LAWRENCE, Kan. — University of Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self has been selected to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. on Friday.
Self spoke to the media at Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday to reflect on his career and what this honor means to him.
“It’s as good an individual honor as I’ll ever receive in my lifetime,” he said.
The two-time AP College Coach of the Year said it’s an interesting position to be inducted into the Hall of Fame while still an active coach.
“It’s probably a little premature, but I’m not gonna give it back. I’m proud of it.”
Self looked back on where he was 30 years ago when he first began his coaching career.
“I was dreaming, ‘okay, where can I eat free in town?’; who I could give my two complementary tickets to that would actually pay for them, so I’d have some spending money. That’s the truth. I mean, you’re making $4,400 a year, and if you had 20 bucks in your pocket, you were loaded,” Self said. “I never thought that this could happen.”
Self said he’s proud of his accomplishments, but also attributes some of his success to being lucky to have three important mentors early in his career.
“I probably had the best three mentors that anyone has ever had, coaching this team, if you think about it. Coach [Larry] Brown, hall of famer. Won in both NBA and college. Leonard Hamilton, who’s known probably as one of the greatest college basketball recruiters ever, and been an NBA head coach, and as a program builder. And then coach [Eddie] Sutton who in my opinion should be in the hall as well. So how I lucked about to be around those three people just made my career.”