not worried about running out of names. The quality of basketball in Section II is amazing. We have a strong talent pool.”
Springer and Kaplan are the best of an outstanding girls’ induction class. Springer, who graduated from Broadalbin-Perth in 1988, is second on the all-time Section II girls’ scoring list with 2,704 points. She once scored 54 points in a game in the 1986-87 season, and also netted 47 in a 1985-86 game.
Kaplan, who was a star at Bethlehem Central before moving on to Stanford, is fourth on the all-time list with 2,445 points. She graduated in 1991.
The Gottstein sisters are also among the top scorers in Section II history. Caroline Gottstein, who graduated from Albany High in 2000, is seventh on the all-time list with 2,020 points, while Becky, who graduated in 1998, is 17th on the list with 1,753 points.
McBride, who scored 46 points in a game during the 1999-2000 season, finished with 1901 points for Catholic Central, good for 12th on the all-time scoring list.
The Barnes sisters are also among the leading scorers in Section II history. Laura scored 1,723 points, and Debbie scored 1,684 for the Plainsmen.
Another sister combo from Shenendehowa inducted into the Hall of Fame are Jennifer and Kelly Scanlon. Jennifer Scanlon scored 1,681 points before graduating in 1992, while Kelly Scanlon produced 1,078 points before graduating in 1996.
Dooley, who found the range for 41 points in a game during the 2002-03 season, finished with 1,619 for Lansingburgh.
Heather Fiore, who excelled at Queensbury and Canisius, finished her scholastic career with 1,296 points, while Harkins had 1,347 points for Bishop Scully before starting her career with Siena.
Meanwhile, the coaches inducted have outstanding career records. Pryzbylo posted an amazing winning percentage (.723) with his 289-111 record with Canajoharie, Nott Terrace and Linton from 1952 to 1973.
Bassett, compiled a 304-141 mark at Catholic Central and Troy, while Sontz was 124-22 at Philip Schuyler from 1966 to 1973.
Billy Harrell (Troy, Siena), Rod Owens (CCHS, Siena), Fred Shear (Waterford, Siena), Randy Cross (Mont Pleasant, Boston College), Lucious Jordan (Colonie, UAlbany), Jeff Robinson (LaSalle, Siena), John Leonard (Niskayuna, Manhattan), Jason Graber (Draper, UAlbany), Tom Bacher (CCHS, Union), Corey Osinski (Schalmont, Siena), Steve D’Agostino (Guilderland, St. Rose), Fred Daniels (Albany, Siena), Kashif Hameed (Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, Iona).
Debbie Barnes (Shenendehowa, Richmond), Laura Barnes (Shenendehowa, Richmond), Katrina Springer (Broadalbin-Perth, Southern Nazarene) Mary Fuchs (Germantown, Siena), Maureen Holohan (Troy, Northwestern), Tanya Hansen (Albany, Rutgers), Nikki Hilton (Troy, George Mason), Marcel Harrison (Troy, South Carolina State), Cathy Rousseau-Boland (CCHS, Siena), Jenn Scanlon (Shenendehowa, Union), Kelly Scanlon (Shenendehowa, Tulane), Jolene Johnston (Shenendehowa, Siena), Stacy Hurd Wolfsberg (CCHS, Duke), Brenna Doty (Shenendehowa, Buffalo), Michelle Collins (Holy Names, Siena), Val Higgins (Schalmont, Siena), Jane Mead (Voorheesville, St. Joseph’s), Robin Mortensen (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, St. John Fisher), Julie McBride (CCHS, Syracuse), Anita Kaplan (Bethlehem, Stanford), Nancy Egerton (Bishop Maginn, Niagara), Heather Fiore (Queensbury, Caniaius), Katelyn Dooley (Lansingburgh, Siena), Becky Gottstein (Albany, Boston College), Carolyn Gottstein (Albany, Boston College, Bentley), Heidi Harkins (Bishop Scully, Siena), Kim Corbett (Colonie, Maine).
Richard “Doc” Sauers (UAlbany), Don Bassett (CCHS, Troy), Ron Sontz (Philip Schuyler), Walt Pryzbylo (Canajoharie, Nott Terrace, Linton), Mike Long (Saint Rose, Sage-JCA), Ken Strube (Shenendehowa).
Tom Brennan, Bill Varno, John Cahill Sr.