Two former Michigan basketball stars are among the field of 17 finalists announced today for enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The list of finalists for the 2017 class of Basketball Hall of Fame inductees was announced today, with two former Michigan Wolverines among the group. Rudy Tomjanovich and Chris Webber joined 12 others to make up this year’s group of finalists.
Both players made their mark at both the college and pro level and left Michigan as top-two picks in the NBA Draft. Tomjanovich was the second overall pick to the Rockets int he 1970 draft while Webber went number one overall to the Orlando Magic (and later traded to the Golden State Warriors) in 1993. While in school, both players claimed All-Big Ten and All-American honors during their careers.
Tomjanovich’s basketball resume also includes two championships as a coach, leading the Houston Rockets to titles in the mid-90s.
The Michigan basketball twitter account acknowledged the honor shortly after the announcement.
The recognition of Webber is noteworthy considering the icy relationship between the school and player in the wake of the Ed Martin scandal. The school self-imposed harsh sanctions, including vacating wins and removing Final Four banners from the Fab Five era and a period of disassociation from involved players.
That period is now over, which makes things like the Michigan basketball twitter account publicly congratulating Webber possible, but tensions remain. Webber was in attendance when Michigan took on Louisville in the 2013 National Championship Game, but he chose to do so secluded in a suite instead of in the stands with the rest of the Fab Five.
Perhaps something as simple as that tweet can be seen as a small olive branch and better times are ahead as the relationship mends.
Three of the 14 finalists will ultimately become the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame class. The announcement of which three will be enshrined will be made at the Final Four in early April. Former Detroit Pistons big man Ben Wallace was one of several who came up short of the votes necessary to become a finalist.