Jack Sikma named finalist for Basketball Hall of Fame
Jack Sikma’s basketball journey continues.
The St. Anne Community High School and Illinois Wesleyan University standout who went on to a 14-year career in the NBA with Seattle and Milwaukee was among 13 finalists announced for enshrinement later this year into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.
The 6-foot-11-inch Sikma was an All-Star in seven consecutive seasons and helped Supersonics win the 1979 NBA title.
In the 1979 playoffs, Sikma averaged 14.8 points and 11.7 rebounds in 17 games.
Sikma averaged 15.6 points and 9.8 rebounds in 1,107 regular-season games, according to BasketballRefernce.com.
He finished his NBA career with 17,287 points and 10,816 rebounds, and is one of only a handful of players to reach the 10,000 plateau in both categories.
Sikma was one of the most accurate shooters in NBA history. He finished his long career with a free-throw percentage of about 85 percent, is the only center to ever have led the league in that statistic as a center and made more than 200 3-pointers in his career — a rarity for a center, especially during his era.
He was named to the NBA All-Rookie team in 1977-78. He earned All-NBA Defensive team honors in 1981-82.
Sikma led St. Anne to fourth place in Class A in 1973, picking up 36 points, 24 rebounds and 12 blocks in the quarterfinal game, was a NCAA Division III All-American at Illinois Wesleyan and was selected eighth overall by the Sonics in 1977. Sikma was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1978 and then was an All-Star every year from 1979-85.
Sikma is the son of the late Grace and Clarence Sikma.
The full Hall of Fame class will be selected at the NCAA men’s Final Four at Minneapolis in April.
The other finalists
Paul Westphal, who was a teammate of Sikma’s at Seattle in 1980-81 and then coached the Sonics from 1998-2000 is another finalist. Westphal won a title with the Celtics as a player in 1974.
Chris Webber, Bill Fitch, Marques Johnson, Sidney Moncrief, Bobby Jones, Eddie Sutton, Ben Wallace and Teresa Weatherspoon are among the other finalists.
Webber, part of Michigan’s Fab Five and a five-time NBA All-Star, was a finalist for the third consecutive season.
Fitch is a two-time NBA coach of the year who led Boston to the 1981 NBA championship. Johnson was a five-time NBA All-Star and an NCAA champion under John Wooden at UCLA. Jones was a four-time NBA All-Star, a huge part of Philadelphia’s 1983 NBA-title-winning team and the league’s sixth man award winner that season. Moncrief was a two-time defensive player of the year and a prolific scorer.
Sutton is a College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and was the first coach to take four schools to the NCAA tournament. Wallace was a massive part of the Detroit Pistons’ run to the 2004 NBA title and a four-time defensive player of the year. Weatherspoon was one of the first true stars of the WNBA, and a five-time All-Star.
Also selected as finalists were Leta Andrews, who won 1,416 games in more than 50 years on the sidelines; Hugh Evans, a referee in the NBA for 28 years; Barbara Stevens, the longtime coach at perennial Division II power Bentley and a winner of more than 1,000 games.
The Curt Gowdy Award winners for media contributions went to Marc Stein of The New York Times and retiring Los Angeles Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler.