What a tribute to Wayland Baptist University and the Flying Queens program to have three Naismith nominees in the 2023 class. It is also worth noting that Flying Queen All-American Cherri Rapp was an alternate on the 1976 U.S. Olympic team, which also is nominated.
I truly hope we will have another reason to celebrate when the 2023 class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is announced in April.
Linda Pickens Price, President
Hutcherson Flying Queens Foundation
Two former Wayland Baptist Flying Queens coaches and one former player have been nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Coaches Harley Redin and Dean Weese and player Lometa Odom were among candidates in the Women’s Veterans Direct-Elect category.
Redin and Odom, both deceased, have been nominated previously, while Weese, who lives in Granbury, is a first-time nominee. All three have been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
Redin is the most successful coach in the history of the Flying Queens, posting a record of 431-66 and winning six AAU national championships in 18 seasons from 1955-73. Redin’s teams won the first 76 games he coached, completing WBU’s collegiate record 131-game winning streak. Redin was instrumental getting many of the rules in women’s basketball changed to reflect women’s abilities and the international game – five players to a team, unlimited dribbling, and the 30-second clock. Harley Redin died on August 1, 2020 at age 100.
Weese succeeded Redin and served as Flying Queens coach from 1973-79, compiling a record of 190-30 with two AAU titles and one runner-up finish. He also had tremendous success at the high school level at Spearman and Levelland. Weese, who retired in 1999, compiled a record of 1,207-197 (.860).
A native of Dimmitt, Odom was a four-time all-American from 1953-56 when she led the Flying Queens to a record of 115-5 with three AAU crowns and a runner-up finish. Odom scored 1,614 points, which ranked her second in program history at the time and now ranks 10th. Odom died Jan. 27, 2017, in Amarillo, Texas, at age 83.
The full list of nominees were announced in a press release on Wednesday, December 21.
Here is the complete list of nominees in the Women’s Veteran’s Direct-Elect category:
1976 US Olympic Team (TEA)*
1982 Cheyney University NCAA Final Four Team (TEA)*
Alline Banks Sprouse (PLA)
Edmonton Commercial Grads (TEA)
John Head (COA)
Yolanda Laney (PLA)*
Nashville Business College (TEA)
Lometa Odom (PLA)
Harley Redin (COA)
Hazel Walker (PLA)
Valerie Walker (PLA)*
Dean Weese (COA)*
* Flying Queen All-American Cherri Rapp was an alternate member of the 1976 United States Olympic team.
The entire Naismith class of 2023 will be announced in a nationally televised broadcast on Saturday, April 1 during the NCAA Final Four in Houston, Texas.
In a change by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the 2023 Enshrinement date has been moved from September to August 12 in Springfield, Mass. to enable more basketball fans the opportunity to attend all the festivities surrounding the event.