June 26, 2002
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, whose election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2002 was announced on June 5, will be unable to attend the Enshrinement Ceremonies on Sept. 27 in Springfield, Mass., due to a family wedding in Italy.
"It is certainly a special honor to be elected to the Hall of Fame, but there is no question there are few prouder moments as a father than the wedding of one of your children," said Olson. "I'm excited about both events, and although it is impossible for me to be in both places, I am glad there is a way I can be involved with each."
Although Coach Olson will not be in attendance at Enshrinement physically, he will be present via video feed from Italy. Despite his absence in Springfield, Olson remains a member of the Hall's Class of 2002 and the Sept. 27 event will serve as his official Enshrinement Ceremony along with the five other members of the Class.
"Two of the greatest moments in Coach Olson's life, the wedding of his son Steve and his enshrinement into the Basketball hall of Fame will happen at the same time with an ocean between them," said Hall of Fame CEO John Doleva. "Coach Olson will join us in Springfield for the 2003 ceremonies for special recognition and will be able to have his family enjoy the experience of Enshrinement at the Hall of Fame in Springfield at that time."
Others to be enshrined at the Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, the day before a new $103 million Basketball Hall of Fame complex opens in Springfield, include players Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Drazen Petrovic, coaches Larry Brown and Kay Yow, and the Harlem Globetrotters.