From one Hall of Famer to another.
Earlier on Thursday, it was announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame that legendary head coach Eddie Sutton, who passed away in May 2020 at the age of 84, would be inducted into the famous group of the game’s most important people. Even though Sutton will not be there to accept the honor himself, he’ll have a trio of figures in attendance to present the important recognition, including current Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 15, 2021
Calipari, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2015, will join Kansas head coach Bill Self (inducted in 2017) and former NBA superstar Sidney Moncrief (2019), who played under Sutton during their time at Arkansas, as the three who will honor Sutton.
Sutton is finally being inducted after seven years as a finalist. He joins a star-studded group of basketball’s most impactful figures such as Kobe Bryant (who will be presented by Michael Jordan), Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Baylor Women’s Basketball head coach Kim Mulkey, along with a few others. The honorees were initially named to the Hall of Fame last April, but the event itself was postponed due to COVID-19.
Despite only spending four seasons in Lexington, Sutton is considered one of college basketball’s all-time greatest coaches. He received four National Coach of the Year awards across his 35-plus seasons in college hoops that included stints with Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State. His longest stretch was with Arkansas from 1974-1985 when he led the Razorbacks to nine consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including one trip to the Final Four in 1978.
He was a long-time acquaintance of Calipari, as well, and the two stayed in contact long after Sutton retired from coaching college basketball. Since Sutton is being honored posthumously, it is the family who gets to decide which individual(s) will present the award.
Eddie Sutton has passed away. He had a HOF career and touched many lives, including mine. He was always kind to me and my family when I was a young coach and we’ve stayed in touch throughout his life. He’s going to be missed. RIP, my friend. He and his family are in my prayers. pic.twitter.com/JxoFliDvyx
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 24, 2020
The event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, May 15 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.