LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Former late Kentucky and Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton will officially be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday at the Mohegan Sun.
Current Kentucky coach John Calipari will be one of three presenters at the ceremony and will be joined by Kansas coach Bill Self and former Arkansas standout Sydney Moncrief. Sutton died at the age of 84 last year on May 23.
“I’m honored to be one of the presenters for the late Eddie Sutton (this weekend),” Calipari said. “I’m really excited to honor a great man who has earned his place in basketball royalty. I know he will be watching down on us and soaking it all in.”
Sutton replaced Joe B. Hall at Kentucky in 1985 and resigned four years later following a recruiting scandal. Sutton compiled an 88-39 mark at Kentucky, including a 32-4 record in his first season with the Wildcats.
"He had a HOF career and touched many lives, including mine," Calipari said last year "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."
Following one year away from coaching, Sutton replaced former Kentucky assistant coach Leonard Hamilton at Oklahoma State, his alma mater. Sutton led the Cowboys for 16 seasons and guided Oklahoma State to Final Four twice. He went 368-151 and finished out his coaching career as an interim coach at San Francisco, where he notched his 800th victory during the 2007-08 season.
Overall, Sutton went 806-326 in 37 seasons and began his career at Creighton before moving on to Arkansas where he guided the Razorbacks to the Final Four in 1978. The basketball court is named in his honor at Oklahoma State and the practice facility at Arkansas also is named after the long-time collegiate coach.
He was the first coach to lead four different schools to the NCAA Tournament and was voted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame last April. He was joined by Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Rudy Tomjanovich and Patrick Baumann, .
Calipari attended the New York Knicks-San Antonio Spurs contest Thursday night and watched Julius Randle poured in 25 points to lead the Knicks to a 102-98 win over the Spurs. Keldon Johnson tallied 13 points for San Antonio.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at email@example.com or twitter @keithtaylor21