Former Cal coach Pete Newell, as highly regarded for his basketball acumen around the world as he was in Berkeley, has been inducted into the FIBA International Basketball Hall of Fame.
Newell, who died last November at the age of 93, led Cal to the 1959 NCAA title, then coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Games. A member of that team, Oscar Robertson, is also part of the 11-member FIBA class. The only other American honored this year was the late Kay Yow, former women’s coach at North Carolina State.
Newell coached the Bears for six seasons through 1960, but continued to be influential in the sport worldwide for decades after. Besides coaching the Olympic team and working in the NBA, he traveled to conduct clinics and camps around the globe and was particularly revered in Japan.
His teams at Cal reached the NCAA Tournament four times, and his final squad was national runnerup in 1960. His teams in Berkeley were a combined 119-44.
The official induction ceremony will take place on Sept. 20 in Katowice,
Poland, coinciding with the finals of the 2009 Eurobasket tournament, and
on Sept. 22 in the FIBA Hall of Fame located in Madrid, Spain.
Newell was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987, then the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., a year later.