Legendary Three Rivers coach Gene Bess selected to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2023
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KAIT) - The architect of Three Rivers basketball earns the highest honor on the hardwood.
Gene Bess is heading to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The rest of the Class of 2023 include Gary Blair, Pau Gasol, Dwyane Wade, Gregg Poppovich, Dirk Nowitzki, Becky Hammon, Tony Parker, Jim Valvano, the 1976 USA Women’s Basketball Team, Gene Keady, & David Hixon.
Bess is the winningest coach in all of college basketball, recording 1,300 victories as Raiders head coach from 1971-2020. 3R reached 17 NJCAA Tournaments, winning national championships in 1979 and 1992. Bess coached future NBA players Latrell Sprewell and Marvin McCrary.
He’s in the Poplar Bluff Sports Hall of Fame (1983), Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame (1988), NJCAA Fall of Fame (1989) and Missouri Sports Hall of Fame (2006). 3R unveiled a statue of Bess earlier this year.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend is August 11th and 12th in Springfield, Massachusetts.
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